The monthly allocation of the Tier 2 (General) restricted certificates of sponsorship (RCoS) was exceeded in December 2017, for only the second time since the introduction of the migration cap in 2011.

As a result, the minimum required score was increased for applications in December 2017, a significant number of RCoS requests were rejected, and 91 RCoS were “borrowed” from January 2018’s allocation.

Affected employers may be able to reapply for January 2018 (the deadline for requests is 5 January). However with the allocation for January reduced by 91, there is the possibility that applications for lower-paid jobs will again be rejected.

Applications affected are those made under Tier 2 (General) outside the UK only. Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfers (ICTs), graduates switching to Tier 2 and Tier 2 Changes of Employment are not affected.

How does it work?

  • Under the Tier 2 scheme, there is an annual allocation of 20,700 restricted certificates of sponsorship (RCoS), divided into monthly allocations.
  • The monthly allocations are higher earlier in the year (from April) to ensure that there are enough RCoS available when demand is high in the summer.
  • If allocations are under-subscribed in any month, the surplus is carried over to the next month.
  • However, if demand outstrips supply, a points threshold is triggered. Each application is awarded points based on salary and occupation.
  • Job at PhD level and those listed as shortage occupations are awarded a higher score.

Affected employers in the UK should be prepared for the possibility of a qualifying application for a certificate of sponsorship under Tier 2 General not being granted on first request, and are advised to consult their immigration specialist.


Please note that this is general information only and not intended as advice on a specific matter. Please feel free to contact Fakhoury Global Immigration directly with questions exclusive to your situation. This news alert may have been prepared using information from Peregrine Immigration Management, which is licensed to Fakhoury Global Immigration.