In order for an individual to make a valid application under Tier 2 (General), a sponsor must first assign the correct type of Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to them. Senior associate, Jessica Walker looks at what a Restricted CoS is.
There are two different types of CoS that a sponsor is able to assign, a restricted CoS and an unrestricted CoS. If a sponsor assigns an unrestricted CoS where a restricted CoS is required, the Home Office may revoke the sponsor’s licence. It is therefore important that anyone assigning CoS knows when each should be used.
Restricted CoS application process
Restricted CoS are named as such because there are a limited number available each year. The annual limit is 20,700 which is broken down on a monthly basis. The exact breakdown for each month can be found within the Tier 2 and 5 Sponsor Guidance.
Whilst the limit is not frequently reached, because one currently exists, there is no guarantee that an application for a restricted CoS will be successful if more applications are received than the number available.
Any sponsor that requires a restricted CoS must make an application to the Home Office by the close of business on the 5th day of the month that it is required. Applications will be decided on or shortly after the 11th.
Applications for restricted CoS are decided on a points system, with those scoring a higher number of points more likely to be successful than those scoring a lower number of points if the limit is reached.
One point is awarded for each £1,000 of gross annual salary up to a maximum of £160,000, with extra points being available for roles on the Shortage Occupation List or PhD level roles.
If the Tier 2 (General) limit is reached in any month and an application for a restricted CoS is rejected due to this, a sponsor can reapply the following month.
Who needs a Restricted CoS
Restricted CoS are generally to be assigned to those who are currently overseas or to those who are in the UK as the dependant of a Tier 4 student.
There are some exceptions. Those who are overseas and who will be paid an annual salary of at least £159,600, or who are applying to enter the UK to work in a PhD level role, as a doctor or as a nurse, will require an unrestricted CoS.
How we can help
Our immigration experts are able to provide advice and guidance in relation to the CoS application process and any other area of sponsorship and compliance. If you are looking to sponsor an individual and have questions regarding this, or any other area of sponsorship, our team would be pleased to assist and can be contacted here.