From 1 January 2021 the position is as follows:
|Irish Nationals||No Visa||Can continue to live, work and study in the UK without obtaining immigration permission|
|EEA nationals living in the UK before 31 December 2020||No Visa||Must apply for Settled or Pre-Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme|
|EEA nationals with existing working pattern in the UK before 31 December 2020||Frontier Worker Permit||Transitional period until 30 June 2021. Frontier Worker Permit needed from 1 July 2021|
|All other new arrivals from 1 January 2021||Visa||For visits with restricted business activities: EU, EEA and Swiss nationals can apply for a Standard Visitor Visa on arrival to the UK.
In all other cases: EU, EEA and Swiss nationals will need a sponsored visa before they travel to the UK, if they intend to live, work or study in the UK.
Unskilled workers will no longer be able to come to the UK to work.
Suitable for workers who have an existing pattern of working in the UK 31 December 2020.
A frontier worker is an EEA or Swiss citizen, who works in the UK, but lives outside the UK. Typically, these are workers, who come over to carry out projects, construction work and work at seasonal events. However, the definition is wide, so will cover any worker who meets the criteria.
From 1 July 2021 a frontier worker will need a valid Frontier Worker Permit as well as a valid passport to enter the UK.
The scheme is open to both employed and self-employed individuals.
The permit will normally be valid for 5 years and will be renewable indefinitely, provided that the individual continues to be a frontier worker.
The eligibility criteria are that the individual:
If individuals have been unable to work in the UK during a 12 month period, they will still be eligible, if the reason for the absence was due to:
Applications for the permit are free.
The application is made by the individual worker.
Individuals can apply from inside or outside the UK via an online process. Various information and evidence will need to be provided. We recommend compiling the information before the application is made.
From 1 January 2021 a new points-based immigration system will apply to EU, EEA and Swiss Citizens as well as non-EU citizens.
This will apply to any new workers without frontier worker status.
As a minimum, a Standard Visitor Visa will be needed to visit the UK. This will allow a visit to the UK of up to 180 days.
From 1 January 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss nationals will be classified as non-visa nationals. This means they do not have to obtain a visa before travel to the UK. They can apply on arrival for entry as a visitor.
Please note that visitors must hold a passport – National ID cards will no longer be accepted as valid travel documents.
Home Office guidance states this activity should normally take less than one month to carry out.
In all other cases, EU, EEA and Swiss nationals will require a sponsored visa to work in the UK. The visa must be sponsored by a UK Home Office licenced employer.
We have provided details for the Skilled Worker and Intra-Company Transfer visas, as they will be relevant for our clients.
Before 1 January 2021, these were known as “Tier 2 (general)” and “Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer)” visas. In addition to renaming the categories, 2 key restrictions have been lifted. The cap on the number of skilled immigrant workers into the UK has been suspended and the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) has been removed. Under the RLMT sponsoring employers were required to advertise the job in the UK for a certain period of time, before being able to sponsor the licence for an immigrant worker.
A points-based system has been introduced for Skilled Worker visas. The applicant must reach a total of 70 points, which is the minimum number needed to be eligible for sponsorship.
The points system is as follows:
|Mandatory Requirements – Skilled Worker|
|Job offer from a Home Office approved sponsor||20 points|
|Job at RQF3* level or above||20 points|
|English language skills at level B1*||10 points|
|Points from mandatory requirements||50 points|
|Additional tradable points – Skilled Worker|
||0 points||PhD in subject relevant to the job||10 points|
||10 points||PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job||20 points|
||20 points||Job in a shortage occupation, as designated by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)||20 points|
These are designed to support key staff from overseas group companies coming to support a UK subsidiary. They are designed to be temporary (less than 5 years) and require a higher level of skill and salary than the Skilled Worker visa.
|Mandatory Requirements – Intra-Company Transfer|
|Employed by the business for 12 months (3 months for graduate trainee) prior to the date of transfer|
|Role at RQF6* level or above|
|Minimum salary of £41,500 (£23,000 for graduate trainee) per year or the going rate for the job|
|“Cooling off” rules – cannot hold entry clearance or leave to enter or remain as an intra-company transferee for more than five years in any six-year period|
|Entry for 12 months for graduate trainee and five years for company transfer (nine years for higher paid roles)|
There are various fees that can apply. We expect the fees associated with visas for our clients will generally be as follows:
|Up to 3 years||£610||Per application|
|Over 3 years||£1,220||Per application|
|Shortage occupation up to 3 years||£464||Per application|
|Shortage occupation over 3 years||£928||Per application|
|Immigration Skills Charge||£1,000||Per year|
|Immigration Health Surcharge||£624||Per year|
A UK employer must hold a Sponsorship Licence issued by the Home Office to employ an individual who does not otherwise have the right to work in the UK (an overseas individual).
UK entities with HR systems in place to monitor the immigration process.
Entities will need to appoint people within the business to manage the sponsorship process. There are three specific roles that must be fulfilled, although these could all be done by one person.
Critically, the allocated staff must be based in the UK most of the time.
The current UKVI fee for a Sponsorship Licence is £536 – £1,476.
For more information contact Christine Turner: email@example.com
|RQF3||A-level or equivalent qualification. Workers will not need to hold a formal qualification. It is the skill level of the job they will be doing which is relevant.|
|RQF6||Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent.|
|The Going Rate||These rates are published by the government annually.|
|PhD points||Points are only available if the PhD is relevant to the job. The government has published a list of occupations that will be able to claim PhD points. The list includes all occupations in the top skill level of the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code system.|
|English language level B1||Knowledge of English can be evidenced by:
There are approved test centres outside the UK – we can provide details if needed.
Disclaimer: The contents of this document are for general information only and are not a substitute for formal professional advice. Türner & Co accepts no liability for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of this document without taking formal advice from us. Information correct at 7 September 2020.