Statement Of Intent Published For Tier 2 - 16 February 2011

An annual quota of 20,700 Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) for Tier 2 (General) migrants and 1,000 Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) migrants will commence on 6 April 2011 until April 2012. While detailed immigration rules and formal guidance will not be published until mid March, this Statement of Intent represents the Governments current plans and they are unlikely to change. The Statement of Intent can be read in full by clicking here. This Law Now summarises the key changes for Sponsors and employees including;

Who is covered by the quota? How the quota will work in practice Restricted and Unrestricted Certificates of Sponsorship Who does the quota apply to?

Tier 2 (General) migrants i.e. "new hires" who are coming to the UK from overseas. Who is exempt from the quota?

Intra Company Transfers ("ICTs") – employees with at least 12 months experience with the group overseas Tier 2 migrants extending their stay with their current employer Tier 2 migrants switching to a new employer. However, for those coming to the UK after 6 April 2011, the in-country exemption will only apply to Tier 2 (General) migrants as Tier 2 (ICT) migrants will not be permitted to switch in-country to Tier 2 (General). Example:

Employee has a CoS with Sponsor A under Tier 2 (ICT) granted May 2011. In September 2011 he wishes to move to Sponsor B which requires a Tier 2 (General) permission. He cannot switch while he is in the UK. He will have to leave the UK to apply from overseas and will therefore be subject to the quota (unless exempt because of salary).

Those admitted in another immigration category e.g. Tier 1 (General), Tier 4 (General) i.e. (student), Tier 1 (Post study work). Those earning salary of at least £150,000. Please note that the Resident Labour Market Test ("RLMT") will not be required for these applications. How will this quota system work in practice?

Certificates of Sponsorship will be divided in to 2 categories;

  1. Unrestricted CoS

    All CoS which fall outside the quota will be classified as "unrestricted". Sponsors will shortly be contacted, as under the current system, by the UKBA to request an initial allocation of unrestricted CoS which will then be shown on the Sponsor Management System. There will be an ability to request additional CoS during the course of the year.

  2. Restricted CoS – Tier 2 (General)

    These are CoS which fall within the quota. Unlike the current system, a Sponsor will not have a number of restricted CoS allocated to it...

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