From April 2011, the government will introduce an annual limit on applications for Tier 2 (General) of the points-based system.
An interim limit will be introduced from 19 July 2010 until the long-term limit is introduced in April 2011. The interim limit will apply only to the number of certificates of sponsorship that an employer can issue. Applications from migrants will continue to be assessed as normal.
The Intra company transfer, Sportsperson and Minister of religion categories of Tier 2 will not be included in the interim limit.
What is the interim limit?
From 19 July 2010, the UKBA will introduce a limit on the number of certificates of sponsorship that each sponsor can assign to migrant workers under Tier 2 (General).
Sponsors may request additional certificates of sponsorship using a ‘Tier 2 (General) – request for additional or additional allocation of certificates of sponsorship’ form. This form will be published with the revised sponsor guidance on 19 July, and must be used to request additional certificates for Tier 2 (General) only. However, we 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.
Details of the UKBA criteria for assessing requests will be set out in updated sponsor guidance, which will be published on 19 July. The UKBA will give priority to certificates of sponsorship required for extension applications and shortage occupations
A number of certificates of sponsorship will be set aside for new sponsor licence holders.
Applicants who are in the UK in another immigration category and wish to switch into Tier 2 (General) will be included in the limit.
More information about the interim limit will be published in due course.
What will happen to my application if the limit is reached?
A migrant must have a valid certificate of sponsorship to make a Tier 2 application. If you have a valid certificate of sponsorship, you are inside the limit and your application will be assessed as normal.