Posted On / 13.11.2020

Immigration - the end of free movement

The Government Brexit Bill passed through the House of Commons this week, implementing the end of free movement from 1st January 2021.

A new immigration system will therefore apply to all European and non-Europeans alike very shortly. Any international travellers to the UK should note the new changes coming in to force, as highlighted below:  

· EU Staff – any existing EU staff, who have not done so already, must have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme by June 31st 2021 to continue to work;  

· Skilled Worker visa – the current Tier 2 (General) Visa will be known as the Skilled Worker route.   However, new applicants now need a job offer that is lower skilled at RQF Level 3 (A-level or equivalent) instead of the current RQF Level 6 (Degree level). Applicants will require a minimum of 70 points to qualify for permission to work.  However, the need to conduct a Resident Labour Market Test no longer applies, and the cap on number of visas issued in this category will be scrapped.  

· International students – Prior to 2012 international students were able to remain in the UK after their studies to take-up work opportunities. Since 2012 however students have either had to leave the UK or try to ‘switch’ visa to the Tier 2 category if they wanted to work in the UK. But good news for students wishing to stay on in the UK after their studies, a new graduate route will be reintroduced from the summer of 2021. This will allow students to remain in the UK after the completion of their studies and work for a two year period (or three years for PhD students).       

If you, or any of your family members, are European citizens and are looking to remain in the UK but have yet to legalise your stay, a non-European citizen and looking to relocate to the UK or if you are an employer looking to retain existing European staff or hire new staff in 2021 please contact us, Battens are able to help. For all your immigration requirements please contact Lee Campbell Immigration@battens.co.uk or call us on 0800 652 8373.