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Immigration: Have you missed the EU Settlement Scheme Deadline of 30 June?

Immigration: Have you missed the EU Settlement Scheme Deadline of 30 June?


Why Are The Immigration Rules?

On 31 December 2020, freedom of movement for European nationals came to an end, and with it, the UK introduced a new immigration system. This system comprises of two main ways through which businesses can recruit overseas workers: the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and the Points Based System (PBS).

  • Following the 30 June deadline, Baroness Williams of Trafford, Home Office Minister, said of the EUSS on 1 July "Over 5.2m people have had their applications processed either for settled or pre-settled status", and "Over 5,6million applications have been received".

What is the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)?

Any EU nationals who arrived in the UK before 11pm on 31 December 2020 needed to have applied for settled status under the EUSS to make sure that they retained the right to live and work in the UK. Their applications must have been made by 30 June 2021; if they missed that important deadline, they will not have the right to work in the UK without another kind of immigration permission.

For employers, this can have serious consequences if any number of their workforce are EU nationals who have failed to apply and of the consequences they may face if they miss the deadline.

  • Successful EUSS applicants receive digital evidence of their confirmed status which can be shown to an employer.

What is the Points Based System (PBS)?

All nationals from outside the UK and Ireland, including those from EU member states who arrived in the UK after 11pm on 30 December 2020, will need to obtain a visa under the PBS (unless they have an alternative route of entry). In order to hire employees from outside the UK, an employer will also need a sponsor licence, which has separate eligibility requirements and fees. There are two different routes under the PBS which most employers will rely on: the Skilled Worker route, and the Intra-Company Transfer route.

The Skilled Worker Route

The most common route of entry for foreign nationals is the Skilled Worker route. The employee will need to demonstrate that they have a job offer from a licensed sponsor, that the job offer is at the required skill level (A level qualifications or equivalent), and that they speak English to the required standard. In addition, the job offer must meet the minimum salary threshold, which is the higher of either £25,600 or the going rate in their field. If the salary is lower than the minimum threshold, the employee may be able to trade characteristics, such as qualifications, against a lower salary.

The points table is as follows:

Characteristics

Mandatory/Tradeable

Points

Offer of job by approved sponsor

Mandatory

20

Job at appropriate skill level

Mandatory

20

Speaks English at required level

Mandatory

10

Salary of £20,480 to £23,039 or at least 80% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher)

Tradeable

0

Salary of £23,040 to £25,599 or at least 90% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher)

Tradeable

10

Salary of £25,600 or above or at least the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher)

Tradeable

20

Job in a shortage occupation as designated by the Migration Advisory Committee

Tradeable

20

Education qualification: PhD in a subject relevant to the job

Tradeable

10

Education qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job

Tradeable

20

The Intra-Company Transfer Route

This route is open to multinational employers with sponsorship licences who want to temporarily transfer an employee into the UK through a subsidiary that is based in the UK. This route requires applicants to be in roles that are at a graduate level or equivalent, and it has a different minimum salary threshold to the Skilled Worker route. This is usually the higher of £41,500 or the going rate for the role.

With this route, there is no requirement for the employee to meet any English language requirements, and the employee is able to stay in the UK for a period of up to five years in any six-year period (or nine years in any ten-year period if they meet certain ‘higher earner’ requirements). However, this route does not lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain, so it may not be viable for any employees looking to relocate to the UK on a permanent basis.


30 June 2021 Deadline - 'Reasonable Grounds' for late applications

For some cases the application process remains open, and employees can still apply to the EU Settlement Scheme after 30 June 2021 as there is criteria for later deadlines which recognises ‘reasonable grounds’ for not applying by the deadline.

More can be found out about this on the government's helpful web pages here and full information here, where you will read about late application eligibility. 

Instances of 'Reasonable Grounds' might include (but not limited to):

  • you’re a child, or applying for your child, and you did not know you needed to apply

  • your parent, guardian or local authority did not apply for you when you were a child

  • you have, or had, a medical condition which prevented you from applying

  • you lacked the physical or mental capacity to apply

  • you have care or support needs, or those caring for you were unaware of the deadline

  • you’ve been the victim of modern slavery

  • you’ve been in an abusive or controlling relationship

  • you did not have internet access, or access to relevant documents

  • you came to the UK on a work or study visa and became eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme while you were here, but did not know you could apply

  • you already have indefinite leave to enter or remain, and you did not know you could apply to the scheme

  • you had permanent residence status or a residence document that stopped being valid after 30 June 2021, and you did not know you needed to apply to the scheme

  • you had difficulty accessing support to apply because of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions

  • another compelling practical or compassionate reason prevented you applying. 

 

For concerned employees and employers seeking clarification on employee immigration status and eligibility, please contact us here and we can help discuss your next steps.

employment strip of 3 April 2021

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