It’s no secret that the focus on immigration, its discourse and the subsequent changes made to immigration law in the UK has affected businesses nationwide. Since Brexit, a lot has changed. And the UK government has designed, planned and implemented new processes for people to work in the UK around the issue.
This overhaul in business immigration has meant that a lot of businesses across the country and abroad are interested in knowing exactly how the new laws and regulations affect their business. This is especially true in the UK, where migrant workers are still heavily relied upon in many sectors and industries.
In this article, we’ll discuss the changes made to business immigration law in the UK and how it affects your business. We’ll talk about everything you need to know, including details of the changes made, what penalties may be faced for businesses that aren’t compliant and how solicitors specialising in business immigration law might be the right path forward for businesses that wish to navigate business immigration the right way.
How has business immigration law changed in the UK?
Business immigration law has gone through an overhaul in recent years. Since Brexit officially happened in 2020, everything changed. Laws and procedures on immigration as a whole were uprooted and altered.
The UK government unveiled and has since implemented a totally new immigration system. Based on the ‘Australian-style’ points-based system, its main aim is to attract the best and the brightest. It levels out the playing field, no longer allowing all EU citizens to freely move, live and work in the UK.
There are now certain checks and balances for anyone wishing to move to the UK to work. And this is true regardless of where they come from. It aims to treat everyone fairly, no longer prioritising those from certain areas, as was the case when the UK was part of the EU and under their immigration law anyone could freely move in and out on a whim.
This points-based system has meant that businesses now have to learn and stay on top of the many changes to business immigration law. New legislation means new rules and requirements. For starters, businesses looking to hire from outside the UK can only hire those who speak good English. They also must be offered a salary of at least £20,480 per year. Furthermore, any new job offered to those outside the UK must be at the required skill level of RQF3 or above (equivalent to A levels). But there are also short-term work visas available for specific sectors, such as investor, business development and talent visas for EU citizens.
How do the new laws affect my business?
The breadth and dynamic of these new laws can affect businesses in many ways. The fact that there are many new avenues to cross means, by definition, that there are many more issues that a business can face. It means that businesses must tread more carefully, and be educated on the specifics.
Businesses can no longer hire migrants as easily as they used to. In many sectors, especially low-skilled sectors, this has had a tremendous impact already, such as with understaffing. And the fact that the new immigration system aims to attract only the best and the brightest means that the necessary labour required for these low-skilled sectors is still struggling.
It also affects businesses in practical terms. With so many new hoops to jump through and with so many nuances to the process, it can take a lot more time, effort and money to hire migrant workers. This is why many businesses turn to solicitors who’re experts in immigration law to help them traverse this new terrain and hire immigrant workers more smoothly, efficiently and quickly.
What issues could my business face?
It’s incredibly important your business navigates the process of hiring under the new-style business immigration law properly. With the government’s newfound focus on immigration, it’s important to be able to go through the process in full compliance so that you keep your business in good standing and avoid the potential penalties.
To begin, every business must make sure that they have the correct sponsorship licence for migrant workers. Business may face legal issues if they don’t follow the correct process, including:
- Applying for the wrong sponsorship licence and certificates of sponsorship.
- Failing to prevent illegal work and not complying with illegal working regulations.
- Having a sponsor licence refused, suspended or revoked.
How can solicitors help my business?
Solicitors who specialise in business immigration law are understandably more sought-after than ever. Immigration law has become a lot more complex, time-consuming and the penalties for failing to comply are heavier. This is why solicitors can be helpful for businesses of all shapes and sizes in any industry and sector.
They’ll guide you through each step. They’ll keep you up-to-date with the progress. And they’ll take the burden off your back by making the process smoother, more efficient and easier for you.
They can help:
- Business owners in the UK who employ migrant workers.
- Businesses that want to set up a branch or subsidiary in the UK.
- Any individual who wants to work in the UK.
- Individuals who want to start a business or invest in the UK.
They can also assist with:
- Entrepreneur visas (Tier 1).
- Investor visas (Tier 1).
- Tier 2 general visas for skilled workers.
- Tier 2 intra-company transfer visas.
- Tier 5 visas.
- Staying compliant.
- Preventing illegal working.
- Home office compliance visits.