Prior to December 2017, the monthly quota was only ever once oversubscribed and that was in June 2015. Since December 2017, however, the monthly quota has been oversubscribed each month.
The annual limit for Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (COSs) under the monthly Quota is 20,700, divided into 12 (unequal) monthly allocations. The Quota system is not a lottery system. Rather, Requests are scored, largely, by reference to remuneration. In April, there are usually significantly more COSs available for allocation than in other months of the year (circa 1,000 more) and so we would have hoped that the April 2018 quota would have stopped the rot with all Requests granted. Details of the exact points required for Requests to be successful have not yet been published. However, for those Requests assessed by remuneration, a minimum annual salary of £50,000 was required.
The Government has long focused on reducing net migration to the UK. Yet, they remain committed to welcoming the "brightest and the best". A heavily oversubscribed Tier 2 Quota, allied to evidence of a reduction of skilled EU migrants remaining or entering the UK creates the very real risk of a "Brain Drain". A solution would be to increase the annual allocation beyond 20,700 to say 25,000. This would simultaneously ensure that the UK continues to attract highly paid and skilled non–EU migrants without significantly increasing net migration. UK businesses must understand these issues and be strategic in how best to ensure they are unaffected.