The removal of doctors and nurses from the monthly Tier 2 Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship (RCoS) allocation has reduced the minimum points threshold of July to 41, the lowest since December 2017.
For the last eight consecutive months the number of RCoS applications made has surpassed the monthly limit, resulting in thousands of refusals. We have previously covered this here.
On 15 June 2018, the Home Office announced its intention to exclude doctors and nurses from the monthly allocation of RCoS in order to relieve some of the pressure on the Tier 2 (General) system.
It was hoped that relaxing the Immigration Rules in this way would not only allow the health sector to recruit necessary medical professionals, but it would also free up more RCoS for other sectors, eventually lowering the minimum points threshold.
However, the data released by the Home Office on 27 July 2018 confirms that, once again, the limit has been reached. Some good news is that the points threshold has decreased from 60 points in June to 41 points in July. This means that, in general, applications in relation to roles with remuneration of at least £41,000 will have been approved whereas previously, much higher remuneration levels were needed.
Although July has seen the lowest points threshold since December 2017, this also means that the Tier 2 (General) system continues to be oversubscribed for the eighth consecutive month.
Where the Resident Labour Market Test remains valid, there is nothing to stop a sponsor from resubmitting an application and we are expecting to see a further decline in the minimum points threshold, meaning that more applications are likely to be approved, as the backlog of applications works its way through the system. At a recent Home Office forum we attended, officials were confident that the cap would cease to be reached in the next few months.
If you require legal advice on this aspect of sponsorship or would just like to discuss your situation with one of our experts, please contact us.