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Business Immigration

Limit hit by Tier 2 CoS for 4th month in a row

UK Tier 2 Visa Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) are important to businesses who wish to employ the services of non-EU/EEA nationals in the country. But judging by findings from the March Tier 2 visa allocation meeting, they are becoming increasingly difficult to come by.

From December 2017 to March 2018, the allocation of UK Tier 2 Visa Restricted CoSs hit its limit in each month – representing a record for UK immigration visas.  It was found that only 67 went unused from the entire 2017/2018 period.

Salary rate has become more of an issue than it has been previously. In most cases, the salary requirement which allows applicants to gain enough points has been around the £50,000 per annum mark. Uncertainty is already building ahead of results for April 2018, as employers wait to see if salary requirements are lowered for the new quota period.  However, it looks as though the limit will be about £50,000 again.

On a positive note for employers, Tier 2 visa or Tier 4 student visa holders who work for different UK employers are not included in the new quota. But the issue still remains of UK employers struggling to take workers from outside the UK on board, due to the slim tier 2 restricted certificate of sponsorship availability..

It remains to be seen how the Home Office will respond to the lack of Tier 2 CoS availability, with some labelling the number of declined applications as a ‘crisis’. It is possible that employers will be increasingly reliant on surplus Tier 2 CoS which are made available if not used by employers within a three-month time frame. These commonly number in the hundreds per month.  However, it is also possible that there will be a drop in returns.

While much uncertainty still hangs over the post-Brexit landscape, it seems the Home Office must act fast if it is to avoid even more disgruntled employers who are unable to attract the right personnel from non-EU countries. At the start of a new quota period, many believe that the time has come for action.

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