Free travel between the UK and Europe ended on 31st December 2020, introducing a range of new systems and requirements for employment-based immigration.
Employers now looking to hire from outside the UK (excluding Irish citizens) are required to obtain permission beforehand via various routes.
As Brexit has been and will continue to be a significant change for employers, we’ve compiled an overview of the various options you have for employing workers from outside the UK to support your recruitment initiatives.
1) Point-based system (Skilled Workers)
One route that employers can now take is employing Skilled Workers as classified by the Government’s point-based system.
To bring on employees from outside the UK using this route, the company will have to demonstrate that they have a Home Office licensed sponsor, the job skill level is RQF 3 or above and that they speak English to the required standard.
It’s worth noting that Irish citizens and EU citizens eligible for status under the EU Settlement Scheme will not require a sponsor license.
To employ a Skilled Worker, your job offer must also meet the minimum salary threshold of £25,600 or be equivalent to the ‘going rate’ for their occupation.
Those looking to utilise the point-based system to be classified as a Skilled Worker can trade some of the outlined criteria, such as their qualifications against a lower salary to get the required amount of points.
For example, if the job’s salary is under the £25,600 threshold, providing it goes no lower than £20,480, it may still be accepted if:
- There is a shortage in that specific occupation
- The candidate has a relevant PhD
- The candidate has a PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job
For more information and to see the full table of criteria available within the points-based system, click here.
2) Global Talent
European citizens and a handful of non-EU citizens will be able to access employment-based immigration through the Global Talent route.
If an individual can meet the points required via the Skilled Worker route, s/he will be able to enter the UK even without a job offer, providing that they have an endorsement from the Home Office approved UK bodies which are as follows:
- The Royal Society
- The Royal Academy of Engineering
- The British Academy
- UK Research and Innovation
- Tech Nation
- Arts Council England
The Government has specifically created this option in a bid to attract the best talent, such as recognised global leaders and promising individuals in the following fields:
- Digital technology
3) Graduate visa
From summer 2021, international students who have completed their degree in the UK can get a Graduate Visa.
This visa provides an unsponsored route, enabling international students to stay in the UK and work at any skill level for up to two years post-studies.
If an international student has completed their PhD from summer 2021, they will be allowed three years to work and live in the UK.
4) Intra-company transfer (ICT)
Multinational organisations can temporarily bring employees into the UK under an intra-company transfer, providing the sponsorship requirements have been met.
In addition to requiring sponsorship, workers will also need to be in graduate-level roles or above and meet the minimum salary threshold that is outlined in the Skilled Worker route.
Understanding your various options
Getting to grips with the above options is already challenging enough as an employer, especially when you have to calculate the various points needed, manage the skill levels and obtain sponsorships.
Not to mention, while the above are currently the most popular options, there are still a wide array of alternatives, some of which are independent, and others are linked to the Skilled Workers route.
- Start-up and Innovator
- Health and Care Visa
- Creative Route
- Sporting Route
- Seasonal Workers Pilot
- Youth Mobility Scheme
Don’t worry, IRIS HR Consulting is here to support, offering our expertise to ensure you pick the best option for your business.
Combining three decades of experience and our international knowledge, we’re on hand to support your business, ensuring you remain compliant.
To see our recruitment support, click here, or visit our Contact Us Page to get in touch.