The Home Secretary has recently announced the Government’s plans to limit non-EU immigration and this is likely to affect all applications for Tier 1 and Tier 2 visas.
A permanent cap is set to be introduced from April 2011. In the meantime, a temporary cap is to be imposed which will see overall numbers between now and April 2011, reduced by 5 %. The criteria for Tier 1 visas (Highly Skilled workers) is to be tightened from July 19th by increasing the points threshold by 5 points.
The Home Secretary has also announced that the Government will be introducing an interim limit to prevent a surge of applications between 19 July 2010 and April 2011. For Tier 2, this interim limit will cover Tier 2 (General). The route for Intra-Company Transfers is not affected.
The interim limit will be implemented by reducing the number of Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) available to both existing Tier 2 sponsors and new sponsors who apply during the course of the interim period. The number of CoS you used in the equivalent period last year will be used as the basis of the calculation. The UK Border Agency expects all sponsors who used more than two CoS in the period 19 July 2009 to 1 April 2010 to use fewer for the equivalent period this year.
Should you encounter any problems in the limits you can contact the Sponsoship and employers’ helpline on 0300 123 4699.