19 February 2020
The UK technology sector is booming. Investment in UK tech firms is at record-breaking levels. And yet for many years, businesses have reported a widening skills gap and a struggle to fill key vacancies. With Brexit day finally here, what changes to the immigration system can the tech sector expect to see over the coming months? We discuss the post-Brexit immigration system and what it means for UK tech and you can read the full article on Verdict hImmigere.
While the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020, there are no visa changes until 31 December 2020 due to the transition period. All EEA workers (with the exception of Irish citizens who are optional), living in the UK by the end of 2020 must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) to secure their immigration status and rights. Whilst we recommend applying as soon as possible they have until 30 June 2021 to apply. There is (generally) no government application fee. Information about the scheme can be found here.
The Government has issued a template letter which contains key information about the EU Settlement Scheme including eligibility, the application process, support available and the deadline.
Applications are submitted online using an Android and a new Apple app to verify ID. Most applications take 15 - 30 minutes with no need to surrender passports or mail supporting documents. Applicants receive either:
The decision is issued online – there is no paper/card evidence of status. Applicants can log into a secure site and share access with employers or other third parties.
Employers do not need to monitor or record who has applied to the EUSS (a copy of their passport currently remains sufficient for right to work checks). You will have to conduct new/different checks on new hires in the UK from January 2021 onwards, or from whenever the new rules are introduced.
Taylor Wessing has a range of services to help your business and workforce with a tailored strategy depending on company size, worker profile and culture. Engaging with workers about Brexit planning is one way for employers to support valued colleagues and to reduce the risk of losing key people. Do speak to your usual immigration contact to discuss this further.