Annual limit on applications for Tier 2 (General) of the points-based system
From April 2011, the UK Border Agency has announced that they will introduce an annual limit on applications for Tier 2 (General) of the points-based system.
An interim limit of 10,382 certificates was introduced on 21 December 2010 which included certificates for both initial and extension applications. It is important to note that any certificate which has been assigned to a prospective worker will be counted as used and will be deducted from the sponsor’s allocation, even if it has been assigned in error or has not been used by the migrant to support a Tier 2 (General) application.
It is however worth noting that applications under Tier 2 (Intra-company transfer), Tier 2 (Minister of religion) and Tier 2 (Sportsperson) have not been included in the interim limit.
All allocations of certificates that have already been agreed with Tier 2 (General) sponsors will remain in place until 5 April 2011, regardless of the sponsor’s current allocation renewal date.
The UK Border Agency have also set aside a small number of certificates for exceptional circumstances. A sponsor can request additional certificates of sponsorship from this reserved allocation if they are:
- an existing sponsor who requires additional certificates in exceptional circumstances during the period of the interim limit; or
- a new sponsor licensed during the period of the interim limit.
Please note that for a request to be considered, a sponsor must:
- be A-rated on all their sponsor licences for all tiers and categories when they submit the request; and
- the number of certificates requested must take into account any available certificates remaining in their existing allocation – if their interim allocation is not zero, they must explain how they have used or intend to use their existing certificate(s) when they make their request; and
- demonstrate that they have already undertaken a resident labour market test for any job that is not in a shortage occupation.
If a sponsor requires a certificate for an existing worker’s extension application, they should not make their request more than 60 days before their permission to stay is due to expire.
The UK Border Agency has stated that they will approve all requests for certificates for Tier 2 (General) extension applications. To qualify for an extension, the migrant worker must be currently employed by the sponsor and have permission to stay as a work permit holder or under Tier 2 (General).
Sponsors with a B rating
The UK Border Agency has further announced that all new sponsors, including those with a B rating, will initially receive a zero allocation of certificates. An existing sponsor who has been downgraded to a B rating during the period of the interim limit, their allocation of certificates will also be set to zero, until they demonstrate their commitment to make improvements by signing up to and paying the fee for a sponsorship action plan. It is important to note that such sponsors cannot make a request for exceptional consideration while they remain B-rated.
Hudson McKenzie can support your organisation’s requirements by making representations to the UK Border Agency and securing allocation of certificates.
If you have any questions regarding the above or need to understand how these changes will affect you, please send an email to one of our London immigration lawyers or at firstname.lastname@example.org.