The Business Secretary Alok Sharma is encouraging employers to apply for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence if they plan on recruiting overseas staff, including newly arriving EU citizens, from 1 January 2021.
Free movement for EU and EEA nationals will end next year after the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December 2020.
In its place, the UK will introduce a new visa points system for those looking to move to and work in the UK.
The Business Secretary’s announcement comes amid news that many businesses are still unprepared for the end of the UK’s membership of the EU.
In fact, a recent study by the Institute of Directors found that almost half of businesses are not yet fully prepared for the end of the Brexit transition in just over two months.
In a letter sent to more than 600,000 British firms on 12 October, the Government has called on companies to familiarise themselves with the actions they will need to take for the end of the transition period, including ensuring workers have correct visas and permits, by using a free Government checker tool.
In the letter, Alok Sharma said: “The vast majority of these actions will need to be completed regardless of the outcome of our negotiations with the EU. These include ensuring staff register for residency rights and preparing for customs procedures when trading with the EU.
“Businesses must act now to ensure they are ready for the UK’s new start come January. There will be no extension to the transition period, so there is no time to waste. I urge all businesses across the country to check gov.uk to see what action they need to take, sign up for updates, or attend one of our sector-specific webinars.
“Businesses have a crucial role to play in ensuring a smooth transition, and we will be there to support them through this change every step of the way.”
If you need help with immigration issues either in the run-up to or after the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, please speak to our team.