The United Kingdom Home Office is changing the Immigration Rules for Tier 2 Sponsored Visas effective July 6, 2018. The change is in response to growing concern within the business community over the negative impact the current immigration rules are having on hiring efforts for technical occupations.

What is the change to the Immigration Rules for Tier 2 Sponsored Visas?

Starting on July 6, doctors and nurses who apply under the Tier 2 (General) Sponsored Visa rules will be exempt from having to also apply for a Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship (RCoS). This removes these workers from the cap on skilled worker visas.

What is the reason for this change?

Currently, over 8,000 RCoS requests have been refused since December 2017 due to the available quota reaching its limit. Since December 2017 those with salaries below £50,000 have been unsuccessful in obtaining an RCoS. Applicants must receive an RCoS before they can submit a visa application. Thousands of doctors have been denied Tier 2 Visas due to the immigration quotas. The National Health Service has been pressing the Home Office to exempt skilled employees from Tier 2 visa requirements as the immigration quotes restrict their ability to hire medical staff. Starting on July 6, there will be no requirement for prior approvals, and a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) can be assignable to an individual following the completion of a Resident Labor Market Test (RLMT).

What is the impact of this change?

This change will allow the National Health Service to recruit talent from outside of the United Kingdom and European Union. This change in turn also increases the availability of up to 1,600 RCoS that health workers no longer require. Employers can use these RCoS for highly qualified professionals in other areas such as Information Technology, Engineering, and Teaching.

What should employers expect with this change?

Removing health workers from the monthly allocation should open up opportunities for recruitment in other business sectors under the RCoS. The business community is hoping that the minimum salary threshold will soon be reduced from the current £50,000 threshold, to further increase the availability of labor for businesses in the United Kingdom.

What should employers do?

Employers should review their hiring plans for foreign professionals in the United Kingdom to determine their eligibility with these changes. They should also monitor the United Kingdom Home Office’s future changes to rules. Changes that may reduce the minimum salary threshold below £50,000 would further expand the available pool of labor.


Global Mobility Solutions’ team of global relocation experts have helped thousands of our clients with country-specific employment and visa requirements. We can help your company understand how to gain the most benefit from the changes to the United Kingdom’s Tier 2 Sponsored Visas. Learn best practices from Global Mobility Solutions, the relocation industry and technology experts who are dedicated to keeping you informed and connected. Contact our experts online or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.

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Vice President, Global Services Tammy is responsible for GMS’ regional operations teams in North and Latin America, EMEA, and APAC. Tammy provides over 14 years of leadership experience in the areas of international assignment management, global network management, global consulting and business development. Her experience in global mobility includes new client implementations, policy and compliance development, global compensation and billing, vendor management, case management, and real estate home sale/purchase programs. Tammy travels extensively and studied abroad in Switzerland, Chile, Peru, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

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