The UK’s Immigration System
The UK’s immigration system has been updated following Brexit. Here we explore the very latest developments.


Beyond Brexit: The UK’s Immigration System

Following the UK’s departure from the EU, EU nationals who move to the UK to live, work and study are now treated, from an immigration perspective, in much the same way as non-EU nationals. 

A new immigration system was created covering EU and non-EU nationals. Our team was fully engaged with the government on the design of this through various stakeholder engagement projects.

We have provided key information below for businesses, education providers and individuals about the UK’s immigration system.

More information for those seeking to move to the UK is available on the business, education and personal pages of our website.

What is the EU Settlement Scheme?
The EU Settlement Scheme has enabled many EU citizens to regularise their status in the UK. You can find more information here.

Employers and education providers do not need to sponsor an EU citizen who has settled or pre-settled status or who has made an in-time application under the scheme.

Those with pre-settled or settled status can view and provide evidence of their status via an online tool.

Do employers need to check that EU citizens have the right to work in the UK?
Yes. In order to avoid a civil penalty, employers should carefully follow the guidance published by government. This provides detailed information on how checks should be conducted and the evidence that should be retained.

You can find the latest guidance here.

Do employers and education providers need a sponsor licence to recruit EU and non-EU workers and students?
Yes. Businesses and education providers need a sponsor licence if they wish to recruit both EU and non-EU workers and students. This is unless the individual already has another type of valid immigration permission.

In relation to the UK’s schools, only independent schools are permitted to hold a sponsor licence to sponsor international students. Unfortunately this means that it is not possible for other schools to sponsor EU students. They are able to teach EU students who have obtained pre-settled or settled status. They can also teach those who have another type of visa, for example, to accompany a parent on a work visa.

How can our organisation apply for a sponsor licence?
We have been helping employers and education providers obtain sponsor licences since the sponsorship system began in 2008. We will be pleased to help you through the process. Please contact us and one of our team will provide you with information on our fixed fee options.

You can find further information on how we can assist you in obtaining a sponsor licence for workers and in relation to the sponsor duties here, and for students here.

Do we need CoS/CAS for EU citizens?
Yes. Employers and education providers will need to request more CoS/CAS if they expect they will need to sponsor EU citizens.

Sponsors of workers using the Skilled Worker route need standard CoS in relation to migrants who can apply from inside the UK.

Sponsors who need to sponsor migrants who will apply for a visa from overseas will need to firstly apply for a Defined CoS. Defined CoS have replaced Restricted CoS, but they will be issued by the Home Office within one working day in the vast majority of cases.

You can find further information regarding CoS here.

What about those moving to the UK for family and personal reasons?
It is possible for EU citizens (who do not qualify under the EU Settlement Scheme) and non-EU citizens to make applications under the family routes, such as spouse, unmarried partner, fiancé and same-sex partner, adult dependant relative, etc. You can find more information about these routes here.

Where can I find more information?
We are experienced in guiding people through the immigration system.

You can find further information on the current options on the pages of our website dedicated to employers, education providers and individuals.

Our services for businesses and education providers
We offer the following range of services to businesses and education providers that are designed to enable them to offer enhanced support to their employees and HR teams:

  • bespoke training for HR teams and legal advice on how best to manage Beyond Brexit immigration related matters;
  • preparation of immigration applications for EU staff and their family members;
  • advice and assistance on Sponsor Licence, Skilled Worker and all other work-related immigration matters;
  • advice on conducting compliant right to work checks;
  • discounted rates to employees and further immigration law advice and assistance as required.

We have designed a flexible fixed fee structure which is tailored to the specific services the employer requires.

Our services for individuals

We offer a range of immigration and visa services to individuals who are seeking to move to the UK and you can find further information here.

We will usually be able to prepare applications, for example, for work and study visas or to naturalise as a British citizen, on a fixed fee basis. If your situation is complex, we will analyse your situation and provide you with legal advice in a cost-effective way working to an agreed budget.

The Legal 500 has said that our team provides ‘that extra bit of listening, care and explanation that engenders the client’s trust and makes them feel comfortable’.

Contact us
If you would like to discuss your immigration needs, or would like information about our services and fees, please contact us.

If you would like to discuss your Beyond Brexit immigration needs, or would like information about our services and fees, please contact us.

‘…providing that extra bit of listening, care and explanation that engenders the client’s trust and makes them feel comfortable’.THE LEGAL 500

‘…very conscious of the need to give clients value for money’.CHAMBERS & PARTNERS