The 6 April 2011 changes in the immigration rules will modify Tier 2 (General) by dividing Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) into ‘restricted’ and ‘unrestricted’ categories. In the restricted category, a cap of 20,700 will be maintained and 4,200 CoS will be available for the first month and 1,500 will be made available thereafter. In the unlikely event that there is under-subscription, the UKBA proposes to add on the unspent balance onto the next month. In times of oversubscription, priority will be given to points scored which applicants will have to match on a ‘new points table’.
Critics are calling this a reintroduction of the ‘old work permit scheme’. And to create more work for the agency, would be sponsors will have to apply for restricted CoS to the ‘monthly panel’ (and they will have to be shown the money of course).
The points system will give priority to occupations on the new shortage occupation list, those which are at ‘PhD level’, and then those occupations which meet the requirements of the RLMT (the resident labour market test). In relation to the salary spectrum, points will be awarded for salary bands ranging from £20,000 – 20,999 to 100,000 – £149,000: it should be noted that the higher salary bands will given further or ‘bonus’ points.
The CoS classified as ‘unrestricted’ will remain unaffected by the limit. These applications will include ICT (inter company transfers), existing Tier 2 migrants who are extending their leave, switchers from a permitted category, those who are provided for under transitional arrangements, those fortunate enough to be earning more than £150,000, and Tier 2 sportspeople and ministers of religion. The UKBA will allocate sponsors with unrestricted CoS in accordance with what the agency considers appropriate.
The new graduate and shortage occupation lists, which are compiled with advice and recommendations from MAC, may mean that many existing occupations on the list might be removed as they fall foul of the new graduate level requirement.
Language requirements are being enhanced and Tier 2 applicants will have to exhibit their competence in English at level B1 of the CEFR (common European framework for referencing).
Importantly, Tier 2 applications for entry clearance will not benefit from points for qualifications.
The above serves as a warning to anyone who wants to engage with UKBA’s bureaucracy. The British are an outrageously bureaucratic people and this point is easily made with just one glimpse of Germany’s equivalent of the UKBA – Das Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge or the BAMF.
However, the Germans have these really stupid tests only for Turks called “Wissenstests” which are really absurd. Perhaps British bureaucracy has its strengths; they most certainly have infected vast parts of the world with their vice. A personal request: it would be nice if maybe one day the Home Office could please stop making mistakes in sending documents. It’s about time they started getting addresses for service in immigration applications and appeals right: maybe the MoJ could provide them with an able person.