The Tier 2 visa cap has been reached for the fourth month in a row resulting in sponsors being unable to employ workers under the Tier 2 General category from overseas. UKVI data shows that the minimum points required to be successful was 56 – a stark contrast to the usual 21. Many businesses have been trying to secure Restricted CoS since December.
Tier 2 sponsors need to assign a Restricted CoS to those who will be applying for a Tier 2 General visa from abroad and who will be paid less than £159,600 per annum. The annual limit is 20,700 and they are divided into 12 monthly allocations. Last month, only 1414 CoS (1000 from the monthly allocation and 414 carried over) were available for allocation and due to high demand, the threshold was met.
When the threshold is met, PhD level roles, roles on the Shortage list and graduate roles recruited via Milkround are prioritised. Consideration is then given to roles where the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) has been carried out and a salary of a specific amount is offered. For example, last month the minimum points required was 56 which meant Restricted CoS applications which confirmed that the RLMT had been satisfied and a salary of over £60,000 was offered were successful.
Over the last couple of months we have received many calls from overseas doctors who had secured jobs at a variety of NHS hospitals but were unable to apply for their visas as their sponsors Restricted CoS applications had been turned down.
The new CoS year has started today which means that a higher allowance of 2200 CoS will be available at the allocation meeting on 11 April. However, we expect another rush of applications, especially from sponsors who have been applying since December. We will continue to report on this.