Guidelines for immigration post-Brexit

Whilst Brexit seems to have been forgotten in the fog of Coronavirus, it is likely that the subject will come to the forefront of the news again soon. The UK Government has announced that a new system will apply to work visas, and will have the following features:

A tier of visas available to those without a job offer. Further details of this are to be announced but it is likely to comprise the existing Global Talent/Exceptional Talent route, the Start up and Innovator visas and the new Post Study Work visa being introduced later this year.

A second tier of visas available to skilled workers with a job offer with some changes to previous rules:

• The minimum salary will be reduced to £25,600
• The resident labour market test, requiring businesses to advertise roles for 28 days before recruiting from outside the EU, will be removed.
• The minimum skill level will be reduced from Degree level jobs to A level jobs.

There will be an expansion of the Agricultural/Seasonal Workers Scheme but roles which are considered to be “unskilled” in other sectors will not be given similar arrangements.

The intention is for the new system to open to applications in Autumn 2020, so that it is fully operational by January 2021. Up until the end of December 2020 EU nationals will be able to continue to come to the UK and register for Pre Settled Status.

Businesses will need to consider applying for sponsor licences if they intend to recruit from the EU for skilled roles in future. For businesses who have a number of employees from the EU in roles considered to be “unskilled”, the priority is to secure ensure that they have applied for the pre settled status/settled status scheme. In the long term these businesses will need to consider alternative sources of recruitment.

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