If you employ workers from overseas, or you plan to in the future, you will need to understand the changes to the immigration system coming into play from January 1st, 2021. As of this date, a new points-based immigration system will operate in the UK, which will affect the way you transfer or recruit employees and workers from overseas. In this article, we look at what you need to know to plan for recruiting overseas workers from January 2021 effectively.
Will my current employees from overseas be affected by the changes to the immigration system?
If you already employ workers from overseas and they are from the EEA or Switzerland, they will not be affected by the changes. Such workers must be employed in your place of business by December 31st, 2020. Family members of those employed before the cut-off date may apply to the EU Settlement Scheme up until June 30th, 2021.
When do I need to apply for a sponsor licence?
We would recommend applying for a sponsor licence as soon as possible. With the date of implementation creeping closer, an increasing number of businesses are applying for sponsorship licences. You want to ensure you are prepared and can start the year ready to employ the workers you need to run your business. We can help ensure everything runs smoothly.
How do I apply for a sponsorship licence?
Before you start your sponsor licence application, you will need to check that your business is eligible to apply for a sponsorship licence and determine the type of licence that you need to apply for. The type of licence you need will depend on the types of workers you wish to sponsor. You must also choose someone in the business who will be responsible for managing sponsorship. You must then make the application and pay the required fee. If you are unsure about the process, you should seek advice and assistance from a specialist immigration lawyer.
What happens after I have made a sponsorship licence application?
After you have made an application, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) may visit your business premises to ensure that it is suitable for you to employ workers from outside the UK. If your application is successful, you will be given a licence rating. If there are jobs in your business which meet the new requirements and are suitable for sponsoring overseas workers, you will be able to offer such employees certificates of sponsorship.
How long does a sponsorship licence last?
Your sponsorship licence will last four years. However, if you fail to meet your obligations as a sponsor, you may have your licence revoked.
For more information please talk to our dedicated Employment team.