Many companies in the tech sector will be aware of the new immigration system and Skilled Worker category opening in a couple of weeks on 1 December. For those companies without a sponsor licence, they will need to apply for one in order to recruit both non-EU and EU citizens. EU citizens resident in the UK before 11pm on 31 December 2020 can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
On 22 October 2020, the UK Government finally released its Statement of Changes to the new Immigration Rules, which includes the legal framework for the new BN(O) visa route.
Once the pandemic blows over, hopefully soon in 2021 the entertainment sector will bounce back into action, with concerts, performances and other events once again a part of our lives. Whilst it may at present be far from the minds of companies in the entertainment and creative sectors, post 31 December 2020, entertainers and artists who are EEA nationals and who have long-benefited from freedom of movement to the UK, may need to consider immigration issues that have to date been reserved for non-EEA nationals. EEA nationals who are or have been resident in the UK before 31 December 2020 should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme before the deadline of 30 June 2021. The EU Settlement Scheme provides a route for EEA nationals to continue to reside and work in the UK without having to apply for a visa under the UK’s new immigration system.
The resident labour market test will be abolished when the UK’s new immigration system starts on 1 January 2021.
For employers who rely on skilled foreign workers, this will mean greater freedom to employ who you want from anywhere in the world, but the visa costs will be high and the automatic rejection of any applicants who need a visa simply because of the cost could result in discrimination claims.
This blog and our last blog on the right to work check grace period are part of our series on immigration and employment issues in the new UK immigration system.
So, we have three months to go before the transition period ends and we leave Europe for good. We know that EU citizens resident in the UK before 11pm on 31 December 2020 are eligible to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme before the 30 June 2021 deadline. Are we also clear about what will happen with EU citizens who arrive from 1 January to work? To an increasing extent we are and if you review the government guidance on this topic it is helpful and confirms that employers who want to employ EU citizens from 1 January will require a sponsor licence in order to directly sponsor EU citizens, as they have been doing already for non-EU citizens.
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