A Certificate of Sponsorship is required for all jobs that use the Tier 2 General Visa as the route of entry to the UK. The Certificate of Sponsorship provides the Home Office with the evidence required – namely, you will have a job to start when you move to the UK, and that job requires someone from outside of the European Economic Area to fill the vacancy (i.e. there is no one locally who can perform the same role). There are, however, two different types of Certificate of Sponsorship that are available in the UK: the Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship and the Unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship. In this article, we are going to break down the difference between these two certificates to help both employers and employees know which route is best.
An Unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship allows employers to hire those currently in or outside of the UK, but who are looking to take on a role with an annual salary in excess of £159,600. Alternatively, they will be looking for those who will be taking an inward investment post. Due to the nature of these roles, it is not necessary to subject them to the same conditions as you would for one that attracts a lesser salary. These positions are usually very high level (such as directors) and therefore have different eligibility criteria attached.
There are still some restrictions, however. For those that are currently based in the UK, there is the option to use an Unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship but with one major exception: the dependants of Tier 4 Student Visa holders. For these dependants, they must use a Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship and be included in the monthly cap.
There are some distinct differences between the Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship and the Unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship. The Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship requires you to make an application for one of the positions available under the monthly cap (there is an annual cap on Tier 2 General Visa Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship of 20,700 which is divided up into 12-month chunks). This normally involves making an application before the 5th of the month to get a place around the 11th. The employer will also need to apply the Resident Labour Market Test to a role that uses the Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship route. This means that they will need to verify there are no domestic workers who can fulfil their requirement.
The Unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship, however, is much more lenient, due to the applicant either already being based in the UK or earning in excess of £159,600 per year. For this route, the employer will simply allocate their Unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship to the prospective employee, making the whole process significantly more straightforward.
This depends upon whose point of view you see this from. If you are a prospective employee, there is likely to be little in the way of difference from a time perspective, but for an employer, the time difference is going to be very significant. Firstly, they will need to apply the Resident Labour Market Test to the role. This means the job will need to be advertised on at least 2 separate job boards (1 of which is the government’s own) and the employer will need to keep records for why any domestic applicants were unsuitable.
The employer will also need to apply for the Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship (if being used) by the 5th of the month to gain acceptance by the 11th. If there are no more positions available, they will need to wait for the following month to try again. This could mean several months from the creation of the role to the Tier 2 General Visa holder having the position.
No, the Resident Labour Market Test only applies to roles using Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship. The reasoning for this is straightforward: the applicant (for an Unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship) is either already in the country or will be taking a job paying over £159,600 per year. From the UK Visas and Immigration perspective, it makes complete sense to give these applicants a straightforward route to staying in the UK.
It may seem unfair to have almost a two-class system, but in the case of those already in the UK, it seems pointless to make them enter the same system as those who are coming from the outside. By already being in the country, they have already been somewhat assessed and are contributing to the country. As for those who are earning over £159,600, the funds they will add in the way of tax mean they are extremely sought after by the British government. While this may not seem entirely fair, it is the system we have.
If you need more help with a Tier 2 General Visa query as either an employer, employee or even prospective applicant, then please get in touch. Our experienced team can help with any and all queries and can help you to stay compliant within the laws.
481 ReviewsREAD ALL REVIEWS
Tier 1 Investor Visa - Business Immigration
Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind.
Indefinite Leave to remain - UK Settlement and
I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards.
Citizenship Application - UK Naturalisation
TI have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, i was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that i wasnt disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle thier case, contact Reiss Edwards.
Spouse Visa - Appeals and visa refusals
My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them.
Immigration Visa - Citizen of United Kingdom
The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help.
UK Settlement Visa
I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife�s UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly.
Cheap Immigration Lawyers in London
I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation.
Top Notch Immigration Service
Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them.
Best Immigration Solicitors
I used Reiss Edwards� immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them.
Indefinte Leave to remain - Individual Immigration - UK Settlement
It's a shame that you dont have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards.
Tier 2 Visa application - UK Work Visas
This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again.
I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle.
Tier 1 Investor Visa - Business Immigration
My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team.