This month, the Home Office announced that they will be making some positive changes to the Tier 2 application process. The Home Office explained that they will be maximising the number of places which can be allocated each month within an annual limit of 20,700. As some may be aware, the Home Office have a permanent limit on migration through Tier 2 (General). However, in recent months, the monthly annual limit has been oversubscribed causing applications deserving of Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (RCoS) to have a high rate of refusal.
Application Process for Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship (RCoS)
The current system for allocating the RCoS is to award points based on job shortages, a PhD-level occupation and the salary on offer. The idea being that jobs which are in a shortage occupation should receive the highest points increasing their chances of obtaining an RCo and jobs with a lower salary receiving the least points. This means that for jobs under PhD level, a salary of less than £46,000 will cause the restricted certificate application to be refused.
Immigration law firms have raised issues with the Home Office in respect of the current table of points. In particular in relation to the salary as currently the point bands in the table are extremely wide with jobs paying £32,000 to £45,000 all scoring 15 points for salary. The Migration Advisory Committee has confirmed that it will consider new measures to increase the number of salary bands in the current points table and a revised table may be revealed this Autumn. This will narrow the salary gaps and appoint fewer points to jobs with a lower salary enabling the Home Office to maintain the high threshold for RCoS.
UK Government’s Consensus & Effect on Migrant Labour
The UK government are of the opinion that UK businesses are finding it easier to recruit from overseas, thus preventing British citizens an opportunity to apply for jobs. The government is therefore looking for ways to open jobs to UK citizens and restrict the Tier 2 system even further to sectors which not only have a shortage and require highly specialist experts but will now also have to meet a salary threshold.
This will aid the methods already in place by the government to reduce the demand for migrant labour, specifically: creating 2 million more apprenticeships, reforming the welfare system entirely to create a scheme where it pays to work.
What this means for UK Businesses
This change will apply to all businesses. The Government’s main thought process behind this is to restrict work visas to business sectors which have genuine skills shortages and require highly specialist experts. This thought process is in line with Government plans to reduce British business demand for skilled migrant labour and therefore cut net migration.
The high rate of refusal has meant that requests for an RCoS with a salary of less than £46,000 were refused in high numbers. This is going to place sponsors in a very difficult position as they will be forced to increase the salary for a restricted Tier 2 (General) role in an attempt to maintain RCoS and will be required to first re-advertise the role for 28 days at the higher salary.
Immigration Advice for UK Employers & Tier 2 Applicants
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified solicitors and barristers are ready to provide you with effective solutions to your business immigration needs. Our expert immigration solicitors based in London, provide business clients with a tailored service and are on hand to expedite the sponsor licence process. We ensure that we help you achieve and maintain an A rated sponsor licence and provide ongoing compliance checks to ensure you are aware of your duties as a Home Office registered sponsor.
To contact one of our Immigration Solicitors or Immigration Barristers please complete our legal case assessment form and we will get in touch or call us now on 0845 8622 529 for a free telephone assessment and free case assessment.