UK Tier 2 Visa shortage continues with 1,409 Tier 2 restricted Certificates of Sponsorship Available for Allocation in January

Following the last Tier 2 visa allocation meeting of 2017, the number of restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) available for January 2018 stands at 1,409, according to UK Visas and Immigration data. The department published its December report citing that its figures were correct as of 21 December, 2017.

Sanwar Ali Comment:

It remains difficult to obtain restricted certificates of sponsorship for employers with tier 2 sponsorship licences to employ people from outside the UK on tier 2 visas. There are many groups of people who are unable to switch from within the UK to a tier 2 visa. These people are mainly those who are on shorter term visas. Such people need to apply for tier 2 visa entry clearance from outside the US. One significant group of people who need to apply for a tier 2 visa from outside the UK are those who are in the UK on tier 5 youth mobility visas.

In January 2018 the annual salary requirement to gain a restricted certificate of sponsorship after completing the resident labour market test was £50,000. This is slightly easier than in December 2017 when the requirement was £55,000. Recently, there have been many desperately needed overseas professionals such as doctors and teachers who have not gained enough points to obtain restricted certificate of sponsorship and obtain tier 2 visas.

In the current situation more tier 2 visa employers may be looking at employing people who can switch from within the UK with an “unrestricted” CoS instead of a “restricted” CoS. This includes tier 4 visa students and tier 2 visa holders working for other employers. The last time that there was such great difficulty in obtaining restricted certificates of sponsorship was about two years ago. It is hoped that by April 2018 when the next tier 2 visa quota become available it will become easier to obtain restricted certificates of sponsorship.

An employer with a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence needs to apply for restricted Certificates of Sponsorship for immigrants they wish to employ who need to apply for tier 2 visas from outside the UK. 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 and made available for the month of December totalled 249.

The December Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship allocation meeting took place on 13 December, 2017. All valid applications lodged by 5 December were successful, provided they scored 55 points or more, up from the usual 21 points needed for an application to be approved.

The breakdown of Tier 2 Visa restricted CoS for the month of December looks like this:

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


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


Number of certificates returned during previous month (November).


Number of certificates reclaimed as not used within three months.


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


Total number of certificates assigned to Croatians in previous month (November).


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


Minimum point score for successful applications in December.


Total number of Certificates of Sponsorship granted in December.


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


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


Balance of certificates borrowed from January 2018.


Number of certificates of sponsorship available for allocation in January 2018.


The next UK Visas and Immigration allocation meeting took place on Thursday, 11 January, 2018 and indicated the number of Tier 2 Visa CoS that will be available for the month of February, 2018. can help with Tier 2 Visa Sponsorship Licences and Tier 2 Visas

If you need help with a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence or would like help with complying with your Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence obligations can help. Call 0344 991 9222 for further details.’s team of specialists has 30 years of experience in visa services, and have helped thousands of people to study and work in the UK.