UK Tier 2 Visa restricted CoS availability February 2020

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Sanwar Ali comment:

Tier 2 restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) are needed in most cases for employing Tier 2 General visa migrants who live outside the UK.  The employer has to have a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence before being able to apply for a restricted CoS.  It is also needed for Tier 4 visa dependents who wish to apply for a Tier 2 visa from within the UK.  The good news is that there continues to be good availability of restricted Certificates of Sponsorship.

From 6 July 2018 to employ doctors and nurses currently living abroad, you no longer need restricted CoSs. This was due to serious concerns for many months about skills shortages in the NHS, as there were not enough available restricted CoSs. Similarly, from 6 October 2019 you no longer need a restricted CoS to employ those in PhD level occupations. 

Following the first Tier 2 visa allocation of restricted certificates of sponsorship meeting of 2020, held on 11 January, the number of Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) available for February 2020 stands at 3,297, according to UK Visas and Immigration data.

Please note, there is a mistake in the online Government report.  The last two rows should provide details of CoSs for February 2020.  Instead the Government report says January 2020.  The chart below has corrected this mistake.

An employer with a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence needs to apply for Certificates of Sponsorship for immigrants they wish to employ. Under the current UK immigration system, unused Tier 2 restricted CoS to employ people who are currently based outside the UK, can be reclaimed after three months. This increases the availability of restricted CoS.

The number of certificates reclaimed as not used within three months for the month of January, totalled 254.

The latest, Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship allocation meeting took place on 11 January, 2020. All valid applications lodged by 5 January were successful, provided they scored a minimum of 40 points.

The breakdown of Tier 2 CoS for the month of January looks like this:

Number of Tier 2 Certificates of Sponsorship from annual limit set aside for allocation meeting in January.


Balance of Certificates of Sponsorship carried over from previous month (December).


Number of certificates returned during previous month (December).


Number of certificates reclaimed as not used within three months.


Number of certificates granted by exceptional consideration outside of monthly allocation during previous month (December).


Total number of Certificates of Sponsorship available for allocation in January.


Minimum point score for successful applications in January.


Total number of Certificates of Sponsorship granted in January.


Tier 2 (General – New hires under £159,600).


Tier 2 (General – Tier 4 dependant switching to Tier 2).


Balance of certificates of sponsorship carried over to February 2020.


Number of certificates of sponsorship available for allocation in February 2020.



The next UK Visas and Immigration allocation meeting is due to take place on 13 February, 2020. Once details of the meeting are published, they will indicate the number of Tier 2 CoS that will be available for the month of March 2020. can help with Tier 2 Visa Sponsor Licences and Tier 2 Visas

If you need help with a Tier 2 visa, or a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence, including help with complying with your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence obligations, can help.


For more information and advice on UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on 0344 991 9222 or at