The Immigration Rules Have Changed, Are You Ready...
New Immigration Rules Explained
The Tier 2 General and Tier 2 ICT routes are now closed to new applications. As from the 1st December 2020 there are significant changes for employers recruiting from outside of the UK labour market.
Let Clearview Immigration help you successfully navigate the complex new points-based Immigration system and guide you through the pitfalls when employing skilled workers from around the world.
The Home Office has published new guidance for sponsors documents which aims to explain the new rules for sponsoring both non-EU and EU nationals from 1 January 2021. The guidance is set out in a 246-page document which includes previous guidance but also new information for sponsors to adhere to and is now separated into 5 parts:
Part 1: Apply for a licence
Part 2: Sponsor a worker – general information
Part 3: Sponsor duties and compliance
Sponsor a Skilled Worker
Sponsor an Intra-Company Worker
Although there is a new format, existing licenses, and allocations of CoS (Certificate of Sponsorship) will automatically be carried over to the new system however, our advice would be to not delay as there could be a backlog.
Another notable change is that the routes have been re-named and many of the requirements altered.
Skilled Worker, ICT and other routes
Tier 2 General and Tier 2 ICT will close on 1 December 2020, from this date any new applications submitted will be processed under the new immigration rules.
Under the new points based immigratio system, migrant workers from both non-EEA countries and EU citizens will only be able to obtain a work permit if they obtain sufficient points for specific skills, qualifications or salaries and for shortage occupations.
Applicants will need to score 70 points. 50 points must come from the mandatory characteristics.
The remaining 20 points are tradeable and will be awarded for an education qualification (PhD in subject relevant to the job), a job in a shortage occupation or where the salary is £25,600 or the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher).
Applicants will need to score 60 points. 40 for the mandatory section (ICT applicants are exempt from the English language requirement) the remaining 20 must come for the salary or tradable points.
There is significant new information for both the Skilled Worker route and the ICT Worker route, especially regarding the way in which the minimum salary requirement is calculated.
Sponsors must only assign a lawful CoS to workers under, the skilled worker or ICT worker route, if they don’t the Home Office will take action against the sponsor.
Sponsor duties and compliance
The Home Office has not changed its position that sponsorship is a ‘privilege’ and not a right. Sponsor licence holding organisations are subject to several duties, the majority of which remain unchanged, as follows:
Complying with UK immigration laws and other legislation
Not behaving in a way that is not conducive to the public good
The most notable change here is that ALL changes to salary (decreases and increases) must be reported. Under the current rules, sponsors are not required to report changes in salary if this due to annual increases. However, this wording has been replaced in the new guidance by ‘any/all changes must be reported’.
The wording in the guidance relating to compliance and reporting duties feel strong, almost threatening. It is clear that UKVI will be much stricter on compliance; if a sponsor breaches its duties, UKVI will take action, which could include the suspension or even the revocation of the sponsor licence.
One of the changes to the new application is that digital documents will be accepted, so this should make life a little easier. Other welcome changes include the removal of the Resident Labour Market Test in relation to workers sponsored from 1 December 2020, the removal of the restrictions on shareholding and the removal of the cooling-off period in relation to those applying to the Skilled Worker route (some limited cooling-off period provisions remain under the ICT Worker route).
We have highlighted just a few of the changes and complexities associated with the 2021 Immigration rules. However, for more information and advice tailored to your individual requirements please contact Clearview’s Immigration expert:
dl: +44 (0) 1635 282682
m: +44 (0) 7894853654