What is the change? Employers with annual allocations of Tier 2 certificates of sponsorship are reminded that the certificates will reset on April 6 and unless their renewals are automatic (for the same number as used in the previous year), they should be manually renewed.

What does the change mean? U.K. companies anticipating the need to sponsor migrants in an unrestricted Tier 2 category in the coming year should submit their requests now. Ad hoc requests during the year are accepted, but take eight weeks or can be expedited for a fee.

  • Implementation time frame: April 6.
  • Visas/permits affected: Tier 2 certificates of sponsorship.
  • Who is affected: New assignments and extensions under unrestricted Tier 2 categories: Intracompany transferees, high earners (above £159,600 gross annual pay), and students switching to Tier 2 (General) in-country.
  • Next steps: Companies are encouraged to submit renewal requests as soon as possible for Tier 2 certificates of sponsorship covering the period April 6, 2018, to April 5, 2019.

Background: The Home Office will review requests in accordance with the sponsor’s usage during the current allocation period, upcoming extensions and allowances for potential business growth where the company has provided strong justification. The request may be granted in full, in part or rejected. Employers whose requests are rejected will need to make ad hoc requests during the year when they have an immediate need to sponsor an individual. Ad hoc requests take eight weeks to process, or can be expedited to five to seven business days for a government fee of £200.

BAL Analysis: U.K. sponsors should assess their staffing needs for the coming year and submit any manual requests for additional Tier 2 certificates of sponsorship before April 6.

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

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