Beyond Brexit: An Immigration Perspective

May 13, 2021
Vitoria Nabas


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What companies need to know before hiring employees from overseas

Brexit has triggered a new points-based immigration system, which started in December last year. The new system will bring a level playing field for those both inside and outside the EU, opening new opportunities for many people around the world. 

For companies who want to employ these workers from overseas, it’s essential to have a sponsorship licence. Yet just 5% of British companies currently have this in place.

Here’s my top tips and insights on sponsorship licences: 

  • The main categories of workers for the licence are skilled workers, intra-company, minister of religion and sportsperson.
  • Don’t wait until you’re hiring an overseas employee before you apply for a licence. It takes time to complete the application and for 8-12 weeks for the home office to respond. Get your licence ready now so that you are ready to go before advertising a job and save time in the recruitment process. 
  • A licence is valid for 4 years and can then be renewed, which is a straightforward process taking up to one month.
  • If a worker is staying in the UK for less than 2 years, a temporary licence is applicable. Categories for this include creative, religious, graduates or seasonal workers.
  • A licence is needed even for volunteer workers in unpaid roles.
  • The only exception to the licence is Frontier Workers. These are Europeans who have lived in the UK during 2020 and want to work, but not live, here for less than six months of the year.

With an expected shortage of employees in the UK over the coming years, businesses should take the steps to be prepared so that they can move swiftly when hiring global talent.

If you need help with your sponsorship licence application or need any advice regarding Visas or immigration, please get in touch.