Since 1 January 2021, EEA and Swiss nationals who had not already qualified for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme have been subject to the same UK immigration rules that apply to non-EEA nationals.
Until the end of 2020, UK employers could choose from a relatively large pool of candidates who did not require a visa to work in the UK, including EEA and Swiss nationals. For those EEA and Swiss nationals already living in the UK by 31 December 2020, transitioning onto settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme would have enabled them to continue working in the UK.
If, however, you are a UK employer looking to hire an EEA or Swiss national who was not resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, your candidate will be required to apply for and obtain a suitable visa that permits work before relocating to the UK. Although EU nationals are still permitted to enter the UK, they are treated as non-visa national visitors for periods of up to 6 months per trip, and visitors are not permitted to work in the UK.
In most circumstances, a Skilled Worker visa will be the most appropriate visa type to facilitate full-time employment in the UK. To qualify for a Skilled Worker visa, you will need to demonstrate that your candidate has been offered full-time employment by your organisation which meets the minimum skill and salary requirements, and that your organisation is authorised by the Home Office to sponsor overseas workers.
To be authorised to sponsor overseas workers, your organisation must have been issued with a Home Office ‘Sponsor Licence’. If you do not yet hold a Sponsor Licence, you may wish to consider applying for one if you are planning to hire from a wider pool of candidates who do not have UK citizenship or settled status.
How Gherson can assist
Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.