• Tier 2 General Cap Reached for the Fifth Time
  • April 26, 2018

  • 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 predicted, 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 April 5, 2018 for Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (RCOS) where applicants were to be paid under GBP 50,000 have been refused unless they are PhD-level jobs, a role listed on the recognised Shortage Occupation List, or were prioritised for other reasons. This mirrors the outcome for the last five months.

    Applicants whose applications are refused, perhaps now even for a fifth time, 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 refiled next month or whether other options exist.

    Background

    The annual quota of 20,700 renewed this month 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

    Although the new quota was released on April 6 and there were more RCOS available this month, given that the quota has been exceeded five times consecutively (December, January, February March and April), and due to the volume of re-applications the quota is highly likely to continue to be exceeded. Nevertheless, applicants can reapply next month, provided the job advertisement is still valid. There is no right of appeal following refusal.