Personnel Today reported in the article “How will employers fare under the new immigration system?” that the United Kingdom’s new points-based immigration system opened for visa application on Dec. 1, 2020. The publication turned to London counsel Claire Nilson for her insight on how the new system impacts companies in the U.K.
The U.K. government created the new system “to reflect more flexibility for employers, while also ensuring EU and non-EU nationals are treated equally,” said Nilson.
Nilson noted that many employers may need to use the sponsor system for the first time because the resident labor market will shrink to include only those in the U.K. and the Republic of Ireland.
Nilson discussed how the new system has resulted in a relaxation for some areas of the system. “For those employers already accustomed to sponsoring non-EU national employees for visas, where those relaxations have occurred it may start to seem less complicated. The removal of the resident labour market test has the potential to reduce both the timing of applications and the employer compliance burden, and there will also be a lowering of the minimum salary requirement to qualify,” Nilson explained.
Other key takeaways from the new system Nilson highlighted were the fees and charges that may come as a surprise to employers sponsoring EU nationals and the lack of information about any changes for business visitors.
Nilson added that the tone of immigration policy seemed to have shifted with the new system. “Over the past few years, we have become accustomed to the overarching policy of government being to reduce net migration. In contrast, this new policy now has no caps or numbers and refers instead to sustainability,” Nilson noted.