Much of the UK’s new immigration system has come into force today.

One of the biggest changes is the introduction of the Tier 2 Skilled Worker route which replaces the Tier 2 (General) Visa category.

A collection of new guides for employers has been published and can be found at this link. T2 (Worker) or T5 (Temporary Worker): guidance for sponsors – GOV.UK (

Some welcome changes have been made, including the abolition of the “Resident Labour Test”, the scrapping of the annual cap on certificates of sponsorship, a reduction in the required skilled level and a reduced minimum salary level. The “cooling off period” has also been removed along with the six-year maximum length of stay in the UK.

Sponsoring employers will still need to apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) if the skilled worker they wish to employ is outside the UK. Such certificates are now called “Defined” certificates and detailed information on how to apply for them is set out in the new guidance and manuals.

From 1st January 2021, most skilled EU nationals who wish to work in the UK will need to be sponsored under this route and employers without a sponsorship licence are being encouraged to apply as soon as they can to ensure that they can employ relevant EU workers from next year.

For advice on the above or on any other aspect of the new immigration rules please email us on