A Guide for Businesses. Is Now the Time to Apply for a Sponsor Licence?

The Home Office has announced its highly anticipated policy on the New Immigration Scheme to be implemented from January 2021. As promised we have a point’s based system. Skilled workers will need to score 70 points from an essential and traded skills list. The government has concluded that UK businesses will need to adapt and adjust to the end of free movement and have created a New System applicable to those coming to work in the UK from any corner of the World.

Will this new system work for your business?

Skilled workers -Tier 2

The skilled route currently Tier 2 will have significant changes that could benefit small and medium sized businesses.

The resident labour market test will be scrapped. Currently employers have to undertake a rigorous advertising process followed by a fully evidenced shortlisting process to then make an application for a restricted certificate of sponsorship because there is a monthly cap. This slows down the process of bringing in your identified employee and has in the past hindered employers for months. This cap will be suspended making the process simpler for employers.

Lowering the Skills Threshold

Currently Skilled workers need to meet the skills threshold referred to as RQF6 which was qualifications equivalent to graduate level. This will now be lowered to RQF3 which is equivalent to A-Levels. This will certainly result in an increase in the types of jobs that will be considered as Skilled jobs to fall within the new route. Opportunities may arise for businesses in the widening of this route.

Lowering Salary Threshold.

The salary threshold has been reduced from £30,000 to £25,600. Each occupation code will still have their specific salary threshold however they will all be tailored. If migrants earn a salary above £25,600, they will automatically earn the 20 extra points needed to get to the required 70-point level. If migrants earn less than this – but no less than £20,480 – they may still be able to come to the UK by “trading” points earned on specific characteristics against their lower salary level. There will continue to be reduced salary requirements for new entrants to the labour market.

The Home Office will continue to refine the system in the light of experience and will consider adding further flexibility into the system including additional attributes that can be ‘traded’ against a lower salary.

Usof Shah
Senior Solicitor, Immigration
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This reflects the law and market position at the date of publication and is written as a general guide. It does not contain definitive legal advice, which should be sought in relation to a specific matter.

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