New Tier 2 rules come into force


New Tier 2 rules

Below is a copy of an email from Lee Bartlett who is the Deputy Director (Sponsorship) at UK Border Agency. All Authorising Officers should have received a copy and understand the major changes to the rules before assigning Certificates of Sponsorship from today.

Dear Tier 2 Sponsor

Important information regarding Tier 2 (General) and Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) allocations

We wrote to you on 2 March to outline changes to the Tier 2 eligibility criteria and the introduction of an annual limit on migrant numbers from 6 April 2011. We also invited you to apply for an annual allocation of unrestricted CoS from this date.  Full details of the changes and the definition of restricted and unrestricted CoS can be found in the Sponsor Guidance which is available from the Home Office website.

Your Tier 2 (General)/ICT unrestricted CoS allocation

If you are licensed in Tier 2 (General) and/or ICT and you submitted your request in the correct format by the deadline of 11 March 2011, your request has been considered against our published guidance and you will be granted the full amount of unrestricted CoS requested. Your allocation will be updated and available to on your Sponsorship Management System (SMS) account from 6th April.

If you did not submit a request by the deadline of 11 March, your current allocation will be set to zero from 6 April. This means that you will not be able to assign any CoS to migrants at this point. However, you will be able to apply for an allocation of unrestricted CoS from 6 April using the SMS.

Any SMS requests to increase or renew an allocation in Tier 2 (General) and/or ICT that were submitted prior to 6 April will be cancelled. Your Tier 2 (General) and ICT allocation period, or ‘CoS year’, will run for a fixed period from 6 April to 5 April the following year. We will invite you to apply to renew your CoS year in Tier 2 (General) and/or ICT prior 5 April 2012. Requests for renewal that are received before the invitation period will be refused. You can continue to request increases in your allocation of unrestricted CoS using SMS throughout your CoS year.

Tier 2 (General) restricted CoS

If you require a CoS for a restricted job then you must apply for it using the new online application form, available from the Home Office website.

Applications for restricted CoS will be allocated to sponsors on a monthly basis throughout the year. The first monthly allocation of restricted CoS will take place on 11 April 2011. All valid applications for restricted CoS received by 6 April will be considered on 11 April. All valid applications for restricted CoS received after 6 April but before 6 May 2011 will be considered on 11 May.

Assigning restricted and unrestricted CoS

You must only assign an unrestricted CoS to a migrant in an unrestricted job.  If we find that you have assigned an unrestricted CoS to a migrant in a restricted job, we will immediately revoke your sponsor licence.

If you are granted a restricted CoS, you must assign it to a migrant within 3 months of the date that it is allocated to you otherwise it will be withdrawn. If you assign a restricted certificate for any job, salary or SOC code other than those outlined in your application, we will immediately revoke your sponsor licence.


Lee Bartlett

Deputy Director (Sponsorship)


Founder and Managing Director Anne Morris is a fully qualified solicitor and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

She is a recognised by Legal 500 and Chambers as a legal expert and delivers Board-level advice on business migration and compliance risk management as well as overseeing the firm’s development of new client propositions and delivery of cost and time efficient processing of applications.

Anne is an active public speaker, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

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Legal Disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct at the time of writing, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

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