Companies employing or looking to recruit EU nationals should take steps immediately to obtain a Skilled Worker Sponsorship Licence, which will enable them to sponsor migrants to work with them in the UK.
In response to Brexit, the UK Government will introduce a new immigration system effective from 1 January 2021, replacing the current system. The new system will be designed to incorporate EU nationals within UK immigration control, and will dramatically change how businesses may recruit from within the EU market.
From January, EU Nationals moving to the UK for the first time will no longer have an automatic right to work here, but will require sponsored work visas. EU Nationals already in the UK will need to have applied through the Government's EU Settlement Scheme by June 2021 in order to remain in the UK – otherwise they risk becoming illegal migrants and will automatically lose their right to work.
Obtaining a Skilled Worker Sponsorship Licence is often a laborious and complex process to get right. Once an employer has a licence, they can then apply for Skilled Worker Visas for their workforce. As the Home Office have made this system essentially self-regulating, it is imperative that companies get it right as spot checks can lead to issues including licence revocation, fines, cancellation of visas and custodial sentences.
If you have any queries about the licence or visa process, please contact Steven Bostock or Neil Shanghavi in our Immigration team or your usual Mishcon contact.