Tier 2 RCoS allocation
for May: does the cap
still fit?

The UKVI team that decides who will be awarded a Tier 2 Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship (RCoS) is due to meet today, Friday, 11 May.

The allocation or Tier 2 cap for May 2018 has already been set at 1,975.

Smith Stone Walters recently obtained statistics from the Home Office after a Freedom of Information Request, which showed that in April, 2,118 RCoS requests were rejected.

That backlog marks the fifth month in a row when requests were over-subscribed. Combine this with the smaller amount of RCoS available this month, and we imagine there will be another deficiency in supply when the figures are released.

As a result, many more migrant workers who plan to join a sponsor business in a non-shortage occupation will not be able to travel to the UK.

Last week, the British Medical Association warned that this system was ‘threatening patient care and safety.’ Once those in shortage occupations have been granted their RCoS, then the salary for visa applicants becomes a key factor. It has been estimated that the minimum salary requirement for a non-EU migrant this month could be as high as £60,000.

If that prediction comes true, skilled workers, including healthcare professionals who are desperately needed, will not be able to be recruited. Most NHS Trusts simply can’t afford to pay that level of wage, as it would place applicants for public sector jobs in the top five per cent of UK earners.

Madeleine Sumption, director of the Migration Observatory, said it would be impossible to anticipate how much more the salary requirement could rise.

‘The fact that the cap has already been hit this April suggests that demand this year could well be much higher than in the past few years.’

She added: ‘That would mean higher salaries.’ 

The Home Office responded:

‘It is important that our immigration system works in the national interest, ensuring that employers look first to the UK resident labour market before recruiting from overseas.

‘Priority is given to applicants filling a shortage or PhD-level occupations. No occupation on the Shortage Occupation List – which is based on advice by the independent Migration Advisory Committee – has been refused a place.’

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