Should employers sponsor their highly skilled EU Workers if there is a no deal Brexit?

If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, we are now recommending that employers should at least consider sponsoring EU employees under Tier 2 of the points based system. 

There are clearly additional bureaucratic hurdles and cost issues which need to be taken into account when sponsoring employees. Some employers may not hold a sponsor licence, and may need to apply for one; employers may also be required to set up immigration-compliant HR policies and systems.

Vacancies will need to be advertised in accordance with UKVI requirements for undertaking the resident labour market test. The recruitment, shortlisting and selection process will need to be well documented, to demonstrate clearly that there are no suitable alternative candidates. 

Many EU nationals may not be sponsored if the roles they are undertaking fall below the current degree-level skills threshold of Tier 2. The costs of sponsoring EU nationals and their families may well be prohibitive in many cases. However, for highly talented and valued individuals, particularly those who are high earners and exceed the £159,600 annual salary threshold (at which point the RLMT and advertising are not required), Tier 2 may be an option if employers are in a competitive market where employers are fighting each other to secure the best talent. 

If you would like any information or assistance with Sponsor Licence applications or Tier 2 visas, please contact Leena Chouhan.