A new point-based system has been introduced by UKVI which means every applicant needs to score 70 points to be granted a Visa. The first 50 points are mandatory and can be accumulated by producing the application documents as requested for issuing a Certificate of Sponsorship. The additional 20 points will be given for either:
- the applicant having minimum annual gross projected earnings of £31,200 as a tenant (the ‘going rate’)
- the applicant earning 90% of £31,200 and also having PHD qualifications relevant to the role; or
- the applicant earning 70% of £31,200 and also being a new entrant to the labour market who is taking up pupillage within chambers.
The relevant chambers will also be responsible for ensuring that any national sponsored by the Bar Council (or ‘sponsored migrant’) is working in accordance with the purpose(s) set out in their Certificate of Sponsorship. As such, they will be expected to notify the Bar Council if:
- the sponsored migrant does not turn up to their Skilled Worker placement or their first day of work as a Government Authorised Exchange Worker, citing any known reason(s) for their absence
- the sponsored migrant’s employment, placement, pupillage or tenancy is terminated earlier than expected, either because of resignation or dismissal
- the sponsored migrant moves into an immigration route that does not require support from the Bar Council
- the sponsored migrant takes a period of unpaid leave for four weeks or more, and their absence is not covered by any of the exceptions set out in paragraphs S4.10 to S4.12 of the UKVI’s Guidance
- the sponsored migrant is absent for more than 10 working days without the express permission of either chambers or the Bar Council
- there are any significant changes in the sponsored migrant’s circumstances, including where the sponsored migrant’s employment is affected by TUPE being triggered
- they have any suspicions that a sponsored migrant is in breach of the conditions of their leave, or may be engaging in terrorism or other criminal activity
Finally, chambers will be expected to inform the Bar Council of any significant changes in its own circumstances. For example if the nature of the business changes substantially, all or part of the business is sold, ceases trading, becomes insolvent, is involved in a merger, is taken over or goes into administration, the Bar Council will expect to be notified within 28 calendar days of the event.