Quota for Tier 2 restricted work visas exceeded for third straight month

13 Aug 15



What is the change? The monthly cap for Tier 2 Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship has been surpassed for the third consecutive month.

What does the change mean? While the monthly quota was once again reached in August, the minimum salary for successful applicants dropped to £24,000 per year (36 points). This seems to suggest that the backlog of candidates earning lower salaries may begin to be cleared in the coming months. Experts predict, however, that the cap will again be reached in September.

  • Implementation time frame:Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Tier 2 RCoS work visas.
  • Who is affected: Non-EU nationals applying for Tier 2 RCoS work visas.
  • Business impact:The exhaustion of the quota for RCoS workers could interrupt business schedules, especially for businesses looking to sponsor lower-paid non-EU nationals on Tier 2 RCoS work visas.
  • Next steps:Companies should contact their BAL representative to discuss strategies and the options that are available over the next few months.

Background: The annual quota for certificates of sponsorship is 20,700 and is allocated on a monthly basis, with 2,250 set aside for April and 1,650 reserved for all other months. The quota was exceeded for the first time in June and then again in July. While the quota was once again surpassed in August, the minimum salaries and number of points required for successful applicants continued to drop.

Month Minimum Salary Points
June £46,000/year 50
July £32,000/year 45
August £24,000/year 36

The lower minimum salary marks an improvement compared to June and July, but U.K. authorities pulled 71 certificates from September’s allocation in order to help meet demand in August. That means that it is highly likely that the cap will again be exceeded in September.

BAL Analysis: Employers should work closely with their BAL attorney to understand the likely waiting time for individual applications. Employers should anticipate longer onboarding times for Tier 2 migrants with lower salaries, even given the drop in the minimum salary in August.

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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