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UNITED KINGDOM - Tier 2 General Quota Oversubscribed for Five Consecutive Months

The monthly allocation of the Tier 2 General Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (RCoS) has been exceeded for the fifth consecutive month.


Skilled workers applying to come to the UK under the Tier 2 General route are subject to a monthly quota.

There is an annual limit of 20,700 places which is divided into 12 monthly allocations with a higher number of places available between April and September.

March has the lowest allocation at only 1000 places, compared with 2,200 available in April.

Application Process

To apply as part of a monthly quota, licenced sponsors are required to submit a request for an RCoS. The deadline for requests is the 5th of the month, with decisions being made from the 11th of the same month onwards.

Shortage Occupation and PhD level roles are given priority while the remaining requests are prioritised based on salary.

If a number of requests in a particular salary band exceeds the remaining number of places, all of those requests are refused and the unused quota is added to the following month's RCoS allocation.

Current Situation

With the exception of July 2015 when the monthly quota was oversubscribed for the first time since the points-based system was introduced in 2008, the allocation process had presented little to no challenge until December 2017 when the quota was exceeded again.

From December 2017, the monthly quota has been oversubscribed every month and only RCoS requests for roles with a salary upwards of £50,000 were granted.

As the months of December – March have fewer places available, it had been hoped that the tendency would end in April 2018 and roles paying below £50,000 would finally overcome the quota hurdle.

Unfortunately, this has not happened and although the official Home Office data is yet to be published, it appears that the minimum salary threshold for this month will be above £50,000.

Action Items

  • Considering that the monthly allocation is set to reduce over the coming months, employers should prepare for the possibility that those paid lower salaries will not be able to come to the UK under the Tier 2 General route for the foreseeable future.

This news alert was prepared with information provided by Ferguson Snell and 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.