On 4 March the Home Office announced that they intend to update the salary rates set out in the codes of practiced for skilled employees on 6 April 2014. At the same time they will replace the following Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) codes with multiple options to correspond with the various job levels within those occupations, as set out in the codes of practice:

2123 Electrical engineers

2211 Medical practitioners

2213 Pharmacists

2219 Health professionals not elsewhere classified

2231 Nurses

2442 Social workers

From a practical perspective, the introduction of multiple options for the SOC codes listed above will not prevent Sponsors from assigning Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) after 6 April, based on Restricted CoS (RCoS) applications submitted before that date.

However, the transition to the new salary rates means that the Home Office will adjust the arrangements for RCoS in April and May 2014 as follows:

  • Any RCoS granted before 6 April 2014 should be assigned by 5 April 2014. If not, Sponsors will need to ensure that the salary is in line with the revised salaries set out in the code of practice for the SOC code in question
  • Rather than accepting RCoS applications from 6 March to 5 April to be decided on 11 April, the Home Office will accept applications from 6 April to 16 April 2014 and decisions on these applications will be made on 18 April 2014
  • Applications for the May allocation of RCoS will be accepted from 17 April to 5 May and the decision will be made on 12 May. The monthly allocation process for June will revert to the usual schedule
  • If an RCoS is required urgently between 6 March and 16 April, an application must be submitted through SMS and exceptional consideration requested by email to [email protected]. This email must be forwarded to the Home Office on the same day as the application for an RCoS is submitted