Hi. I'm Tijen Ahmet, Legal Director in the employment team here at Shakespeare Martineau.
Welcome to today's webinar, An Introduction to the UK's Future Immigration System.
Before we start, just a few points on how this online session will work. On your screen you'll see a Q&A icon. Please use this to ask any questions.
We will respond to all these directly, and after the session, the world may be focused on the coronavirus pandemic, yet the negotiations of the trade deal between the UK and the EU has continued.
As we enter the new abnormal rise in unemployment and we'll see the government ensure the free movement ends by the end of this year.
This webinar is a timely reminders to businesses that despite the ... pandemic planning for your workforce post, Brexit must continue in preparation for the new immigration regime.
Before we explore the future immigration system, our current system for businesses, business workers, is the point space system that was launched in February of 2008 by the then labor governments, replacing around 80 different visa types.
It consists of four tiers.
Since the UK was a member of the European Union, the points pay system only applies to people who are entering the country from outside the EU.
We therefore have the EEA regulations and the EU Appendix E that governs EU nationals. Now as a result of Brexit that brings the Brexit withdrawal Agreement into the UK immigration rules.
We then have additional groups outside of the points based system for business visitors, overseas representatives, Appendix W, which deals with global talent, startups, and innovators.
And finally, the UK Ancestry route, which assists those Commonwealth citizens who have grandparents born in the UK, Channel Islands of Hawaii, or Ireland, who wish to work in the UK.
This route tends to be used by Young Australians, New Zealand, Canada, and Canadians, or South Africans of British descent, coming to the UK to work, and as a place to explore Europe.
The points based system has four Tiers: Tier, one for investors.
Tier two, for skilled workers with a job offer in the UK, Tier four, for international students, and Tier five, for temporary workers.
Now, you'll notice that there is no Tier three, and this was a temporary boot for unskilled workers. However, by the time the five tier System came into operation in 2008, the UK Government felt that there was no need for unskilled workers or immigration from outside of the European Economic Area.
On the 19th of February 2020, the UK government published a policy paper, confirming its plans for the UK's points based immigration system that will be due to go into force on the first of January 2021.
The key messages that the paper outlines are that it will apply to both EU and non EU nationals equally.
The system promises to be more efficient and certainly more simple, for non E workers, with much Joe at salary requirements.
However, there is no visa category for low skilled workers or temporary workers, with them in agriculture, and for young people coming for certain from certain countries that we know today, as to use mobility scheme, so, the old working holiday tone style type visa.
How will the new system operate for skilled workers? Well, in the same way as it does today, the non UK on E workers will require a job offer from a UK employer that has a sponsor license. So that will not change except that those employers who are looking to recruit an EU nationals would also require a sponsor license.
There is, will still be the English language requirements to meet. So that will not change.
Main difference, however, will be the lowest salary fresh holds that has been reduced from £25,600 gross per annum from the usual £30,000 requirement today.
Another welcome change is the lowering of the skills level required for sponsorship.
So that is currently at Level six of the regulated qualifications framework and will be reduced to Level three, which is the equivalent to a level rather than degree level.
To obtain a skilled worker visa, the prospective employee will be required to school a total of 70 points that are tradable, so that's another new feature of the future immigration system. So in other words, if they do not meet points in one characteristic, they may score them.
So very briefly demonstrate how points can be scored. The first test is to score a maximum of 50 points.
So you'll see here from the slide, that 20 points are available to be awarded for a job offer from an approved sponsor.
If the applicant does not have a job offer, then they may also consider the highly skilled route that I will confirm later on in this presentation.
They can score another 20 points if the job is at the required skills level.
If it is not at the required skills level, then there is actually no room for low skilled workers.
And finally, 10 points are awarded for having the required English language level, but having an equivalent qualification. Otherwise, they can take an approved test. So that is how they will score the first required 50 points towards the 70 point total.
The second test is where the employee will need to score the remaining 20 points. And these are the tradable points that I mentioned.
So the general salary threshold is being reduced to 25,600. And if an individual employee earns less, but no less than £20,480 per annum, they may still be able to apply by trading points on a specific characteristics against their salary. So, for example, if they had a job offer in a shortage shortage occupation role.
Or have a PA PHD level subject for their job in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, bulletin subject, they may score the required points there.
If we just refer to a case study, and in this case, the individual is coming to fill a position, job title is architect, with a job offer of £22,000 per year, In this case, the prospective employee has a job offer. The skill level is above Ops US. level free. So, they'll score them acquire 20 points there, and they have the English language ability, So that's the maximum 50 that scored in the first test.
However, as you will see, that they're earning a salary of £22,000.
This, if we look at the previous slide, does not score any points, and as a result, they will not have the required 70 points, however, because architect is a job role, that is on the UK government's shortage occupation list, they will have the ability to claim 20 points in that respect.
So in this case, this architect, even though they wouldn't be eligible for sponsorship today, under the current system, from January 2021, under the new immigration system, they would qualify for sponsorship, so that's just to give you an example of how that works in practice.
The new guidance for as T two and T Fletch skilled workers was actually released on the third of April 2020. And if you refer to the end of the guidance, Annex nine there is some detail around the new points based immigration system that we're going through today.
It states that businesses will need a sponsor nice. It's from the first of January 2021. And if you are a business that doesn't currently have an essence, and at the moment there are around 31,000 businesses that have a sponsor the license. If your business does not, then you will have the ability to apply from all term of this year.
So, applications will open from 20 to 20, and if you can meet various conditions, license will want it to you, and you can later request, or certificates, which is essentially what ... from 20 21, when you are aware of what your recruitment will look like next year.
Unfortunately, under the new immigration system, there is no food for what we called low skilled workers.
However, European nationals that are filling many of these specific, low, skilled roles today can remain in the UK if they just under the government's EU settlement scheme that was launched at the beginning of last year.
At the moment, there have been around three point six million applications that have been fall to the end of 60th of May 2020 and anybody that is looking to regulate their status this is mandatory for European nationals. If they do not register under the scheme, from January 2020, they will require a work visa under the skilled woodworker route.
There are some, there are some exceptions, and that is specifically for the Seasonal workers pilot scheme. So this allows farmers to hire up to 10000 workers in 20 20, and this has been increased from the previous 2500 per year.
And this is really recognizing the significant reliance on the sector has on low skilled, temporary workers. So this will support the UK's bottle horticultural sector, and give fruit and Vegetable Growers access to much, much bigger pool of workers this year to help them pick and Gavin even more UK projects.
And finally, on this slide, the UK also has what we call today the youth mobility scheme, whereby eight countries and territories, for example, Australia, Canada, Japan, and Hong Kong, and Republic of Korea and Taiwan, they can currently attract with the UK excepts around 20,000 young people from. These particularly countries come in each year and they are looking to increase that to provide employers with ongoing flexibility in employing individuals into lower skilled work roles.
Just to raise awareness here, there is also a highly skilled route, and this is the global talent route, which opens to the EU and will do from next year as well, as well as non EU nationals. It's a highly skilled food for scientists and researchers coming to UK, who don't necessarily have a job offer. And so they're unsponsored. And they will be also awarded points based on their age qualifications, the UK work experience, and stem and creative skills.
So the intends to be an annual cap on the highly skilled work route. And thus, a monthly quota where the high school and applicants will go food.
There is, unfortunately, no dedicated root to self-employed individuals, but they can, however, consider the new start up, an innovative visa that was launched in March 2019. If one wants to set up and run their own business in the UK. And they're not they do that, those we used to have more stringent requirements than the previous tier one entrepreneur route.
However, it is important to recognize that they are available for self employment, So that summarizes what the future immigration system will look like, for businesses, who intends to employ from outside of the UK and EU, just like to go through some business considerations. And the most important thing to recognize is that, from January 2021, it will be more difficult, too weak to recruit skilled workers and much more expensive. At the moment, European nationals can enter the UK with a European Passport or National Identity Card, and that is that permission to work in the UK, post Brexit from January 22 21. That will not be the case. They will be subject to sponsorship as your non EU national is applicable to today.
Will, However, it does Pommies Harvard to the quickest for non EU workers. So if you do want to recruit, for example, US. National, that'll be the labor market test. So the test to prove that there is no central work within the UK before you can offer it to an external overseas individual but it does prove to be and it is going to be much more expensive. With integration skills, charge is still applicable and an increase in the immigration health charge from October of this year. We'll see government phase, plummet.
So it's something to be aware of for a budget for budgetary purposes.
My final point on a consideration for businesses, is that right to work checks will change from 20 to 20, and this is to incorporate Brexit and the EU nationals will no longer be able to simply provide an EU possible as the mission to work in the county.
There will be an online system. There is already that it's live that EU nationals will need to to getting employers will need to use for EU nationals.
And EU nationals will be able to evidence that I'd like to work by applying for pre settled or settled status under the EU settlement scheme and employers will be able to use the online system to establish whether they have that particular status in place. If they do not have that status. From January 2021, anybody entering the UK from that point will require permission to work in the UK in the form of a work visa.
That brings us to the end of this webinar. And I hope you found it useful and relevant in the current circumstances.
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