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New UK immigration system goes live

Published:  01 December, 2020

The UK’s new points-based post-Brexit immigration system is now operational.

All foreign nationals who want to work in the UK from 1 January 2021 will have to apply online for a visa, starting today, December 1.

Requirements for a visa include a job offer with a base salary of at least £25,600 and demonstrable proficiency in English.

There are a range of ‘shortage occupations’ with more flexible requirements, but within the hospitality sector the only such occupation is currently that of chef.

Irish nationals are exempt from the visa requirement and can continue to travel freely. The UK and Ireland are part of a designated Common Travel Area.

Prior to the Covid-19 crisis, some 53% of all staff across the UK hospitality sector were overseas workers.

A CGA survey earlier in the year found that twice as many business leaders in the trade believe the new system would have a negative impact on the sector as a positive one.

EU citizens already living in the UK prior to 31 December should apply to the EU Settlement scheme rather than the new visa system. Applications can be made until 30 June 2021.