international employment law firm alliance L&E Global
United Kingdom

UK: Immigration – A new UK points-based system

The government’s proposed changes to the immigration system are significant as they will impact on how UK employers can recruit both EU and non-EU citizens, who will be treated equally under the new system.

In most cases, employers will need a Sponsors’ Licence to employ EU Nationals. But sponsorship will not be required for those holding Global Talent visas or visas to be granted under a prospective, capped category applicable to the highest skilled candidates ineligible under the Global Talent category. To meet the minimum points threshold, applicants must achieve at least 70 points across a variety of flexible sub-categories which include a job offer from an approved Sponsor, meeting the minimum skills and salary thresholds, English language eligibility, a PhD in certain circumstances and designated Shortage Occupations.

Practical point
While the new points-based system will make it easier to recruit non-UK Nationals for skilled roles, with the end of Freedom of Movement, employers will face an administrative process and significant additional costs (including the Immigration Skills Charge and Immigration Health Surcharge) when employing EU Nationals. That said, access to the UK Labour Market for skilled roles will remain accessible.

Given that it is less than ten months until the new system is in force, employers – particularly those that are reliant on lower-skilled workers from the EU – should consider putting contingency plans in place to mitigate the risk of not being able to recruit staff as easily from 2021.

For more information, see The UK Government’s proposals for a new points based system (PBS) – FAQs

The UK’s points-based immigration system: policy statement


For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in the United Kingdom, please contact Robert Hill (Partner) at Clyde & Co at or visit

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