Potential new EEA employee, start date in 2021

Carlos is a Spanish citizen who’s applied for a permanent, grade 6 IT business analyst job at the University with a start date of 1 March 2021. Though interviews haven't yet taken place, Carlos looks like the best candidate on paper. He and his family (wife and 3 year old daughter, who are also Spanish) aren’t able to move to the UK before 31 December 2020.

What does Carlos need to consider? 

Carlos and his family won’t be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. They will therefore need permission to live and work in the UK. 

Although the family will be able to enter the UK until 30 June 2021 without a visa, through the passport e-gates, if they did so their permission would be as Visitors – this would restrict their residence to 6 months and Carlos would not be allowed to work. 

Carlos’s salary isn’t enough on its own to be eligible for a Skilled Worker Visa. However, the job is eligible for a minimum salary concession as it is on the Shortage Occupation List – the normal minimum salary for this role can therefore be reduced by 20%, which means that Carlos’s salary is enough for Skilled Worker sponsorship. 

Carlos’s wife and daughter will need Points-Based System dependent visas to allow them to come to the UK with him. 

The costs for Carlos and his family will be substantial, though not as much as if the job wasn’t a shortage occupation and he wasn’t from Spain - £2,619 for visas (£3,660 for non-shortage occupation jobs for broadly non-EEA/Turkish citizens) plus £8,590 for the Immigration Health Surcharge. 

Carlos will be eligible for the University’s reimbursement and interest free loan schemes; however, for both of these he must be on the University’s payroll, so must find the money himself, up front. 

What do we need to think about?

The department cannot choose not to take forward Carlos’s job application because the potential costs are considered too great (see below).  Shortlisting must be made on the basis of the selection criteria; there’s no legal basis to refuse sponsorship for an eligible role to an individual where the only reason would be not wanting to pay the associated costs​.

The University will be liable for the Immigration Skills Charge (see Definitions) as the job isn’t in an exempt category – this will cost £1,820. It’s payable with the £199 CoS fee and we can’t pass the cost on to Carlos. This will come from a local budget. 

Carlos will be eligible to apply to the University’s immigration reimbursement scheme for the cost of his own visa application (£1,220) – this will also come from a local budget. 

He’ll also be able to apply for an interest free loan of up to £5,000 to help cover the rest of his costs.  This comes from a central budget. 

What if...

...Carlos and his wife have another child while they’re in the UK? 

Although born in the UK, the child wouldn’t be a British citizen.  Carlos and his wife would need to apply for a dependent visa on the child’s behalf – if they want to be able to travel outside the UK, the visa needs to have been granted before they travel. Otherwise, they must apply before the child is 18. 

...Carlos needs to leave the UK for an extended period? 

There’s no impact on the Skilled Worker Visa if Carlos is out of the UK for a time unless it expires while he's overseas, in which case we'd recommend he extends his visa before he travels, or returns to the UK in time. When Carlos applies for his extension, he mustn't leave the Common Travel Area (see Definitions) between submitting his application and receiving a decision - if he does, this will automatically withdraw his application.

If Carlos plans to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the future, he needs to bear in mind that he can spend no more than 180 days outside the UK in any rolling 12 month period during the 5 years he plans to use as his qualifying period.  

Relevant rules

EU Settlement Scheme

The EU Settlement Scheme is only open to those resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020.

Skilled Worker Visa

To qualify for a Skilled Worker Visa, a job/applicant must accrue 70 points from a number of criteria. The first 50 points are from mandatory criteria:

  • a job offer at an appropriate level from an approved sponsor
  • proof of knowledge of English to an appropriate standard

The remaining 20 points must be accrued through 'tradeable' criteria:

  • salary level (0 - 20 points depending on amount, plus one of the following if required):
  • eligibility as a New Entrant to the labour market
  • a job in a shortage occupation
  • a PhD which is relevant to the job

Right to work

EEA/Swiss nationals who are resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 can prove their right to work in the UK with their passport or national ID card - this will not change until 1 July 2021, at which point all new EEA/Swiss staff must have evidence of either a visa or pre-settled/settled status under the EU settlement scheme. To support the University in its responsibility to help prevent illegal working, we have added questions to our right to work compliance statement for January-June 2021 which should allow us to establish what kind of right to work evidence is needed.