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New Immigration System From 1 January 2021

From 1 January 2021 a new immigration system will apply to those arriving in the UK to work, where individuals will be required to obtain a visa in advance. This change comes as the freedom of movement within the European Union ceases; however, EU passports and ID cards will remain acceptable proof of right to work (PORTW) until 30 June 2021.

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Existing workers, or workers (Employed or self-employed) who arrive in the UK before 31 December 2020, without indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK, are eligible to apply for the EU settlement scheme. This scheme provides a route to continue living and working in the UK after Brexit; workers have until 30 June 2021 to demonstrate their settled status and apply. As part of their application proof of both identity and continuous UK residence will be required. We are actively encouraging and advising workers engaged with Stonebridge, who are affected by the changes to the immigration system, how they apply for settled status if they wish to continue working in the UK post 30 June 2021.

Upon approval, applicants will be granted either Settled or Pre-settled status, depending largely on their length of continuous residency in the UK. Those granted settled status can remain in the UK indefinitely and may be eligible to apply for British Citizenship. Those granted pre-settled status can apply to change to settled status upon reaching five years continuous UK residence.

For skilled workers after 01 January 2021, a points-based immigration system will be introduced. This is for anyone from outside the UK and Ireland (Irish citizens will continue to be able to enter and live in the UK as currently), with EU and non-EU citizens being treated equally, with the aim to attract workers who will contribute to the UK’s economy. EU citizens applying for a skilled worker visa will need to show they have a job offer from an approved employer sponsor to be eligible to apply for their visa and there will be no route for self-employed workers through this system.

At Stonebridge, we will continue to undertake rigorous Right to Work checks and proactively support our existing temporary workforce on the steps they may need to take in applying for UK Settled Status.

We will continue to keep you updated on this matter and provide further guidance to ensure we retain our valued subcontractors beyond June 2021.

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