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Imminent policy changes to the Tier 2 Scheme for sponsored workers

16 February 2011

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has published  today a Statement of Intent unveiling new procedures to be implemented as of 6 April 2011 with significant changes to the work visa route. The UKBA has announced that:

"Under the new system, employers will have to apply for a certificate of sponsorship from the UK Border Agency for a specific post if they wish to bring someone to the UK - this is a change from the current system which gives businesses an annual allocation.

The government has also announced that employers filling a vacancy that attracts a salary of £150,000 or more will not be subject to the limit on the number of certificate of sponsorship that may be allocated.

The annual limit of 20,700 certificate of sponsorship will be divided into 12 monthly allocations. Due to the likely demand in the first month, 4,200 certificate of sponsorship will be made available in April. After that the limit will be set at 1,500 places per month. Any places that are unused each month will be rolled over to the following month.
In the event that the monthly allocation is over subscribed, certificate of sponsorship applications will be ranked using a points system designed to favour jobs on the shortage occupation list, scientific researchers and those with a higher salary. Once a certificate of sponsorship has then been granted to an employer it must be assigned to the prospective employee within 3 months.

Workers from outside the EU who want to come to the UK will need to have a graduate level job, speak an intermediate level of English, and meet specific salary and employment requirements."

The intra-company transfer route (not subject to the annual quota) will also be changed in 3 ways:
•    the job will have to be in an occupation on the graduate occupation list;
•    only those paid £40,000 or more will be able to stay for more than a year. They will be granted for 3 years with the possibility of extending for a further 2; and
•    those paid between £24,000 and £40,000 will be allowed to come to the UK for no longer than 12 months, at which point they must leave and will not be able to re-apply for 12 months.


Migra & Co is a private immigration company, regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), reference number F200900038. This website is not a government website and as such, we are not linked or affiliated with the UK Visas and Immigration. We offer expert legal advice and flexible tailored solutions to both private and corporate clients to ensure that their immigration needs are met. If you wish to download or prepare a UK visa application form, you can do so free of charge by visiting the Official UKVI website.