UK Business Secretary urges firms to prepare for new visa system


Boris Johnson Cabinet Meeting 13 10 20

Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street

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Comments by Sanwar Ali:

Employers should apply for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence if they think they will need overseas staff including newly arriving EU citizens from 1 January 2021.  The end of free movement for EU and EEA nationals, and the new UK visa points system starting after the end of the Brexit transitional period will mean many more people having to come under the expensive and bureaucratic UK visa points system.

Following an email shot sent by UK Visas and Immigration and the launch of a new marketing campaign by the Home Office, UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma is the latest to urge British firms to prepare for the new immigration system in 2021. Sharma’s call comes amid news that many businesses are still completely unprepared.

With just over two months to go until the end of the Brexit transition period, the government is planning to host a series of webinars to help launch businesses into a new-era. Sector-specific webinars will cover topics such as UK visas, work permits and tariffs.

Sharma sent a letter on 12 October to more than 600,000 British firms, which calls on companies to familiarise themselves with the actions they will need to take by using a free government checker tool.

Guaranteed changes  

In the letter, Sharma states that there are a series of ‘guaranteed changes’ that businesses can’t escape from and they must be prepared as the UK leaves the European Union, including how they hire people from the continent.

“The vast majority of these actions will need to be completed regardless of the outcome of our negotiations with the EU. These include ensuring staff register for residency rights and preparing for customs procedures when trading with the EU,” Sharma’s letter said.

In an effort to make sure businesses are prepared for what is to come, the government is going all out with a series of sector-specific webinars throughout October to remind companies of the changes they will need to make.

Alok Sharma’s letter said: “Businesses must act now to ensure they are ready for the UK’s new start come January. There will be no extension to the transition period, so there is no time to waste. I urge all businesses across the country to check to see what action they need to take, sign up for updates, or attend one of our sector-specific webinars.”

“Businesses have a crucial role to play in ensuring a smooth transition, and we will be there to support them through this change every step of the way,” the letter added.

Business Department

The Business Department has organised a series of webinars for business leaders to attend online. The first of these is set for 13 October, focusing on services and investment. The launch of the webinars comes following extensive government engagement with British businesses in recent months, including a number of roundtable sessions.

The webinars cover a range of topics that will affect British businesses of all shapes and sizes, highlighting what they need to act on, including visas, work permits and tariffs.

According to a government press release, the business sectors covered by the webinars include:

  • Services and Investment - 13 October
  • Retail - 14 October
  • Automotive - 14 October
  • Metals and Materials - 20 October
  • Electronics and Machinery - 21 October
  • Consumer Goods - 22 October
  • Life Sciences - 27 October
  • Construction - 28 October
  • Aerospace - 29 October can help with Tier 2 Visa Sponsor Licences and Tier 2 Visas

If you need help with a Tier 2 visa, or a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence, including help with complying with your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence obligations, can help.

For more information and advice on Tier 2 Sponsor Licences, UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on 0344 991 9222 or at