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As a result of the UK leaving the EU, from 1 January 2021 free movement will end and the UK will introduce a points-based immigration system.

The new points-based system will mean that EU and non-EU citizens are treated equally.  Therefore, if an employer wants to hire people from outside the UK, excluding Irish (Eire) citizens they will need to apply for permission in advance.

Anyone who wants to come to the UK to work is required to meet a specific set of requirements for which they score points.  Workers normally require at least 70 points to qualify and visas are awarded to those who have enough qualifying points.

Further details of the qualifying conditions and how points are awarded can be found here.

The Home Office recently launched a priority service for businesses under the sponsor-licence scheme which enables them to bring in overseas workers to work in the UK.

The priority service charges an additional £500 to organisations to fast track a decision within 10 working days instead of the normal eight weeks. 

However, applications for the fast track is limited to 10 applications per day.  The fast track fee is in addition to the standard sponsor licence fee of £1476 for large companies and £536 for a small company.

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