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Tier 2 interim CoS quota reductions: a summary for employers

Please find below a helpful summary of the current situation, how it affects employers, and how we can help.

The UK Coalition Government has announced that from 6th April 2011, there will be an annual limit on (non-EU) under Tier 2 of the Points Based System.

In the meantime, since 19th July 2011, an interim limit has been in place for Tier 2 of the Points Based System.

Operation of the interim limit

The interim limit for Tier 2 is going to be applied by restricting the number of Certificates of Sponsorship that employers can issue. Before the interim limit was appplied, licensed sponsors were granted an annual “quota” or allocation of Certificates of Sponsorship that they were able to issue. The way the interim limit is being implemented means that, as of 19th July 2010, the UK Border Agency has (or is now) automatically replaced the existing Tier 2 (General) CoS allocation for all sponsors with a new allocation for the period from 19th July 2010 to 31st March 2011.

This new limit applies to new hires and extensions and is set based on the actual number of these certificates that Sponsors issued during the same period 12 months earlier (July ’09 – March ’10). If sponsors did not issue any certificates during the previous period, then they will not be awarded any certificates for the current period (regardless of the employer’s CoS usage before or after July ’09 – Mar ’10). If an employer issued two or more CoS during the relevant period, then the UKBA will take this figure and apply a reduction to produce the new interim limit.

Furthermore, any employers who hold a B rating, will be given an interim CoS allocation of zero, and will be unable to apply for any additional CoS before obtaining an A-rating.

New prospective sponsors will, by default, be given an interim CoS allocation of zero, and will need to make a separate request for a further CoS allocation, with, or following, their licence application.

What to do

If an employer requires any Certificates of Sponsorship (additional to the interim allocation) then they must submit a special request to the UK Border Agency. Such requests are only considered “exceptionally” and the UKBA offers no guarantee that any requests will be approved. Requests are considered by a committee of UKBA managers on the first working day of each month. Applications must be received by 25th of the previous month in order be considered in each monthly meeting.

Sponsors are advised to plan in advance and make any necessary requests for additional CoS allocations as early as possible.

UK Work Permits Ltd can help

We can help any employer to request additional CoS allocations in accordance with its needs. We can ensure that the UK Border Agency receives the information it requires, with justifications where relevant, presented in the most conducive manner to ensure that, wherever possible, requests are approved.

We work with most employer clients on Service Level Agreements, where we provide ongoing support in relation to sponsorship, and administer the Sponsorship Management System on their behalf. However we can also support employers who manage the system themselves, in relation to CoS allocation requests, CoS issuing, and of course, associated visa applications.

Please contact us now to discuss your requirements


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