What is the change? After the requested number of restricted certificates of sponsorship (RCoS) exceeded the number available by almost twice, the points basis of the RCoS system came into play. As such, in June’s panel a salary of £46,000 (scoring 50 points) was required for approval. However, due to RCoS policy, and despite a record number of refusals, 394 RCoS remained unallocated and will be rolled over to July, according to figures released today.

What does the change mean? In July, 2,049 RCoS will be available for employers applying for skilled workers under the Tier 2 (General) stream. This number is the result of the unallocated RCoS from June’s panel being added to the normal monthly quota of 1,650. This means it is possible that the RCoS will not be as oversubscribed in July and, as a consequence, the minimum points required for approval may be lower than last month’s threshold, meaning that salaries of £32,000 could result in approval. However, there are no guarantees and the situation remains frustrating for businesses seeking to plan their recruitment in the UK.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Tier 2 (General).
  • Who is affected: Companies applying for RCoS for new Tier 2 (General) skilled migrants.
  • Business impact: The availability of additional quota numbers next month may relieve a backlog that was expected to develop due to the exhaustion of June quotas. However, the unpredictability of the situation remains and it is impossible to predict with certainty what salaries will allow an RCoS to be approved.
  • Next steps: Contact your BAL representative to address individual case-specific strategies.

Background: On June 11, for the first time, the quota for the number of restricted Tier 2 (General) workers was reached. When reached, the quota requires that applications be ranked by number of points obtained, with points gained for shortage occupations, certain PhD level roles, and for higher salary levels. Employers whose applications were rejected must reapply in July.

The minimum salary for successful applications in June was £46,000. Theoretically, the minimum salary level for successful applications in July may only have to meet the next lower bracket of annual salaries ranging £32,000 to £45,999. However, BAL anticipates that the minimum salary to obtain approval is likely to be on par with June’s minimum salary level of £46,000. In June, applications with salaries under £46,000 resulted in refusal.

BAL Analysis: The additional allocation of quota numbers for next month is positive news for companies, in light of the recent exhaustion of quotas and the previous expectation that it would lead to more rejections in coming months. Companies should remain aware that the coming months are peak season for recruitment of new graduates and could cause quotas to be reached again.

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

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