Working in the UK for EU Citizens

Key facts: 

  • Settlement Scheme available to EU citizens residing in UK.
  • New points-based immigration policy for all immigrants.
  • Recruiting staff from the EU will change significantly.

Moving to the UK to work

The following has to be considered when recruiting staff from overseas:

During transition

  • EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their families who move to the UK during the transition period will be able to apply for pre-settled status under the EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME.
  • EU citizens already resident in the UK can apply for settled or pre-settled status to the EU Settlement Scheme.

In both cases, the deadline for applying is 30 June 2021 and it will be free to apply.

Irish citizens can continue to live, work and study in the UK with no change.

Points-based immigration

Anyone arriving in the UK to work after the transition period ends, will need to apply under the new points-based immigration system.

There will be no low-skilled workers route, but skilled workers can apply. They will need to acquire at least 70 points as follows:

  • Have job offer from an approved sponsor (20).
  • Have at least an A-level / RQF3 qualification (20).
  • Speak English (10).
  • Have a salary of £25,600 or above (20).

It will be possible to employ people for roles with salaries between 20,480 and lower than 25,600 but they must make up the requisite number of points from the following characteristics:

  • If the job is in a shortage occupation.
  • If the applicant has a relevant PhD.


  • Employers will need a licence and they have to assume sponsorship responsibilities.
  • They have to pay an Immigration Skills Surcharge (estimated £364 – 1,000).
  • There are salary requirements.
  • Migrants pay an Immigration Health Surcharge (estimated £400) and pay for their visa (estimated £600-700).
  • It will take 4-8 weeks before a successful applicant can start working.

To do

Look out for:

What’s next?

Businesses can continue to recruit EU nationals until the end of the transition period. After that, employers hiring EU residents will need to become a sponsor of the applicant and fulfil obligations under the UK’s new points-based immigration system, which will apply to all nationalities.

Disclaimer At the time of writing, the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, and the changes outlined in this fact sheet will occur from 1 January 2021. If that date slips, the changes will still happen, but at a later date. For latest updates go to

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