Three months into the interim cap imposed on tier 2 sponsors, businesses are now looking at other options to enable them to bring the best and the brightest to the UK.

The panel, consisting of three senior representatives from UKBA's sponsor licensing unit, a representative from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and a representative from the MAC secretariat have so far refused the majority of applications for exceptional considerations for new posts.

On 6 October, Penningtons held a seminar on 'tier 2 limits and alternative solutions' addressing concerns raised by employers. The seminar covered the following topics:

  • legality of the tier 2 interim limit and update on legal challenges;
  • applications for exceptional consideration and practical tips;
  • alternative solutions: tier 2 (ICT), tier 1 (general), tier 1 (entrepreneur), tier 1 (investor), tier 1
  • (post-study work), tier 5, posted workers and other alternatives;
  • challenging refusals; and
  • preparing for the permanent cap to be introduced in April 2011.

The UKBA is due to review each sponsor's CoS usage this month and to recalibrate sponsors' interim allocation depending on usage. It is not known what action the UKBA will take and whether it will mean a further reduction or an increase in sponsors' CoS allocation.