The UK government has published information and advice on hiring workers from the EU following the Brexit transition period ending on 31 December 2020.  

From 1 January 2021, the UK will introduce a new points-based immigration system that will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally, and so change the way in which employers can recruit from outside the UK.

From 1 January, guaranteed changes for UK businesses include:

  • Employers will need to be a licensed sponsor to hire eligible workers from outside the UK. This normally takes eight weeks and fees apply. Check your business is eligible and read the accompanying sponsorship guidance at
  • New job, salary and language requirements will apply to anyone that you want to hire from outside the UK. Check that the people you want to hire will meet the requirements for coming to the UK for work at

The new system will not apply to hiring Irish citizens, or EU citizens already living and working in the UK who are eligible under the EU Settlement Scheme. Employers can find out what other actions they may need to take by visiting and using the checker tool.

The UK government said it will continue to provide information and support to help employers prepare for these changes, including sector-specific webinars to walk you through the actions you need to take. All previously recorded webinars are also available on demand at

Alok Sharma, secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, commented: “If you do not take action, there is a risk your business operations will be interrupted. I know these are challenging times and I want to take the opportunity to thank you for everything you are doing to ensure a smooth end to the transition period.

“The government will be there to help you to take advantage of the new opportunities that being an independent trading nation will bring.”