Following the new points-based system will come into force from 1 December 2020. From 31 December 2020, this will be the only option for foreign nationals including EEA nationals who want to work in the UK.
The skilled worker route will remain largely the same to the Tier 2 (General) visa with some in theory beneficial changes.
A potential skilled worker will still be required to have a job offer which meets a certain skill and salary from an employer who holds a sponsor licence, similar to that of a Tier 2 (General) visa. The route is split into eligibility, validity, financial, suitability, and criminal records requirements. In addition, there is no maximum time a skilled worker is allowed to stay. This is unlike the Tier 2 (General) worker where after 6 years you were required to leave for a period of 12 months before reapplying if you had not applied for indefinite leave to remain. There is no cooling off period for a skilled worker.
The introduction of the new points-based system has allowed more flexibility to applicants with different qualifications, salaries and skills to obtain visas. There is now a requirement that an application will need to have mandatory points from sponsorship, a job offer at an appropriate skill level and English language skills. There are also tradeable skills which allow you to obtain points.
The usual certificate of sponsorship and payment of the Immigration Health Surcharge is required for the application. However, EEA applicants outside of the UK will now be able to apply using an app. Further, it is now possible to switch into the skilled worker route from inside the UK except for certain visa holders (visitors, short-term students, parent of a child student, seasonal workers, domestic workers in private households and those with leave outside of the Immigration Rules).
Applicants must have held funds of £1,270 for 28 days at the date of the application. An employer may be able to provide this as long as it is certified on the certificate of sponsorship.
This would not be applicable if the applicant has been in the UK for more than 12 months with permission to stay.
Applications can be refused on various grounds within the immigration rules which includes taking into account criminal records. Applicants must not be in breach of immigration law or be on immigration bail.
Criminal record checks are required for some SOC codes. These will need to be completed for each country the applicant has spent more than 12 months in for the past ten years.
If you are thinking of employing foreign nationals from 31 December 2020 or are looking to switch your visa to a skilled worker visa, then do not hesitate to contact CSB Solicitors for more information and on how we can assist you.
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