Tier 2 Of The Points Based System

16th February 2011


The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has today published a Statement of Intent that sets out how the Government plans to change the Points Based System (PBS) from 6th April 2011. You will find below a link to the full Statement of Intent, however the headline points are as follows:-

Tier 2 (General)

The Tier 2 (General) category will be subject to a limit on numbers of 20,700 in the year commencing 6th April 2011.

The limit will apply to Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) for those seeking admission to the United Kingdom as a Tier 2 (General) migrant. These CoS will be known as “restricted”.

The limit of 20,700 will be sub-divided into twelve monthly allocations. Employers who wish to sponsor a foreign national will be required to apply for a restricted CoS during the three month period prior to assigning the CoS. The UKBA will assess applications for restricted CoS once a month throughout the year and they will publish a timetable to show when these decisions will be taken.

As part of applying for a restricted CoS, a sponsor will have to confirm that:

  • The occupation is under the shortage occupation list; or
  • They have carried out a resident labour market test (RLMT).

In addition, the job must be a graduate level position and must meet minimum applicable salary requirements. The UKBA has today published a list of Tier 2 graduate occupations with their relevant SoC codes.

If the monthly CoS allocation (1,500 per month) is over subscribed, the UKBA will use a ranking system to allocate CoS. Applications will be ranked primarily according to salary level.

The following Tier 2 (General) applications will not be affected by the limit:

  • Tier 2 migrants extending their stay with their original employer;
  • Tier 2 migrants with valid leave extending their stay by switching to a new employer;
  • Those admitted in another category of stay and applying to switch in country into the Tier 2 (General) category;
  • Those seeking admission to fill a vacancy attracting a salary of £150,000 or more.

As well as applications for CoS to fill a vacancy that attracts a salary of £150,000 or more not being restricted, the UKBA will also not apply the resident labour market test requirement to these applications.

Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer)

Intra Company transfers (ICT) will not be affected by the limits.

However, ICT’s will have to be in an occupation on the graduate occupation list. Those ICT migrants paid between £24k and £40k will be granted entry to the UK for no longer than 12 months at which point they will be required to leave the UK and will not be able to reapply for further leave to enter as an ICT until twelve months after their last permission to remain as an ICT expired.

Those ICTs paid more than £40k will be granted leave for up to three years with a possibility of extending for a further two. However, they will not be able to extend beyond five years and will not be able to reapply to return to the UK as an ICT until twelve months after their last leave as an ICT has expired.

Employees who sponsor foreign nationals are encouraged to read the full Statement of Intent at the following link:


We will provide further detailed guidance on the changes to the immigration regime as soon as they are published. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact your Magrath representative for further guidance.

For further information please contact us at: Immigration@magrath.co.uk or on 020 7495 3003