Preparing for the Brexit transition to come to an end
The UK officially left the EU on the 31st January 2020, the UK has currently been in the transition phase. This allowed European nationals and UK employers time to prepare and take action for the changes in the immigration rules that will affect current EU workers in the UK. The transition phase will come to an end on the 30th of June 2021.
The end of the EU settlement scheme
Application for the EU settlement scheme must be made before the deadline of 30th June 2021. All EU and EEA citizens and any of their family members who were living in the UK by the 30th of December 2020 will have the right to register for settled status or pre-settled status. This must be done before the deadline in order for them to continue to have the right to live, work, study and access free healthcare and benefits offered in the UK.
EU and EEA nationals who have been living and working in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years or more will be able to apply for full settled status.
EU and EEA nationals who do not satisfy the criteria for settled status of 5-year continuous residency can apply to be granted pre-settled status. After they fulfill the 5 years of continuous living, they can apply for full settled status.
Current holders of permanent residency cards will have until the end of the transition period (up until 30th June 2021) to apply to convert their permanent residence to settled status. This is because the permanent residency cards will no longer be valid after the end of the transition period.
EU nationals coming to the UK from the 1st of January 2021
Any EU or EEA nationals who have arrived in the UK from the 1st of January 2021 must apply for a visa to be able to work in the UK.
The new points-based system will apply to EU nationals wanting to come to the UK. Employers will now have to sponsor EU and EEA nationals the same way they have to sponsor non-EU/EEA nationals to work for them in the UK in skilled worker roles. EU nationals applying for a skilled worker visa will need to obtain 70 requisite points for attributes including language, skills, and salary in order to be eligible for the visa. They must also have a job offer from an approved sponsoring employer.
Right to work in the UK
On the 30th of June 2021, the current rules on documents that are acceptable for EU citizens proving their right to work in the UK will cease to apply. Up until this date, EU citizens can rely on their passports/ ID cards as well as a document that certifies their permanent residency or their registration certificate to evidence their right to work in the UK.
From the 1st July 2021, all new EU or EEA nationals that are being employed by UK employers must show they hold a valid pre-settled status, settled status, or a valid visa that proves they have the right to work in the UK. It will not be necessary for employers to carry out retrospective right-to-work checks on their existing employees after the end of the transition period.
How we can help?
Contact NA Law if you require more information on how employers can sponsor EU/EEA employees and assist you in following the current legislation.