The Home Office at the end of last week unveiled a promotional brochure aimed at employers seeking to sponsor migrant workers for the first time. This comes against the backdrop of the government’s intention to end the free movement of EU nationals by 31 December 2020, and in its own words, implement a new points-based immigration system for foreign workers from 1 January 2021. As EU nationals arriving in the UK as of 1 January 2021 will fall within the scope of this new system, many employers may soon need to understand how to sponsor foreign workers when previously there may not have been a need for them to do so.
The brochure briefly summarises some of the key features of the government’s policy statement outlining the new points-based immigration system, which we covered in a previous blog. These include the skill, salary and language requirements for foreign workers applying after 1 January 2021 to come to work in the UK, as well as how points are ‘awarded’ to a migrant in order for them to make a successful visa application. The brochure likewise adds that EU nationals will, as of January 2021, be able to apply for the Global Talent route and that an unsponsored route for highly skilled workers, together with other initiatives for scientists, graduates (including a new Graduate Immigration Route for international students completing a degree in the UK as of the summer of 2021) and NHS workers, will be rolled out too. At a time, however, when the key role of ‘lower-skilled’ workers is underscored like rarely before, the Home Office’s insistence in this brochure, as on previous occasions, that there will not be a an immigration route for those who do not meet the skills or salary threshold for the skilled worker route, is at the very least poorly timed.
The brochure further encourages employers who do not currently have a sponsor licence to consider applying for one now if they believe they will want to sponsor eligible foreign workers, including ones from the EU, as of early 2021, as well as briefly mentioning some of the current requirements and procedures employers will need to satisfy in order to become sponsors. As the government intensifies its preparations for a much-changed immigration system, further information on changes to these requirements and procedures are likely to be made known in the coming months.
If you require advice as either a worker, or an employer wishing to become a sponsor, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or on +44 20 7401 6887.