31 gennaio 2021

The UK has now implemented a points-based immigration system for the EU citizens. The new rules will  generally apply to all applications made from 1 December 2020, including for EU nationals who are not already living, working or studying in the UK before the end of 2020 (and cannot use the settlement/pre-settlement rules to continue to reside in the UK). We will write a separate article/ legal briefing in relation to the settlement /pre-settlement and the assistance we can offer.The points-based system is not the only route available for workers to legally work in the UK going forward and the most suitable immigration route will depend on the role being carried out, its duration and who the employing entity will be. For example, the new Frontier Worker Permit will allow those who currently commute to work in the UK to continue to do so (provided they meet the eligibility criteria) and the Business Visitor route still allows limited activities to be carried out by a non-UK resident including attending board meetings, signing contracts or undertaking a site visit.

However, summarised below are the key points which are of most relevance to Italian citizens looking to work, study or do business in the UK from 1 January 2021 onwards under the new points-based rules.

Skilled workers

Individuals coming to the UK to work from 1 January 2021, need to demonstrate that they meet a specific set of criteria for which they will be awarded points. Assuming they pass the criminality checks, a total of 70 points will be required.

Below we have listed the three mandatory requirements which together will earn the applicant 50 points. These are:

·         the applicant must have a job offer from an approved sponsor;

·         the job must be at or above the minimum skill level (now reduced to A level or equivalent); and

·         the applicant must meet the English language requirements.

The other 20 points required can be earned in a more flexible way,  these are called “tradeable points”.

If a role attracts a salary of (the higher of) £25,600 or the “going rate” then the applicant is awarded the full 20 points. Applicants who earn less than this but at least £20,480 can make up the points needed if they have a job offer in a designated shortage occupation (ie those roles deemed to be in short supply and set out on the pre-approve shortage occupation list) or a PhD qualification relevant to the role.

There is a discount to the “going rate”  available for “new entrants” at the start of their careers but they must still earn at least £20,480. The UK government will be able to widen the number of attributes that earn tradeable points. However, the mandatory requirements will not be tradeable.

Intra-company transfer

Applicants do not need to meet any English language requirements but must satisfy the following criteria

·         they must meet a minimum skills requirement (note this is higher than the skilled worker route and remains at degree level)

·         they must meet a minimum salary requirement (either £41,500 or the “going rate”, whichever is the higher); and

·         they must have been employed in the overseas linked business for at least 12 months prior to the date of transfer unless they earn over £73,900.

Applicants will be allowed to hold Intra-Company Transfer leave for up to five years in any six-year rolling period or up to nine years in any 10-year period for high earners.

The Global Talent route:

The Global Talent route has opened to EU citizens on the same basis as non-EU citizens. This means the most highly skilled, who can achieve the required level of points, will be able to enter the UK without a job offer if they are endorsed by a recognised UK body, as approved by the Home Office.

This route is designed to attract recognised global leaders and promising individuals in science, humanities, engineering, the arts and digital technology. Top scientists and researchers can benefit from a quicker endorsement process as part of a fast track STEM scheme.

As of January 2021, the current list of approved endorsing bodies is as follows:

The Royal Society, for science and medicine

The Royal Academy of Engineering, for engineering

The British Academy, for humanities

UK Research and Innovation, for science and research

Tech Nation, for digital technology

Arts Council England, for arts and culture

 Further information

There are a number of other changes being made to try to streamline and simplify the system which will be welcomed by businesses and applicants alike. Please contact us if you would like further information on any of the issues raised


Elzbieta Olejnik

Solicitor of Scotland

Avv. Stabilito in Italia