Employers take action- Deadline to request for ‘Unrestricted’ CoS fast approaching
The UK Border Agency have announced that on 6 April 2011 every sponsor’s CoS (certificate of sponsorship) allocation for Tier 2 (General) and/or ICT will be set to zero unless they complete and return the spreadsheet sent to them by the UK Border Agency. Sponsors must make their request for allocation of ‘unrestricted’ CoS and send the completed spreadsheet via email to firstname.lastname@example.org latest by 17:00 P.M on 11 March 2011.
It is important to note that the spreadsheet must only be completed if the sponsor wishes to assign an ‘unrestricted’ CoS to migrant workers.
The UK Border Agency have further confirmed that sponsors you should not use the Sponsor Management System before 6 April 2011 to apply for Tier 2 (General) and ICT CoS that they require for the year commencing 6 April 2011.
So what is Restricted and Unrestricted CoS?
All migrants entering the United Kingdom from overseas for jobs which attract a salary of less than £150,000 will be categorised as ‘restricted’ jobs, for which a ‘restricted’ CoS will be required. This is part of the annual limit for Tier 2 (General) of 20,700 visas which has recently been in the news.
Applying for Restricted CoS
If a sponsor requires a CoS for a restricted job then they must apply using the new online application form. Applications for a restricted CoS will be assessed against a new points table and will be allocated to sponsors on a monthly basis throughout the year in line with the limit. Please note that the application process for restricted CoS will open in mid-March 2011.
The following have been categorised as ‘unrestricted’ jobs within Tier 2 (General) category, and will be exempt from the annual limit.
-Extension applications for migrants who currently have valid leave to remain in the UK under Tier 2 (General) or as a Work Permit holder that was granted on or before 5 April 2011.
Changes of Employment
-migrants already in the UK with valid leave under Tier 2 (General) or as a Work Permit holder which was granted on or before 5 April 2011 wishing to change employer.
Switching Immigration Category
-migrants who are already in the UK in another immigration category of stay and wishing to switch in-country into Tier 2 (General).
New hires earning over £150,000
-where the migrant will be entering the UK from overseas and the annual salary for the job is £150,000 or more.
Tier 2 (ICT)
Tier 2 Sports People
Tier 2 Ministers of Religion
It is however important to note that a CoS will still be required for an unrestricted job.
Employers must send their request for allocation of ‘unrestricted’ CoS as soon as possible and in any case before 17:00 P.M on 11 March 2011, failing which sponsors will not be able to assign any CoS to migrants at this point. Sponsors will however be able to apply for an allocation of unrestricted CoS after 6 April 2011 using the Sponsor Management System.
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 email@example.com.