Tier 2 General (Work Permit) Temporary Immigration Cap Details Released By The UK Border Agency

How will the temporary Immigration Cap work?

Full details of how the Tier 2 temporary Immigration Cap will be operated will be announced by the UK Border Agency in the coming weeks with a new application form and guidance document released on the 19th July 2010. However, we do know that the interim limit will apply only to the number of Certificates of Sponsorship an employer can issue. Applications from migrants will continue to be assessed as normal by UK Diplomatic Posts overseas.

At the time of Tier 2 registration each Tier 2 license holder (UK Business) is given a number of Certificates of Sponsorship which it can use in the year to bring in migrant workers. The number allocated to a company depends upon business requirements. For example Tata Consultancy may be given 1,000 Certificates of Sponsorship to use in a year whereas a smaller business with a lesser requirement may be provided with just 20. Under the new system the UK Border Agency will introduce a limit on the number of Certificates of Sponsorship that each sponsor can assign to migrant workers under Tier 2 (General). Priority will be given to Certificates of Sponsorship required for extension applications & shortage occupations. It is unclear at the present time exactly how this system will operate.

As the Temporary Immigration Cap for Tier 2 General is believed to have been set at 18,700 for the remaining 8 and a half months of the financial year the monthly limits are believed to be:

  • 1,100 Tier 2 General applications in July 2010
  • 2,200 Tier 2 General applications in August 2010
  • 2,200 Tier 2 General applications in September 2010
  • 2,200 Tier 2 General applications in October 2010
  • 2,200 Tier 2 General applications in November 2010
  • 2,200 Tier 2 General applications in December 2010
  • 2,200 Tier 2 General applications in January 2010
  • 2,200 Tier 2 General applications in February 2010
  • 2,200 Tier 2 General applications in March 2010
  • Permanent Immigration Cap set in April 2010

What happens if the Sponsor reaches its limit?

If a Sponsor reaches its Certificate of Sponsorship limit it may request additional Certificates of Sponsorship using the Sponsor Management System, while the limit is in operation. However the UK Border Agency will only approve these requests in exceptional circumstances; the sponsor will need to show that it has used all its Certificates of Sponsorship and has a pressing need to issue further Certificates of Sponsorship.

What happens between now and the 19th July 2010

Between now and the 19th July 2010 Tier 2 General will continue to operate as normal, with sponsors allowed to issue as many Certificates of Sponsorship as they wish (up to their overall limit).

Although the temporary Immigration Cap should not have a massive effect initially (due to only a 5% decrease on last years numbers) the main problem may be delays in processing. Many companies require migrant workers to be in place quickly due to skill shortages and issues with service delivery. Every time the monthly limit is reached the scheme will be suspended and companies will have to wait until the following month.

The UK Border Agency will probably see a large number of companies issue Certificates of Sponsorship prior to the temporary cap.

What subcategories of Tier 2 will the Immigration Cap effect?

The Immigration Cap will only affect Tier 2 General. The Intra Company Transfer, Sportsperson and Minister of Religion subcategories of Tier 2 will not be included in the interim limit.

The Intra Company Transfer route of Tier 2 is responsible for around 45% of total Tier 2 approvals. International Companies such as Tata Consultancy, IBM, Wipro, Mahindra Satyam etc use the scheme to bring in many workers from abroad in order to undertake temporary assignments in the UK. The Government decided to keep the Intra Company Transfer route outside of the limit in order to avoid damaging international business. The Government is also restricted in its ability to limit Intra Company Transfers due to International Agreements including the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).

Will I be included in the Cap if I switch into Tier 2?

Applicants who are in the UK in another immigration category and wish to switch into Tier 2 (General) will be included in the limit. For example if a company wishes to hire a prospective employee who is already on a Tier 2 General Visa (UK Work Permit) with another company the worker will be included in the Immigration Cap.

When will the Permanent Immigration Cap be implemented?

The Permanent Immigration Cap will be implemented at the start of April 2011. Full details will be announced by the UK Border Agency later in the year.

Commonwealth Contractors

Commonwealth Contractors is a collection of highly skilled professionals from the Commonwealth and beyond. We partner with OISC Registered Immigration Partners capable of professionally representing a Tier 1 Visa Application / Extension and Tier 2 Licensed Consultancy & Associated Trust Partners who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor a doctor on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit).

To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0330 390 9021 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners.


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