Changes to hiring skilled workers from outside the UK

From 1 December, employers can hire skilled workers from outside the UK using the new points-based immigration system.  Employers will need to apply to become a Home Office licensed sponsor.

Responding to these changes, Jane Gratton said “While a faster and simpler route for accessing skilled workers from outside the UK is helpful for employers, the new immigration system brings additional costs, restrictions and bureaucracy for businesses who are unable to recruit from their local labour market.”  

Applicants can now apply under the new Skilled Worker route, but will need:

  • A job offer from a licensed sponsor at the required skill level – RQF 3 or above (A Level and equivalent);
  • To speak English to the required standard;
  • To meet the applicable minimum salary threshold.

EEA nationals that arrive in the UK before 31 December 2020 do not need to apply as they remain eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme.

Other visa routes are now available, including:

  • Global Talent visa for people who can show they have exceptional talent or exceptional promise in the fields of science, engineering, humanities, medicine, digital technology or arts and culture;
  • Innovator visa for a person seeking to establish a business in the UK based on an innovative, viable and scalable business idea;
  • Start-up visa for a person seeking to establish a business in the UK for the first time;he Intra-company Transfer visa, which is for established workers who are being transferred by the business they work for to do a skilled role in the UK.

Find further guidance and resources here.

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