The government recently announced that it has removed doctors and nurses from the Tier 2 (General) visa cap. The reason for the change is due to the demand of restricted Certificates of Sponsorship applications being continuously oversubscribed since December 2017. There is currently an annual limit of 20,700 Tier 2 (General) restricted Certificates of Sponsorships available each year.
As businesses are probably aware, a Certificate of Sponsorship must be obtained by employers wishing to recruit skilled migrant workers from outside of the EU.
On average, 40% of annual restricted Certificate of Sponsorship allocations were being used by NHS professionals.
Furthermore, immigration lawyers have found that the higher the salary, the more likely it is for a Certificate of Sponsorship to be issued. For example, although the minimum salary rate for Tier 2 (General) skilled workers is currently set at £30,000, the average annual salary required to secure a Certificate of Sponsorship was reaching £55,000 due to the demand in applications.
However, due to doctors and nurses now being exempt from the Tier 2 cap, applications are now being accepted for salaries which would have been far too low to clear the hurdle before the NHS staff exemption.
Official government statistics revealed that Tier 2 restricted Certificates of Sponsorship applications were oversubscribed again in July 2018. The figures indicated a salary of £41,000 was required to obtain one.
If your business requires further information in regards to employing skilled workers from outside of the EU, please feel free to contact our Immigration expert, Mohammed Hafejee, on 0161 7459170.