Offshore Recruitment and Brexit

8th Feb, 2021


We knew there would be problems after Brexit but we didn’t realize how bad things would get. There is utter chaos moving goods, services, and people between the UK and EU following Brexit. When the transition period ended on 31st December 2020, the cracks began to appear. But has this changed offshore recruitment?

Schwarz & Vogel is a global recruitment partner. We are active in many talent markets across the world. A large part of our business is supporting clients from the UK and the Channel Islands who hire talent from the EU. Before Brexit happened the offshore recruitment process was seamless. Unfortunately, things have changed. If your business needs to recruit skilled professionals from the EU, we can assist you every step of the way.

The topics covered below are for non-Irish candidates moving to the UK or the Channel Islands.

Common Travel Area (CTA)

British and Irish citizens enjoy a special relationship. This is because of the Common Travel Area (CTA) established between the two countries. Citizens are free to live and work anywhere in the UK and Ireland. The CTA includes the Channel Islands as they are a crown dependency and in the British Isles. The CTA encompasses the five islands of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark, and Herm. A full description of the CTA between the UK and Ireland is here.

Relocating to the Channel Islands

Non-Irish candidates must obtain ‘entitled’ or ‘entitled for work’ status in Jersey. If this is not possible they must apply for a work permit. Irish citizens don’t need a work permit. The hiring company must have a Jersey business license. That license must have either ‘Registered’ or ‘Licensed’ status. This is only required if the candidate is not already permitted to work in Jersey.

Once issued a work permit, the successful candidate will have to get a visa to enter the island of Jersey. This is an online UK Government process.

Candidates interested in Guernsey, should apply for a work permit via the States of Guernsey website. This application is the responsibility of the employer and not the candidate.

Relocating to the UK from the EU (Excluding Ireland)

EU citizens wishing to relocate to the UK, should apply for a ‘Skilled Worker Visa‘. This replaces the ‘Tier 2 General’ visa. There are a number of prerequisites a candidate must satisfy when applying for this visa. The candidate must obtain a certificate of sponsorship from their new employer. The role being offered to the candidate must appear on the ‘eligible occupations’ list. There must be a minimum salary paid, based on the type of work that is being carried out.

This visa will remain valid for up to five years. If employment changes, the UK authorities need to be informed. The same applies if the visa is about to expire. If a person has lived and worked in the UK for five years, they may be eligible to apply for permanent residency. This can be done via the UK Government website.

The rights enjoyed by UK and Irish nationals by the Common Travel Area, will not be affected by the UK’s exit from the EU. UK nationals living and working in Ireland, will not have to apply for settled status. The same applies to Irish nationals living and working in the UK. This is not the case for all other EU citizens living and working in the UK, after 31st December 2020.

Relocating to Ireland from outside the EU

All non-EEA nationals, except British citizens, will require a work permit when relocating to Ireland. There are nine different work permits, which can be viewed here. Our experience of recruiting outside of Ireland has involved one type of permit, the ‘Critical Skills Employment Permit’. This permit covers a broad range of professions and a full list of qualifying occupations can be accessed here.

The permit was created to attract top talent to Ireland and support economic growth. The ‘Critical Skills Employment Permit’ (CSE) replaces the Green Card Permit and covers highly skilled industries like technology and engineering. The contract of employment must be for a minimum of two years. Employment contracts that are under two years in length will be dealt with under the ‘General Employment Permit‘.

The permit holder must apply for an entry visa via their local Irish Embassy or Consulate before travelling. All non-EEA nationals in possession of a valid work permit, must register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau. This registration should be done as soon as possible, following arrival in the country.

Expert Offshore Recruitment

If your business is looking for offshore recruitment services outside of the EEA, please get in touch with a member of our team today. We operate within all four corners of the globe. We’ll find the people you need whilst supporting and guiding you through the various visa and work permit processes.

The Schwarz & Vogel Team