Unused unrestricted Tier 2 Certificates of Sponsorship (‘CoS’) held by sponsors expire on 5 April each year. This is known as the Tier 2 CoS annual allocation process.
It is important that Tier 2 sponsors carry out a review to assess how many unrestricted CoS they are likely to need to assign during the 12 months from 6 April to 5 April. If they will need to assign unrestricted CoS, they should apply for a new annual allocation before 5 April using the Sponsor Management System (SMS).
Who to include?
Sponsors only need to apply for a new unrestricted Tier 2 CoS annual allocation if they believe that they may need to issue unrestricted CoS during next year’s cycle to a migrant who:
- is already in the UK, sponsored under Tier 2 (General), and will need to extend their leave to remain;
- is in the UK in a different category and is eligible to switch into Tier 2 (General) (other than those who hold leave as a dependant of a Tier 4 migrant);
- will be a high earner – i.e. their annual salary will be at least £159,600;
- will work in a PhD level role;
- will work in a nursing role covered by SOC code 2231;
- will work as a medical doctor covered by SOC code 2211; or
- will transfer to the UK under the ‘high value inward investment’ provisions set out in the Sponsor Guidance.
Requests for a new Tier 2 CoS annual allocation should include justification for the number of CoS required.
Sponsors can also request additional unrestricted CoS throughout the year should the need arise.
Should EU/EEA employees be included in the Tier 2 CoS annual allocation calculation?
Stage 1 plans for the new points-based system have now been published. These confirm that EU/EEA citizens who will be moving to the UK from January 2021 for work purposes will need to be sponsored, unless they are eligible to apply for another visa that permits work (i.e. Global Talent, spouse visas, etc.).
At the moment, we are waiting for more specific plans. However, based on the information currently available, we would recommend that Tier 2 sponsors include EU/EEA citizens who they know will need to be sponsored and who, under the current system, would need an unrestricted CoS assigned between 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021.
EU citizens who have moved to the UK before 1 January 2021 for work, or any other purpose, are eligible to enter and then submit an application, by 30 June 2021, under the EU Settlement Scheme.
How we can assist
If you need advice or assistance in managing your Tier 2 CoS annual allocation request, please contact us or complete our enquiry form below.