Tier 2 Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS), which employers use to employ non-EU/EEA nationals in the UK, are scarce.

All Tier 2 Restricted CoS applications that employers lodged before the April CoS allocation meeting, on 11 April, were successful provided they scored 46 points or more. This meant that migrants had to be earning a minimum salary of £50,000. The pressure on the Tier 2 system is due to the drop in the number of EU/EEA migrants coming to the UK to work.

Only 1,975 Restricted CoS were available in the May allocation. Based on recent allocations, this will again not have been sufficient to meet demand. The Home Office granted 2,193 CoS in April. April was the fifth month that the allocation limit was exceeded. Employers across all industry sectors are urging the government to increase the cap amid a growing skills shortage.

Only prioritised applications, such as those on the shortage occupation list, PhD level occupations and where the salary is more than £50,000, will have had a chance of success in May. Figures to be released at the end of the month will reveal the true picture.