As previously reported by Pitmans’ specialist Business Immigration lawyers, the UKBA are updating the list of skilled occupations set out in their Codes of Practice. This change means that there will be an adjustment to the arrangements in place for assigning restricted certificates of sponsorship (RCoS) in March, April and May 2013.

What is a RCoS?

There is an annual limit on the total number of certificates of sponsorship available to sponsoring employers under Tier 2 (General). For the year from 6 April 2012 to 5 April 2013, the limit applies to:

new hires earning under £150,000 per year coming to start work in the UK from overseas; and dependants of migrants who were last granted leave under Tier 4 (Student visas), where that dependant is already in the UK and wishes to switch into Tier 2 (General).

These are known as “restricted? jobs, for which a RCoS required.

Assigning a RCoS before 6 April 2013

A current or “live” RCoS must be assigned by 5 April 2013 otherwise, when the job classification system is updated, the ‘job type’ details will be lost. If this happens you will need to make a new application for a new restricted certificate of sponsorship.

Timing of request for a RCoS

The application process for a RCoS works on a monthly cycle. Each application made is scored against a set of criteria. On the 11th day of each month the UKBA will decide how many applications can be approved; this is known as the “allocation date?. The table below shows how the allocation date is adjusted for April 2013 and May 2013 to take into account the changes:

Click here to view table.

Urgent requests for a RCoS

If you urgently need a restricted certificate of sponsorship between 6 March and 18 April 2013, you must submit an application and request exceptional consideration to the UKBA.

Such requests should be emailed to Tier2Limits@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk. The request for exceptional consideration must be made on the same day that you submit your application otherwise your application may be rejected.

The UKBA have given the following examples of circumstances which might give rise to exceptional consideration:

  • where the UKBA has caused delays resulting in a newly licensed sponsor needing a RCoS for a migrant who is due to start work before the next monthly allocation; or
  • a consultant surgeon has been recruited and needs to be appointed immediately because they have patients listed for life-saving surgery before the next monthly allocation.