The new Government has signalled that major, if not radical, immigration reform will be announced during 2020, to come into force from 2021. In this article we consider how immigration is affected, take a brief look at the proposals being put forward by the UK Government and what employers as well as individuals (both EU and non-EU nationals) need to know to prepare.
So, where are we? The UK is now certain to leave the EU on 31 January. We will enter a transition period until 31 December 2020, during which time although the UK will leave the EU, freedom of movement for EU nationals will in effect continue to apply. Those in the UK on 31 December 2020 will have the right to stay post Brexit and will have until 30 June 2021 to apply for an immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
The Government is set to introduce a rebranded points-based system to come in force from January 2021, with detailed policy announcements expected later this month. So far, we understand there will be three work related immigration categories:
In other changes, we expect the post-study work route to open for Tier 4 students who graduate from summer 2021; and a new visa to attract scientists to the UK, on which the current limit is expected to be scrapped. The extension of posts on Shortage Occupation Scheme to include digital and IT occupations will make the process of sponsoring visas for talent in that area quicker and simpler.
Our advice to employers is:
Finally keep abreast of new developments as the rules will increasingly affect non-UK national workers at all levels…Watch this space!
You can register online or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn to receive our latest news, events and publications.