Changes for Foreign Employment in UK

In this article, you will learn how the UK's migration policy will change from the beginning of 2021. You will determine if providing proof of the diploma becomes necessary for foreign employment in the UK.

In the beginning, it is worth saying that the new system is complex, but it will allow highly-skilled workers to find decent work in the UK, regardless of their country of origin, as it was before.

The key change of the immigration system is that it becomes a point-based system. This means that each candidate must score the required 70 points on various indicators. Take note though that the required level of qualification is one of the three main criteria being evaluated.

However, this does not mean that official confirmation of your professional qualifications or degree is necessary. According to the GOV.UK website, you can use the services of NARIC (The National Recognition Information Centre) to receive recognition of your international qualifications and skills. But at the same time, nowhere is it said that applying to NARIC is mandatory. As this new system in the UK is still in the process of being implemented, it might be changed. We just want to keep you informed about it.

Outside the UK

You can:

compare European qualifications

contact the UK National Academic Recognition Information Centre (UK NARIC) to compare a UK qualification with any non-UK qualification – there’s a fee for this

Proof of diploma is required if there was a request from the employer or from the Home Office, depending on the individual case of a candidate for the job.

On the one hand, the employer can check the suitability of your skill level and a degree to the requirements for the offered position. But because the education and assessment system in the UK differs from systems overseas an employer can make a request to a potential employee to apply to NARIC to get evidence of equivalency of his/her degree to ensure suitability for the specific job description.

Further in the article, we will tell more about upcoming changes in the migration system in the UK in 2021 (an appropriate skill level and a point-based system). We will talk in more detail about specific cases when you might need to apply for the services of NARIC and which exact kind of them to choose.

Main information about updating the migration system in the UK in 2021 (an appropriate skill level and a point-based system)

To give the answers to these questions you need to learn at least the main information about updating the migration system in the UK in 2021. As this system is quite complex we will give you the main information so you get a general picture of what this new migration system means to you and how it is connected to a need to do a proof of your degree.

It's important to note that these new changes are required to get the job in the UK only for high skilled workers who can confirm their qualification skills level and English skills level. You need to obtain at least the 3rd skill level or anything above which is equal to the A level. Admission to the first year of British universities is preceded by a 2-year A-level or International Baccalaureate program at a British private school or a one-year Foundation University program after completing a high school diploma. In another world, the Level 3 Course is a 120 credit course and can be compared to 3 A levels. This course gives passage onto the primary year of the Undergraduate Degree course, or a Level 4 course.

Because the educational system in the UK differs from overseas, the levels are different too. Hence, you may need to compare your diploma to the equivalent in the UK. It's not mandatory but can be needed on request. That is when you need to apply to NARIC (The National Recognition Information Centre).

As of 2021, the UK is changing the immigration system which is a point-based system. Generally, saying this point base system means that you need to gain a score of 70 points to get the chance to be employed.

This system is divided into mandatory and additional requirements that are evaluated by a different number of points. Three mandatory ones are a job offer from an approved sponsor equal to 20 points, a job at the appropriate skill level (which is at least A or 3 level) also gives you 20 points, English language skills at the required level – 10 points. So if you meet the above-mentioned requirements you get 50 points and left 20 points needed to score.

You can get these 20 points if you meet one or more of the following characteristics:

  • you are offered the salary of at least 90 % of the going rate for the profession (whichever higher) (23 040 – 25 999 £) – 10 points
  • you are offered the salary of 25 999 £ or above or at least the going rate for the profession (whichever higher) – 20 points
  • if your job is in a shortage occupation as designed by the Migration Advisory Committee – 10 points
  • If you have a Ph.D. qualification in a subject relevant to the job – 10 points
  • If you have a Ph.D. qualification in a STEM (science technology engineering mathematics) subject relevant to the job – 20 points

Cases when you might need to apply to NARIC

The UK Home Office might ask you for evidence of the level of your degree and/or your English language proficiency in the following cases:

  1. Family (including spouse), settlement or citizenship/naturalization
  2. Tier 2 (Visa)
  3. Skilled Worker Visa
  4. Skilled Work: Health and Care Visa
  5. Start-up and Innovator
  6. Minister of Religion

This article focuses on the case of a skilled worker who has a degree taken outside the UK. This person might have a need for a Statement of Comparability if her/his purpose is one of these:

  1. Professional registration
  2.  Entering an educational institution in the UK
  3. Employment in the UK

Statement of Comparability compare overseas qualifications to the UK education system, comparing them to UK qualifications and framework levels. (Said on the webside of NARIC)

Now let's get to the practical part of the issue. Further, you will find advice on how to find the necessary information on the website of NARIC on how to apply for recognition.

The practical guide on how to choose a service, how to find the necessary information on the website of NARIC, and how to apply for recognition

To figure out the practical steps, we called NARIC in the UK and clarified how you can get confirmation of your degree if you might need it (remember that it's not mandatory based on the new immigration system, but you might be required to submit). We discuss the details here as explained by NARIC. Make sure you're on the right page of the website to find the exact service you need to present evidence of equality of your degree to the required level of skills for your job position.

When you are on the main webpage you should go to the section named – For individuals where you can see two optional buttons. Choose one according to your needs. If you need to get confirmation of your qualifications skills to apply for the Home Office you need to press “Helping you get the UK visa or settlement “, otherwise you chose the next button –Helping you get a job, a study place or professional rights. Here you will see the next options to follow.

Another way of clarifying which exact service to choose to meet your personal needs you can use the interactive guide which will help you to get the answer. This is where you see the prompt:  Choose your purpose and follow further the instructions.

When you find out which type of confirmation is needed in your case you need to sign up on the website before you can submit the list of documents required on your chosen confirmation type. The list of all exact documents can be found on the website in the chapter that tells about specific services. Having tried it we can say that it's quite easy to find after getting past the interactive guide.

How much services of NARIC cost and how long it takes to get results?

You will find the information that we've written below to help you find out about the timeline and cost in availing the NARIC services.

  • Please note that the office of NARIC is closed for the Christmas Holidays from 24 December until 4 January.
  • The 2020 deadline for applications for English language comparisons and assessments was Wednesday, December 2.
  • Wednesday, December 9 – closing date for visas and citizenship (English Language Service).
  • The office cannot guarantee the completion of any application before Christmas if it was submitted after the above dates. Note, however, that there is an exception for applications submitted to Fast Track.
  • Fast Track is an additional service for those who need to get their assessment done faster. When you apply for a chosen service you can easily add the Fast Track service to your application online. All you need is just select either Fast Track 24- or 48-hours.
  • Three Visas and Nationality services depend on purposes:
    • Visas and Nationality (English proficiency)
    • Visas and Nationality (Ph.D. verification)
    • Visas and Nationality (Ph.D. verification with English proficiency).
  • Visas and Nationality (English proficiency) assessment takes to 10 working days after your submission of all required documents and done payment. The cost is £140.00 + VAT*
  • Visas and Nationality service (Ph.D. verification) this kind of assessment is done within 30 working days after tour submission of all required documents and done payment. The cost of it is £210.00 + VAT*
  • Visas and Nationality service (Ph.D. verification with English proficiency) as the previous one this assessment takes to 30 working days and it costs also £210.00 + VAT*
  • The Statement of Comparability costs £49.50 + VAT* (is only payable in the UK and EU). This assessment completes within 15 working days. 


In conclusion, if you decide to immigrate to the UK and you have a higher degree (3rd level equal A level or anything above) in your field, and you have already found an employer who is authorized to sponsor workers from abroad, you have a chance to get a job in England, regardless of your country. That is based on the new immigration system. That is based on the new immigration system which leveled off chances of EU citizens and non-EU citizens. This is great on the one hand and difficult on the other hand.

If you meet these basic requirements, we advise you to consider in more detail your ability to score 70 points under the new system. Here, take into account your language skills, degree, and the level of salary offered. The new system is complex, but the effort allows highly skilled workers to find a decent job in the UK.

The system is still in the process of implementation as such, there are still some questions that have different answers. This is why we discussed NARIC as a way for recognition and confirming of equivalency of your degree to a degree in the UK. We want to emphasize that you might need the services of NARIC. It might be requested from the employer or from the Head Office where you're applying for a visa for work. As we are not immigration advisors, we would like to reiterate that this article was written for informational purposes only to make the employment process easier for you to start. We hope that it was useful for you.

Photo Credit: Belinda Fewings on Unsplash

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.

Sign in

Sign Up

Forgotten Password