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UNITED KINGDOM – Tier 2 General Oversubscribed

The monthly allocation of the Tier 2 (General) restricted certificates of sponsorship (RCoS) was exceeded in December 2017, for only the second time since the introduction of the migration cap in 2011.

As a result, the minimum required score was increased for applications in December 2017, a significant number of RCoS requests were rejected, and 91 RCoS were “borrowed” from January 2018’s allocation.


Affected employers may be able to reapply for January 2018 (the deadline for requests is 5 January). However with the allocation for January reduced by 91, there is the possibility that applications for lower-paid jobs will again be rejected.

Who is affected?

Applications affected are those made under Tier 2 (General) outside the UK only. Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfers (ICTs), graduates switching to Tier 2 and Tier 2 Changes of Employment are not affected.

How does it work?

  • Under the Tier 2 scheme, there is an annual allocation of 20,700 restricted certificates of sponsorship (RCoS), divided into monthly allocations.
  • The monthly allocations are higher earlier in the year (from April) to ensure that there are enough RCoS available when demand is high in the summer.
  • If allocations are under-subscribed in any month, the surplus is carried over to the next month.
  • However, if demand outstrips supply, a points threshold is triggered. Each application is awarded points based on salary and occupation.
  • Job at PhD level and those listed as shortage occupations are awarded a higher score.

Action Items

  • Affected employers in the UK should be prepared for the possibility of a qualifying application for a certificate of sponsorship under Tier 2 General not being granted on first request, and are advised to consult their immigration specialist.

The information in this alert was provided by Newland Chase.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2021 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.