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Proposed Changes to RCoS System

In today’s blogpost we will be examining the recently proposed changes by the Home Office to the limit the number of places allocated under the Tier 2 General visa category.

This proposal, prompted by the maximum allocation being filled for the last three months, seeks to change the way in which the application is assessed and looks to amend the Points Based System that will be used to determine how the Certificates of Sponsorship should be allocated depending on the PBS score.

The limit to the number of Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship was first introduced in April 2011. These RCoS are needed to sponsor migrants who apply for a Tier 2 Working/General Visa from outside of the United Kingdom. However, potential employees who would earn over £155,300 or more are not subject to RCoS. RCoS also needed in order to sponsor Tier 4 migrants who apply to change from a Tier 4 visa to a Tier 2 visa in the United Kingdom.

Due to the limited number of RCoS certificates being reached over the last 3 months, the Home Office has decided to introduce a PBS system in order to prioritise the way applications are processed. Points are awarded on a variety of criteria such as if the job is listed as a shortage application, the salary that it is linked to and if it is a PHD level job.

The number of salary bands have been increased because the current bands are quite wide e.g jobs that earn £32k to £45k score 15 points. See the revised table below:

Type of job Points Salary Points
Shortage occupation 130 £100,000 – £155,299.99 60
£75,000 – £99,999.99 55
PhD-level occupation code and job passes Resident Labour Market Test or an exception applies 75 £70,000 – £74,999.99 50
£65,000 – £69,999.99 45
£60,000 – £64,999.99 40
£55,000 – £59,999.99 35
£50,000 – £54,999.99 30
Job passes Resident Labour Market Test or an exception applies 20 £45,000 – £49,999.99 25
£44,000 – £44,999.99 24
£43,000 – £43,999.99 23
£42,000 – £42,999.99 22
£41,000 – £41,999.99 21
£40,000 – £40,999.99 20
£39,000 – £39,999.99 19
£38,000 – £38,999.99 18
£37,000 – £37,999.99 17
£36,000 – £36,999.99 16
£35,000 – £35,999.99 15
£34,000 – £34,999.99 14
£33,000 – £33,999.99 13
£32,000 – £32,999.99 12
£31,000 – £31,999.99 11
£30,000 – £30,999.99 10
£29,000 – £29,999.99 9
£28,000 – £28,999.99 8
£27,000 – £27,999.99 7
£26,000 – £26,999.99 6
£25,000 – £25,999.99 5
£24,000 – £24,999.99 4
£23,000 – £23,999.99 3
£22,000 – £22,999.99 2
£20,800 – £21,999.99 1

The RCoS application process remains unchanged and sponsors still will be able to use the Sponsor Managent System in the same way. The new changes are expected to be introduced at the RCoS meeting on the 12th of October subject to the new provisions being presented in Parliament.

One other change that is being discussed is the returning of unallocated RCoS back to the pot meaning that if they are not allocated then they will reenter the system thus increasing the number of available RCoS. Previously, the sponsor had up to 3 months to assign the RCoS before it would expire.

So, overall these new proposals basically mean that there will be more flexibility in granting the RCoS, that occupations and salaries will carry different weightings and that if a RCoS is not allocated then it is feed back into the system allowing it to be reallocated more easily.

What do you think of these changes? What do they mean for Sponsors and employers? Do you agree? Let us know by leaving your thoughts below!

Westkin Associates

5th Floor, Maddox House,
1 Maddox Street
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0207 118 4546

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