Looking at the latest statistics for allocations of Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship (‘RCOS’), we can see that the figures have differed slightly from November. As there are a limited number of restricted certificates available each month, it is interesting to monitor and compare the figures from month to month to be able to decipher the current situation. It also promotes an element of uncertainty as to applications as there is never a guarantee that when requested a RCOS will be issued.
The total number of RCOS available for allocation in December was 3,169.
1,866 RCOS were granted in December. Of this 1,844 of those were Tier 2 (General) new hires earning under £155,300 per year. The remaining 22 RCOS applications that were successful were Tier 4 dependants switching to Tier 2 (General).
The number of RCOS available for allocation in January is 2,803.
The number of certificates granted by exceptional consideration outside of the monthly allocation during the previous month has decreased from 117 to 29. The decrease in certificates being granted in exceptional circumstances demonstrates that less certificates are being granted by the Home Office in terms of urgent applications where delays could not have been avoided.
Certificates must be used within 3 months from which they are issued. There were 264 certificates in December that were reclaimed as not used within that time frame. This means that these applicants had failed to file their application for entry clearance with the Home Office before the expiry of the 3 months; therefore, the RCOS has become invalid and can no longer be used.
In terms of moving forward into the new year, the RCOS annual limit for 2017-2018 stands at 20,700, leaving 2,000 certificates to allocate per month between 6 April 2017 and 5 April 2018. The monthly figure however is subject to change, and will increase depending on whether there have been any applications in the previous month that have been unallocated or returned. Since provisionally there is a set number of certificates being issued, it is of the upmost importance that any RCOS applications made are in alignment with the criteria and score a minimum of 21 points. The criteria for the points system can be found in the Immigration Rules appendix A. There are multiple salary bands in the points table showing that the higher the migrant’s salary, the more points they will receive thus increasing the likelihood of a successful RCOS application.
If you require legal advice on this area of law, please contact us.