The UK’s exit from the European Union has had a significant impact on free movement between Britain and Europe. since last January. The UK has refreshed its points-based immigration system to simplify the process of recruiting workers from overseas while allowing only ‘the brightest and best into work in Great Britain.
The UK’s points-based immigration system encourages employers to see if they can recruit British citizens. The changes were also designed with the goal of making it easier for employers to sponsor people from outside the UK.
The system is still vital because it requires individuals to earn points by speaking English and being offered a skilled job with pay that’s right for them. One of the key benefits of this new system is that applicants can trade points in some cases, which will allow them to receive a reduced salary. It can be difficult for employers to sponsor people if the salary they were offered does not meet Home Office expectations. This new rule will make it easier for employers.
The shortage occupation list has been reviewed recently, and this is a compilation of roles that are currently facing a shortage of staff in the UK. Sometimes, a reduced salary is offered to those who fill these roles. The healthcare industry is one that has been hit hard by the pandemic and Brexit. As such, some care-related roles were added to this list in order for businesses across various sectors can recruit into these positions with ease – helping them meet their regional workforce needs while also attracting top talent!
With no limits on how many skilled workers can be employed, the definition of “skilled work” has been reduced to A-level or equivalent. Gone also are the strict rules that required businesses to show they could not recruit a UK national into a role before offering it overseas.
Except for the skilled worker route, the system has initiated another visa route as well to help skilled workers who are in shortage. The ‘high potential individual’ route, which is available to people who have been awarded a qualification by one of the top universities in Britain within the last five years, allows them to work anywhere without being sponsored or needing an offer. Even though the UK is looking for talented people through this route but many have criticized their list of eligible universities as being too narrow. There are many visas available for global mobility routes and working in scale-up companies.
However, it’s still too early to tell if the new system has truly benefited those looking into living and working in Great Britain. Immigration rules have changed, but many of the old issues remain.
For many routes, UK businesses need to get a sponsor license. The process is costly and time-consuming yet it still exists today in this country where we have so much potential for growth! On average, it takes eight to ten weeks for a licence application. The complexity lies in understanding all the obligations that come with them which can be difficult for businesses.
Immigration rules are strict and it is important to stay in compliance. This way, the sponsor will not face any penalties or worse; they could lose their license which can reduce their ability to employ non-UK nationals. Employers should stay up-to-date on the newest regulations, carry out appropriate right-to-work checks and consult with an attorney where necessary!