Jonathan Beech writes for the Oxford Times
Published 21 January 2021
Despite the latest lockdown, we hear of a number of Oxford businesses with skills shortages in IT, finance and science. Businesses are trying to hire new EU employees to fill vacancies to meet demand. Migrate UK helps businesses navigate the new immigration system.
With free movement ending on 1 January 2021 and replaced by the new immigration points based system, all EU and non-EU citizens entering the UK for the first time will be treated equally, with organisations requiring a sponsor licence to recruit overseas skills.
The new immigration system principally revolves around the sponsorship of employees. Employers must hold a licence to recruit all new EEA and non-EEA arrivals, unless they qualify under non-sponsored routes. Businesses needing a licence should apply as soon as possible with applications currently taking around six to eight weeks. Migrate UK helps businesses navigate the new immigration system.
The new tradeable points system combines skill level, job offer, English ability and salary. If your applicant meets all the criteria, they can be issued with a skilled work visa initially for up to five years. Applicants need 70 points in total. The minimum salary for skilled worker sponsorship is £25,600. Applicants in shortage occupation professions and ‘new entrants’ may qualify in specific instances if their salary is less than £25,600 but over £20,480, but workers must be paid the ‘going rate’ for that job. The minimum job skill level to qualify is circa ‘A’ level equivalent.
A four year licence starts from £536 for a small company up to £1476 for a large corporate. It is also worth understanding options outside of sponsorship. Other immigration categories include long-term students and those with UK ancestry, plus Youth Mobility workers under Tier 5. A concern we are hearing from potential EU workers considering a skilled job offer is whether family members will be able to join them in the future. One new option is Frontier Worker permits which can work for EU citizens and their family who don’t already qualify under the EU settlement scheme.
By successfully navigating the new immigration system, businesses can help fulfil skilled worker shortages and continue to thrive.
Migrate UK helps businesses navigate the new immigration system. Contact us on 01235 841 568 or email firstname.lastname@example.org