The way you hire from the EU has changed

If you’re not already a licensed sponsor and you think you’ll want to sponsor workers from outside the UK, you should apply now

Free movement ended on 31 December and the UK has introduced a points-based immigration system. The new system treats EU and non-EU citizens equally and transforms the way in which all migrants come to the UK to work. Anyone coming to the UK to work will need to apply for permission in advance except Irish citizens or EU citizens eligible for status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Before you hire:

  • Check that the people you want to hire will meet the requirements for coming to the UK for work
  • Check your business is eligible
  • Register as a Home Office licensed visa sponsor

To register, you will need to:

  • Choose the type of skilled worker licence you want to apply for
  • Put appropriate systems in place to act as a sponsor
  • Apply online and pay the fee

If you’re not already a licensed sponsor and you think you’ll want to sponsor workers from outside the UK, you should apply now.

You should allow around 8 weeks for your licence to be processed. However, for an additional fee, businesses can be fast-tracked to receive a decision within 10 days.

Further guidance is available at GOV.UK.

Hiring Actions:

  • If you are recruiting from overseas, ensure your job and prospective employees meet the requirements:

    – The job you are offering is at the required skill level – RQF 3 or above (A Level and equivalent).
    – The job meets the required minimum salary level.
    – That the candidate speaks English to the required standard.

This does not apply when hiring Irish citizens, or EU citizens already living in the UK by 31 December 2020. They and their family members are eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme and have until 30 June 2021 to apply.

Existing EU Employees Actions:

  • Inform your employees of the EU settlement scheme (EUSS) so that they can continue to live, work and study in the UK
  • EU citizens coming to the UK from 1 January 2021 will need to apply under the new points-based immigration system. More guidance is available here.

For a summary of changes please see: employing-eu-citizens-in-the-uk.

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