Tier 2 Allocation Arrangements

Immigration Issues – Tier 2 Allocation Arrangements

In response to the Government’s decision to reduce immigration in the UK, in April 2011 the UK Border Agency introduced an annual limit on the number of non-EU workers who can enter the UK to take up employment in skilled professions under Tier 2 (General) of the points-based system.
As a result, when a skilled migrant worker requires a Certificate of Sponsorship via Tier 2 (General), this will now either be categorised as “Unrestricted” or “Restricted” as below.

An “Unrestricted” Certificate of Sponsorship is required for those who require either:

  • Extensions: to extend the permission to work for a migrant who is already in the UK and has existing leave under Tier 2 (General) or as a Work Permit holder, that was granted on or before 5 April 2011.
  • Changes of Employment: where a migrant is already in the UK with valid leave under Tier 2 (General) or as a Work Permit holder and who wants to change jobs and start work for a new sponsor.
  • Those “switching” immigration category: a migrant who is already in the UK under another immigration category and is eligible to switch into Tier 2 (General).

A “Restricted” Certificate of Sponsorship is required for those who are based overseas and do not already have permission to live and work in the UK.  The process for requesting a Restricted Certificate involves an additional stage where the employer applies specifically for the single Certificate once a candidate has been identified following the recruitment process.  A UKBA panel consider such requests on a monthly basis, allocating Certificates based on the number of points scored for qualifications and salary level until the monthly quota for the UK is reached (1,500 UK wide per month at the time of writing). If the application has been successful, the employer then applies to the UKBA to request the formal issuing of that Certificate.  Due to the two stages in this process, you should be aware that this is likely to incur a delay in obtaining permission for candidates who fall in this category.  Further information can be found at: Employing Migrants


Should you have any questions on this process, please do not hesitate to contact your HR team for further information.


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