For all Tier 2 applications made outside the UK, the University must submit a request to the Home Office and receive authority, in a monthly cycle, before issuing a ‘restricted’ Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). This is to ensure the annual cap of 20,700 new Tier visas granted is not exceeded. These ‘restricted’ requests must be submitted to the Home Office on or before the 5th of each month and authority is normally confirmed after the 11th of the month, after which the Tier 2 CoS can be issued. To meet this deadline, SIT requires ‘out of country’ Tier 2 initial CoS applications to be submitted by the 29th of the month so there is time to review and amend the application before submitting a request to the Home Office.
With effect from 6 October 2019, roles which fall under ‘PhD level’ job codes (i.e. Research and Lecturer roles) are now exempt from the annual limit on overseas applications.
As a result, a request for authority is no longer required before a Tier 2 CoS can be issued for an overseas application for a Tier 2 visa to undertake these types of roles.
This means that for Research and Lecturer roles SIT can now issue Tier 2 CoS for overseas applications as soon as they have processed the CoS application, instead of first having to request and wait for authority from the Home Office. Due to the volume of applications SIT still asks departments/ colleges to submit Tier 2 CoS applications two to three months before the proposed start date.
The restricted process and timescales for requesting authority to issue a Tier 2 CoS remain the same for overseas applications for all other roles which do not fall under the ‘PhD level’ job codes (i.e. those which are not Research or Lecturer roles).