With Brexit bringing an end to UK-EU freedom of movement, the process for checking an EU/EEA or Swiss applicant’s right to work will be changing. Until June 30th, current guidelines still apply. However, after that point, the government will introduce new immigration rules, and you will also need a sponsor licence to employ EEA citizens. Detailed information is available on the government’s website. We first covered changes to Right to Work checks back in February. However, the government has since released more information. Let’s summarise the main points of how Right to Work checks will change.
The check will essentially be superseded by the UK’s new points-based immigration system. We can break this down into three major visa categories. Skilled workers, intra-company transfers, and “other routes”. However, each visa has its own requirements.
There is some flexibility to the payment rules. Whilst there is a minimum of £20,480, the applicant can still obtain a Skilled Worker visa and the Right to Work through other means. For example, if the job is in an in-demand area (what the government calls a shortage occupation) or if they have a PhD in a relevant field.
Also, the remuneration rules vary for workers in some health or education jobs, as well as for those at the start of their career. The government provides further information on this here.
This category of visa applies to an overseas worker for your business relocating to the UK. Visa applicants must be existing workers in roles that meet strict skills and salary levels.
Furthermore, this visa only grants a temporary Right to Work. Whilst workers can be assigned to the UK multiple times; they are limited to staying in the UK for up to five years in a six-year period.
However, if the salary is over £73,900, workers do not need to fulfil the requirement to have worked overseas for more than 12 months. They can also stay for up to nine years in a ten-year period.
Finally, if your applicant has come to the UK via a graduate training programme, they can apply for the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee visa. The requirements are generally the same, but there is some variation in the rules regarding overseas experience and salary.
The UK government provides a full list of worker routes in their “points-based system introduction for employers” document. Within these routes, there are ones such as “Global Talent” that do not require a sponsor license for you to hire them. Global Talent visas aim to attract promising people across a broad range of fields, such as the humanities, science, engineer, digital technology and the arts.
There is also the Youth Mobility Scheme, which allows around 20,000 people a year, aged 18-30, to come to the UK.
If you want to employ someone from outside the UK – including the EU/EEA – you will probably need a sponsor license. This applies even if the work is unpaid. For example, if you are running a charity.
You will not need a licence to sponsor all groups. Some exemptions include:
UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) may visit your business to check it’s suitable.
After you apply:
You’ll be given a licence rating if your application is successful.
You’ll be able to issue certificates of sponsorship if you have jobs that are suitable for sponsorship.
Your licence will be valid for 4 years. You may lose your licence if you do not meet your responsibilities as a sponsor.https://www.gov.uk/uk-visa-sponsorship-employers
Credence are here to advise you any upcoming changes to the Right to Work check, and the new immigration system.