At a Glance

As anticipated, the monthly quota for non-European Economic Area nationals sponsored under the Tier 2 (General) Visa category has been exceeded again. Only prioritised applications for this category have been granted.

The situation

As anticipated, the monthly quota for non-European Economic Area nationals sponsored under the Tier 2 (General) Visa category has been exceeded again.

A closer look

Applications submitted by January 5, 2018 for Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (RCOS) where applicants were to be paid under GBP 50,000 are being refused, other than where they are PhD-level jobs, a role listed on the recognised Shortage Occupation List, or were prioritised for other reasons.

Applicants whose applications are refused will be able to reapply for a RCOS next month provided the advertising undertaken by their prospective employer is still valid. There is no right of appeal following refusal.

Impact

Fragomen will notify employers of rejected applications and will discuss strategic options such as whether the application can or should be re-filed next month or whether other options exist.

Background

The current annual quota is 20,700 and a fixed number of spaces are available each month.

The Tier 2 (General) Visa quota affects foreign nationals applying for a visa from outside the United Kingdom who will earn less than a guaranteed amount of GBP 159,600 per year or those who apply from within the United Kingdom and are switching from the Tier 4 Partner category.

Tier 2 (General) Visa applications are processed in a priority order based on a points system: shortage occupations are awarded the most points, followed by PhD-level jobs and lastly points are awarded based on salary. Applications can also be prioritised for other reasons, such as UK graduates being recruited through a milkround, amongst others.

Looking ahead

Since the quota was exceeded in December and January, it may be exceeded again next month due to the volume of re-applications.