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Legal Updates

Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship and the annual cap

08 February 2019 #Immigration #Inward Investment

The Government, in its white paper last year, announced a proposal to remove the cap on sponsoring Tier 2 migrants. This cap applies to Tier 2 (General) migrants earning less than £159,600, applying from outside the UK or are already in the UK as a dependent of a Tier 4 migrant.

The cap, which is currently set at 20,700 per year is allocated on a monthly basis. These allocations are allocated on the 12th of each month, provided employers make an application by the 5th of that month. Any later than that, and they must wait until the next month, unless they have exceptional circumstances.

The criteria for this allocation is based on a points-based mechanism, the higher the points, the more likely the employer is to be allocated a Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship. The points are divided into two categories but for most applicants this depends on the salary the employees will be paid. The minimum points to apply for an allocation is set at 21 points.

Last year, on multiple occasions, the cap was reached. This mean that many employers were left without any allocations and were therefore unable to sponsor important members of staff. This led the government to exclude doctors and nurses from this cap which has eased the pressure on these monthly allocations for other employers. 

The post-Brexit immigration system promises a removal of this cap altogether. This is could be because under the post-Brexit Immigration System, EU workers will also be subject to the Tier 2 system. This will require a significant amendment to the current Immigration system and an overhaul of the ageing Sponsorship Management System. This new system is likely to roll out in 2022.

Clarkslegal, specialist Immigration lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Immigration matter please contact Clarkslegal's immigration team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

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Hamza Malik

Hamza Malik

T: 0207 539 8020
M: 07990 595 483


Immigration team
+44 (0)20 7539 8000