A few weeks ago we wrote about how the Home Office’s Restricted CoS limit was reached in December and many employers saw their applications refused. Mainstream media has now picked this up and reported that as a result of this, overseas doctors were unable to submit Tier 2 General visa applications. With the Home Office announcing the limit was reached again in January, should we expect the crisis to continue until April?
Tier 2 sponsors must assign a Restricted CoS to new migrants who will be paid less than £159,600 per annum and will be applying for a Tier 2 visa from overseas. Sponsors are not given annual allowance in the same way they are for Unrestricted CoS so they must make an application to the Home Office each month which is considered at an “allocation” meeting.
Applications are considered using a points system and typically roles which are on the shortage list, PhD level roles and roles where the migrant will be paid a high salary are prioritised. In December, sponsors would have had to offer a salary of £55,000 rather than the usual £20,800 required for 21 points.
The Guardian this week reported that senior doctors were blocked from taking up their jobs because their NHS salaries were too low under the immigration rules. It learned that in the past two months, at least 20 doctors were prevented from taking up posts in departments including intensive care.
Whilst NHS salaries remain competitive, it is the Home Office’s threshold for granting visas which has changed. Applications for RCoS for doctors who normally would have been paid between £30,000 and £45,000 were rejected due to the salary threshold being increased to £55,000.