What are the criteria of the RLMT?

The Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) applies to the Tier 2 General recruitment process, and it intends to protect and give priority to the settled workers in the UK. If an employer would like to recruit an employee who is from outside the EEA, or who is not a British citizen or an ILR holder, the employer must complete a valid RLMT in order to prove that there is no suitable settled worker to fill the required vacancy- unless the job is exempt from the RLMT.

Exemptions from the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT)

The employer does NOT have to carry out the RLMT:

  • If the employee is extending a Tier 2 visa in a same occupation role with the same employer;
  • If the migrant is switching from a Tier 4 student visa to a Tier 2 visa;
  • If the job is on the shortage occupation list;
  • If the migrant is a high earner, which means his/her salary is £159,600 or above per annum;
  • If the employee will be an established researcher in a higher education institution or research council;
  • If the job in a supernumerary research position;
  • If the migrant will be sponsored as a doctor or dentist in speciality training;
  • If the employer’s business is in a high value inward investment.


Please note that if a Tier 2 (General) migrant would like to change job, he/she also needs to meet the RLMT requirement even if the job role is the same. In addition, if the migrant were to continue working with the same sponsor, but in a different role, the sponsor would also need to carry out a RLMT unless it is exempt.

How can the employer carry out the RLMT?

In order to carry out the RLMT, the employer must advertise the job on GOV.UK Find a Job and another job platform, such as national newspaper, professional journal, milkround, rolling recruitment campaigns, recruitment agency and head-hunters, or more likely a reputable online job platform.

The job advertisement must be in English and it must include all the following:

  • The job title
  • The main duties and responsibilities of the job (job description)
  • The location of the job
  • An indication of the salary package (including allowances) or salary range or terms on offer, the ‘Rates of pay’ section has more information
  • Skills, qualifications and experience needed
  • The closing date for applications, unless it is part of a rolling recruitment programme


The employer must advertise for the required length of time and the latter should be a total of 28 days in either one or two stages, each of which must be no shorter than 7 days. For example, the employer could run one advertisement period for 10 days, and later run a second advertisement period for 18 days.

Please note that the employer will need to review the details for each job applicant and decide whether or not the prospective candidate is suitable. Careful records need to be kept on why the applicants, if British/ EEA/ ILR holder, were rejected for the position.  Details for each applicant should also be available in case the Home Office decides to check the employer’s records or visit the sponsor.

The employer will be able to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) after completing the RLMT. Please note that any employment contract must begin after the end of the advertisement period.

For the further details on completing and assigning a CoS, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of the Tier 2 (General) visa application, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075 or contact us here.

The content of this article is for general use and information only. Since each case should be prepared on its own merit and in light of the constant amendments to the Immigration Rules, it is important to note that the information provided must not be relied upon unless Migra & Co has either given written consent or has been officially engaged in relation to a specific immigration matter. As a result, Migra & Co will take no responsibility for any damage, cost or loss resulting from relying on the information contained in this article, blog and website.

We remain open for business and can arrange meetings by phone call or video conferencing to advise and assist with any UK immigration matters.
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