For the first time since July 2015, the Home Office’s monthly Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) limit was reached and many employers saw their applications refused. Data published on the government’s website shows that 1,527 applications were granted. Successful applications had to score a minimum of 55 points as opposed to the usual 21 points (see data for previous months).
We understand from our clients that if they scored 55 points or above, UKVI wrote to them asking for job descriptions for the roles and evidence that the Resident Labour Market Test was carried out (if it was not exempt). Such applications have been put on hold rather than rejected.
There are currently 1,409 Restricted CoS available for allocation in January 2018 (to be considered in allocation meeting on Thursday). There is a risk that the cap will be reached again in January, February and March. For the best chance of success, employers would need to offer a higher salary to the migrant. PhD level roles and those on the shortage list are prioritised.
Employers should also be prepared for delays to work start dates. Once the candidate has been assigned a CoS, they will need to apply for their entry clearance visa. Employers may wish to advise candidates to submit their applications via priority/premium services should they be required to begin work immediately.
Tier 2 Cap
Between 6 April 2017 and 5 April 2018, there are a limited number of Restricted CoS available to Tier 2 General sponsors each month. The annual limit is 20,700 and they are divided into 12 monthly allocations.