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Education e-briefing - Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship Allocations

  • United Kingdom
  • Education - Briefings


The Certificate of Sponsorship (“CoS”) year restarted on 6th April 2018. 2,200 restricted CoSes were available in April’s allocation. It was announced by UKVI last week that the minimum points required for a restricted CoS in April was 46. This means tft the restricted CoS application must have shown a salary of £50,000 or more in order to be eligible for sponsorship under Tier 2 (General) if the job is not at PhD level or on the shortage occupation list.

This is the fifth month in a row where the limit has been reached. Although the salary required for a successful restricted CoS application has come down slightly (by £10,000) this month, demand is still very high. It is likely that the minimum salary limit will rise again as there will be less restricted CoSes available each month (for example, only 1975 will be available in May).

What are the options available for institutions who make an restricted CoS application and are unsuccessful?

1.Keep re-applying

There are no limits as to how many times a sponsor can request a restricted CoS for the same position. You must ensure that the RLMT will still be valid when you assign the CoS to the migrant (six months from when the vacancy was first advertised). If it is not, you will need to conduct the RLMT again before you re-apply. The same salary could be offered in the hope that demand will ease in the next few months – which is looking less and less likely - or sponsors may consider offering a higher salary in order to score more points. Sponsors may also wish to assess whether the proposed remuneration package may be altered such that allowances which are not currently considered part of an employee’s remuneration may be so. Care must be taken though as changes cannot go beyond what was advertised.

2.Seek alternative immigration routes for the prospective employee

Consider whether there are any alternative routes for the migrant. May an application within Tier 5 be an option? Are they eligible for a visa on the basis of their personal life?

3.Employ someone else

It may be necessary to give up seeking to obtain such sponsorship and employ someone else. Changing the way in which candidates are sought for roles impacted by this would be helpful; international students graduating in the UK and workers already sponsored within Tier 2, for example, do not need restricted CoSes and may therefore now seem more suitable for some roles.

4. Hope for change

We would not anticipate the salary required for a restricted CoS to be issued to fall significantly lower than £50,000 this year based on the current formula. Some types of work are therefore now effectively excluded from offering Tier 2 sponsorship. This does appear an unintended consequence of the policy and it may be that, if those impacted by the rules were to make a clear case to UK Visas and Immigration for change, that would be considered.

We will continue to monitor the allocation of restricted CoSes carefully and will write further about changes.

For more information contact

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