On 1 January 2021, when free movement ended, a new points-based immigration system replaced the one that the UK has managed inward migration with since 2008. It applies to everyone from outside of the UK (excluding the Republic of Ireland) wishing to live and work here.
For individuals who arrived in the UK by 31 December 2020 and who meet the requirements of the EU settlement scheme, the new system will not apply. EU nationals have until 30 June 2021 to secure their pre or settled status. More information on the settlement scheme can be found here.
The new immigration system aims to attracting and prioritise highly skilled migration and improve the experience for applicants and employers. It provides routes for skilled workers, students, global leaders, and innovators. It does not however provide a mechanism to recruit other key workers into health and care, for example care workers in social care.
To improve the experience for employers, the system includes a dedicated NHS support and visa processing which will enable HR teams to contact UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) if there are any issues with the application process or eligibility queries for the new health and care visa. Sponsors can contact UKVI’s NHS team directly at UKVINHSteam@homeoffice.gov.uk.
We understand that the system will continue to be refined with scope for additional flexibility and any changes will be reflected in this section.