April Tier 2 quotas reached

23 Apr 18



What is the change? The allocated quota for Tier 2 Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (RCoS) has been exhausted for the month of April, the fifth consecutive month the quotas have been exhausted.

What does the change mean? Employers should anticipate that requests for Tier 2 (General) Certificates of Sponsorship with points below the minimum 46 and a salary of less than £50,000 per year have been refused and will need to be resubmitted in May.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Tier 2 (General).
  • Who is affected: Companies applying for RCoS for non-EEA skilled migrants under the Tier 2 (General) regime.
  • Impact on processing times: Rejected applications will need to be resubmitted in May, assuming the resident market test remains valid.
  • Business impact: Companies sponsoring lower-paid Tier 2 workers may need to delay work start dates and should anticipate that quotas may also be exhausted through May or June. Re-advertising may be necessary as a result.
  • Next steps: Employers should plan for potential delays to business schedules in coming months, and the likelihood of continued pressure on the quotas for the next few months because of the volume of resubmitted applications. Meanwhile, employers should work with their BAL professional to explore other immigration options, such as alternative visa routes. They should also consider increasing salaries for the Tier 2 role to improve their chances of obtaining an RCoS in the current environment, bearing in mind that additional advertising may be required.

Background: The annual quota for Tier 2 (General) visas is 20,700, allocated into monthly quotas. In 2016, the monthly distribution was changed to provide higher quotas during the high-demand months of April through September and lower quotas in other months, thereby shifting pressure on months at the end of the fiscal year (December through March). The exhaustion of quotas at the end of the fiscal year, however, has carried over into the new fiscal year. When the monthly quota is reached, applications are ranked by points obtained, with more points earned for shortage occupations, higher salaries, and certain Ph.D.-level roles.

BAL Analysis: As expected, Tier 2 quotas have been exhausted for the fifth month in a row, and BAL expects this trend to continue through May or June. Employers should plan accordingly and consider salary as the deciding factor in the approval of an RCoS request. Companies that recruit higher earners will continue to be more likely to have their applications approved.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact uk@bal.com.

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