Update on Skilled Workers under the New Points Based System

With the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December, the Home Office will shortly be introducing the new Points Based System for skilled workers. This will come into effect from 4th December 2020 for non-EU nationals and from 4th January 2021 for EU nationals. The current Tier 2 (General) visa will be replaced with the Skilled Worker visa. For a comprehensive outline of the changes please see Paragon Law’s earlier article.

As the date for the introduction of the new points based system gets closer UKVI are providing more information as to what this means for employers who want to sponsor workers. However, we have the following updates:

Genuine Vacancy

Whilst the Resident Labour Market Test will be abolished, the post for which an individual has been sponsored must still be a “genuine vacancy”. What this means is that the vacancy must exist independent of sponsorship and not have been created mainly so that a particular individual may be sponsored as a skilled worker. We would advise businesses to retain evidence of any recruitment that is carried out and details of how a particular Skilled Worker has been selected. The Home Office may request this information when assessing whether the post is a genuine vacancy. Whilst the Resident Labour Market Test has been abolished the Home Office will be placing more emphasis on a sponsoring business’ genuine recruitment practices and we will provide further information once the new sponsor guidance has been published.

Certificates of Sponsorship

The process for requesting an unrestricted CoS will remain largely the same. A request will be submitted via the Sponsorship Management System and if the request is urgent priority processing may be purchased for the unrestricted CoS request.

Restricted CoS’s are being replaced by “Definied Certificates of Sponsorship”. The method of requesting a Defined CoS remains the same as that of a restricted CoS. However, the annual limit has been abolished along with the monthly allocation process. UKVI will aim to deal with Defined CoS requests within 24 hours of receiving these.

With the abolition of the Resident Labour Market Test and the monthly cycle for a restricted CoS, entry clearance applications for skilled workers will be speeded up considerably.

Under the new points based system high earner posts will also come within defined CoS’s.

Those businesses that are on the Sponsorship Management System and have an allocation available of unrestricted CoS’s for Tier 2 (General), should note that the allocation will be automatically updated to reflect that they are now unrestricted CoS’s for Skilled Workers.

Looking Forward

UKVI will shortly issue an updated guidance on Skilled Workers. This will provide further information and detail on this new category. We will continue to update you with information as and when this becomes available.

In the meantime should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Paragon Law directly.