United Kingdom: Tier 2 General Cap Reached for the Fourth Time

As predicted, the monthly quota for non-European Economic Area nationals sponsored under the Tier 2 (General) Visa category has been exceeded again. Only prioritised applications for this category have been granted.

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Mar 26, 2018
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The situation

As predicted, the monthly quota for non-European Economic Area nationals sponsored under the Tier 2 (General) Visa category has been exceeded again.

A closer look

Applications submitted by March 5, 2018 for Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (RCOS) where applicants were to be paid under GBP 60,000 have been refused unless they are PhD-level jobs, a role listed on the recognised Shortage Occupation List, or were prioritised for other reasons. This mirrors the outcome of January and February’s quota.

Applicants whose applications are refused, perhaps now even for a fourth time, will be able to reapply for a RCOS next month provided the advertising undertaken by their prospective employer is still valid. There is no right of appeal following refusal.

Impact

Fragomen will notify employers of rejected applications and will discuss strategic options such as whether the application can or should be re-filed next month or whether other options exist.

Background

The current annual quota is 20,700 and a fixed number of spaces are available each month. The annual quota will renew in line with the new financial year on April 6, 2018.

The Tier 2 (General) Visa quota affects foreign nationals applying for a visa from outside the United Kingdom who will earn less than a guaranteed amount of GBP 159,600 per year or those who apply from within the United Kingdom and are switching from the Tier 4 Partner category.

Tier 2 (General) Visa applications are processed in a priority order based on a points system: shortage occupations are awarded the most points, followed by PhD-level jobs and lastly points are awarded based on salary. Applications can also be prioritised for other reasons, such as UK graduates recruited through a milkround, amongst others.

Looking ahead

The new quota will be released as of April 6, 2018 and there will be more RCOS available in April’s allocation. However, the quota has exceeded four times consecutively (December, January, February and March), and given the volume of re-applications, the quota could still exceed.  Nevertheless, applicants can reapply next month, provided the job advertisement is still valid. There is no right of appeal following refusal.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to londoninfo@fragomen.com.

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