New 2021 Immigration System & how it may affect you & your Christmas Lunch in 2021.
You may have heard there will be a new UK immigration system next year, but how will it affect you?
As of January 2021 businesses in the UK that wish to hire anyone that is not already residing in the UK & that do not already hold: UK citizenship, Ancestral rights, settled/presettled status/indefinite leave to remain, foreign student etc. will have to be a government registered sponsor. Up until this point companies have not needed any special measures in place to hire EU nationals of whom could freely move and work within the UK, unlike their Non-EU counterparts that are subjected to a points based system.
The new “one for all” points-based system offers an equal application process for both EU and Non-EU migrants. Businesses that wish to hire from outside the UK will now have to apply online to become licenced sponsors if they were not already holding a licence for non- EU workers, the process can take up to 8 weeks.
EU EEA and Swiss Nationals
EU EEA and Swiss nationals have up until June 31st 2021 to apply for either settled or pre-settled status as long as they have recently (circa up to 6 months ago) had a period of residing in the UK prior to the 31st December 2020, which is when free movement ceases to exist. Applications can also be processed if the applicant is currently outside of the UK.
According to the UK government Just over 4 million applications have been approved up until this October 2020. With an email being sent from the British government to the applicant confirming their new status, instead of a passport endorsement/biometric card being issued. Simply put if NI or other supporting records show a period of 5 or more years of UK residing the applicant will be granted full settled status entitling them to full work rights and recourse to public funds. Settled status is in-line with the current 2020 non-EU indefinite leave to remain status. If less than 5 years of residing has occurred pre-settled status can be gained
New Points Based System
70 points will be required for an application to pass, there is currently no route for lower skilled workers and the .gov website says that businesses will need to, “adjust”
Offer of job by approved sponsor
Job at appropriate skill level
Speaks English at required level
Salary of £20,480 (minimum) – £23,039
Salary of £23,040 – £25,599
Salary of £25,600 or above
Job in a shortage occupation (as designated by the MAC)
Education qualification: PhD in subject relevant to the job
Education qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job
Labour concerns surrounding unskilled work force have been highlighted by several different organisations including ALP and FNET. On a recent webinar that ALP hosted the following was highlighted: -
The ALP have lobbied for lower qualified workers (Qualified to A level-Degree) to be included/ allowed through the shortage jobs list route, however this is currently set to pending. ALP quoted that 800,000 EU workers have left the UK since the COVID-19 19 pandemic occurred. T5 trials for seasonal workers were trialled in 2019 and 2020, but no VISA system is currently set for seasonal workers.
FNET highlighted concerns that there are ≥ 1 million undocumented workers currently in the UK and believes this is set to rise. They are concerned over unscrupulous non licenced employers preying on undocumented workers and the increase in near perfect forged documents. FNET also highlighted that the recent Pick for Britain campaign had a less than 1% uptake rate showing that recent redundancies in the service sector did not create a pool of workers for the Agri sector
Your Christmas Lunch 2021
Bearing in mind we all survive the Corona Pandemic and also taking in to consideration another recent webinar run by local council and labour providers, where one labour provider mentioned that a poultry factory was requiring 1000 temporary workers over the Xmas period. The labour provider also mentioned that 95% of those 1000 needed were likely to be Romanian. I believe the new visa system may affect next year’s Xmas dinner, that is if you are partial to a bit of turkey!