Working in the UK – Points Based Immigration System

Overview – Post Brexit Working in the UK

A new immigration system was introduced on 1 January 2021. This applies to people that want to work in the UK. It will apply if they come to the UK from either Europe or outside of Europe. So, for the first time in many years EU citizens wanting to work in the UK full time need to get a visa in advance. There are various different visas that are available, but the one that is most applicable to our clients is the Skilled Worker Visa. To get a visa under the Skilled Worker Visa Route the applicant needs to demonstrate the following requirements.

Requirements of the points based immigration system

The employee must:

  • have a job offer from a licenced sponsor; and
  • be applying for a job that is at a skill level equivalent to A level; and
  • speak English; and
  • have a proposed salary which is the higher of £25,600 or the going rate for the job

More detail on the requirements of the points based immigration system

There are a few points to note here:

  • Job offer from a licenced sponsor. It is fairly easy to become a licenced sponsor. See We can help you with this.
  • Skill level equivalent to A Level. All jobs have a Standard Occupational Classification Code and each code has a designated skill level. the job will need to be at a skill level of RQF3 or above (equivalent to A level). The Office for National Statistics publishes SOC codes.
  • English language requirement. The applicant will need to be able to speak English at the intermediate level – B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for languages.
  • Salary level. The salary is the higher of £25,600 or the going rate for the job. The going rate for jobs can be found here. Note that the going rates for jobs are based on a 39-hour working week. They must be pro-rated for other working patterns, based on the weekly working hours stated by your employer.

In certain situations an applicant may not need to earn £25,600, such as if they work in an area where there is a shortage occupation or the role requires a PhD. But the person always needs to earn at least £20,480. You can read more about this here.

Salary level

The salary for the job for which the applicant is being sponsored must equal or exceed both:

  • £25,600 per year; and
  • the going rate for the job (see here).

The general threshold is the same, regardless of how many hours a week the applicant is sponsored to work. It therefore cannot be pro-rated specifically for part-time work. However, there might be circumstances where a contract of employment meets the threshold and therefore a work visa is granted but which subsequently is terminated early. In effect provided the contract is for the threshold figure there is no restriction on early termination.

Working in the UK – References

New immigration system: what you need to know

What qualification levels mean

UK points-based immigration system: further details statement

Next steps

We don’t provide advice on immigration matters ourselves. But we can introduce you to one of our legal partners that can help you.

Overview – Post Brexit Working in the UK A new im […]

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