Changes to the Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) process for the April 2015 allocation

As set out in the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules laid before Parliament on 26 February 2015, UK Visas & Immigration are updating salary rates in the Codes of Practice from 6 April 2015.

The new Codes of Practice for Skilled workers has yet to be published but sponsors will wish to note the following points:

  • Any restricted CoS allocated during the January, February or March allocations should be assigned no later than 05 April 2015. If they are not assigned on or before this date, sponsors must ensure that the salary is in line with the revised salaries set out in the new codes of practice.
  • Details of the new salary rates for new entrants and experienced workers associated with the Standard Occupational Codes (SOC code) are included in the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules dated 26 February 2015. The revised salary rates include varying increases to both new entrant and experienced worker rates and the following examples reflect this:
SOC code Current annual rate New entrant Current annual  rate Experienced worker Revised annual rate New entrant Revised annual rate Experienced worker
1115 Chief Executives and Senior Officials £28,700 £47,500 £35,300 £52,900
1132 Marketing Sales and Directors £24,000 £40,700 £33,300 £47,900
2419 Legal Professional not elsewhere classified £29,200 £41,600 £33,300 £44,100
3545 Sales Accounts and Business Development Managers £22,000 £30,600 £25,000 £32,500
  • UKVI have announced an adjustment of the arrangements for the restricted CoS application process for April 2015 as follows:  
  1. UKVI will accept applications for a restricted CoS from 06 March 2015 to 07 April 2015; and
  2. The UKVI April panel meeting will be held on 15 April 2015.
  • Any application for a restricted CoS, submitted during the April allocation, cannot be assigned until after 6 April 2015. Sponsors should note that these applications will, therefore, be assessed against the salaries set out in the new Codes of Practice.

Changes relating to Tier 2 of the Points-Based System  

  • A change is being made to the 12 month ‘cooling off period’ which prevents applicants from being granted Tier 2 leave if they were previously in the UK as a Tier 2 migrant within the previous 12 months. The change will mean that the ‘cooling off period’ will not apply to previous grants of Tier 2 leave if the leave was granted for a period of three months or less.
  • Annual updates are being made to the minimum salary thresholds under Tier 2 of the Points Based System. The revised salary thresholds include:
Category Criteria Current threshold New threshold
Tier 2 (General) Jobs which qualify for Tier 2 (General) £20,500 £20,800
Tier 2 (General) Jobs which are exempt from the annual limit, 12 month cooling off period and the Resident Labour Market Test £153,500 £155,300
Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Jobs which qualify for the Long Term Staff category (maximum stay 5 years) £41,000 £41,500
Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Jobs which qualify for transfers of up to 9 years and are exempt from the cooling-off period £153,500 £155,300
Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Jobs which qualify for the Short Term Staff or Graduate Trainee categories (maximum stay 12 months) or under the Skills Transfer category (Maximum stay 6 months). £24,500 £24,800

For more information about any of these changes, please contact Marian Dixon.

About the author

Matthew Davies Partner

Matthew is an expert in business immigration law, advising employers, business people and investors on how best to navigate the complexities of the UK’s immigration rules and minimising delays, costs and risks in hiring talent from overseas.