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The new points-based immigration system designed to replace freedom of movement with the EU has already passed its second reading in Parliament. From 11pm on 31 December 2020 (just 4 months away) freedom of movement for EU nationals will come to an abrupt end. The impact is that the new immigration system will treat both EU and non-EU nationals equally. This will require HR to obtain a sponsor licence with the Home Office before the end of this year to permit for new hires to join the business from the EU or outside the EU.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said the new immigration system which comes into play from 1 January 2021 will be “firmer, fairer and simpler” and would “lay the foundation for a high-wage, high-skill, high-productivity economy”.
HR will need to consider whether the typical vacancies arising at your business have traditionally been filled by EU nationals and whether in recent years the business has struggled to attract the right skills and talent from the local labour market. Consideration of obtaining a Sponsor Licence with the Home Office and securing a Tier 2 visa for new hires will be of critical importance now.
What are the changes ahead HR should consider?
How can HR and employers prepare for the inevitable introduction of the new immigration system from 1 January 2021?
Given the significance of the changes from 1 January 2021, we have witnessed an incredible rush of enquiries from businesses eager to secure a Sponsor Licence with the Home Office. Just this week we have received notification from the Home Office informing us to apply as early as possible to avoid disappointment before the end of this year with increased processing times for a Sponsor Licence already evident.
Organisations may also consider sourcing new talent from outside the EU for the first time with EU and non-EU nationals being treated the same under the new system. At Cleaver Fulton Rankin, we have plenty of experience in assisting a diverse range of businesses with either simple or complex corporate structures in obtaining a Sponsor Licence with the Home Office. Following the granting of a Sponsor Licence we also assist with the entire management and submission process of securing Tier 2 visas on behalf of our clients.
This article has been produced for general information purposes and further advice should be sought from a professional advisor. Please contact our immigration team at Cleaver Fulton Rankin for further advice or information.