Introduction:

From 1 January 2021, free movement will end and the UK will introduce a points-based immigration system. The new system will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally and change the way in which all migrants come to the UK to work.

Under a points-based immigration system, points are assigned for specific skills, qualifications, salaries and shortage occupations. Visas are then awarded to those who gain enough points.

Skilled workers:

From 1 January 2021, anyone coming to the UK to work will need to demonstrate that:

  • they have a job offer from a Home Office approved sponsor
  • the job offer is at the required skill level – RQF 3 or above (A Level and equivalent)
  • they speak English

In addition to this:

  • if they earn more than the required minimum salary threshold they are eligible to make an application
  • if they earn less than the required minimum salary threshold, but no less than £20,480, they may still be eligible if they can demonstrate that they have a job offer in a specific shortage occupation or a PhD relevant to the job

 Points-based system:

Characteristics Tradeable Points
Offer of job by approved sponsor No 20
Job at appropriate skill level No 20
Speaks English at required level No 10
Salary of £20,480 to £23,039 Yes 0
Salary of £23,040 to £25,599 Yes 10
Salary of £25,600 or above Yes 20
Job in a shortage occupation as designated by the Migration Advisory Committee Yes 20
Education qualification: PhD in a subject relevant to the job Yes 10
Education qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job Yes 20

A total of 70 points is needed to be able to apply to work in the UK

Becoming an approved sponsor:

Employers not currently approved by the Home Office to be a sponsor should consider applying now if they think they will want to sponsor skilled migrants, including from the EU, from early 2021.

The standard processing time for an application is usually 8 weeks.

You will need to:

  • Check your charity or social enterprise is eligible
  • Choose the type of licence you want to apply for
  • Decide who will manage sponsorship within your organisation
  • Apply online and pay a fee
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