New visa rules good news for South Africans looking for work in the UK

 ·20 Jun 2018

The UK Home Office has announced that it will henceforth no longer include doctors and nurses in the cap on the Tier 2 Visa cap.

This is according to immigration consultants Breytenbachs, which notes that every month, since December 2017, the monthly quota for the Tier 2 Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) was reached.

“Many UK businesses that applied for Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) to employ non-EU workers were not able to obtain the CoS they require,” it said.

“When a CoS is not issued, the employing company subsequently has to wait for the next monthly round of allocations of the Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship. Furthermore, it is not only a waiting game, but they have to lodge a new CoS application for consideration each month to be considered,” it said.

“The implication was a growing shortage of staff at the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, as well as a negative impact on other sectors in the UK economy. Note, however, that certain medical professions are on the Shortage Occupation List, and were, according to the Home Office, never refused.”

Breytenbachs said that as of 15 June 2018, the UK Government has announced plans to exclude doctors and nurses from the Tier 2 Visa cap.

This means that in the future there will not be any restrictions on the number of doctors and nurses that can be employed via the Tier 2 skilled worker visa, and more international doctors and nurses can thus be recruited.

Arguably more important for South Africans is that the exclusion of doctors and nurses from the cap will free up other sectors of the UK economy, Breytenbachs said.

“Hundreds of places will be freed every month for other skilled workers applying for the restricted Certificates of Sponsorship, including; engineers, IT professionals, teachers and others,” it said.

“The annual quota for Tier 2 Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship is 20,700. The unrestricted Certificates of Sponsorship do not have an annual cap.”

Every month some Tier 2 restricted certificates of sponsorship are allocated. If the demand for CoS is more than the Home Office have available then applications that score, the least number of points will be rejected and have to reapply for the consideration the following month, it said.

“Where there are not sufficient numbers of CoS available to meet demand, the Home Office uses a point-scoring system to determine which CoS to issue.

“This system prioritises applications that are on the Shortage Occupation List, Ph.D. level positions, and graduate roles recruited through milk round. After that, applications for positions with higher salaries attached to them will score more points than those with lower salaries attached.”

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