To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the reasons were for the December 2017 increase to the minimum points threshold for Tier 2 certificates of sponsorship; what the annual quota for such certificates is; and what assessment her Department has made of the adequacy of provision of such certificates for private sector employers wising to hire non-EU staff.
Tier 2, our main immigration route for non-EEA workers, operates an annual cap of 20,700 places per year. The cap, which was set on advice from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), ensures that the Government can control migration and encourages employers to look first to the domestic workforce before recruiting from overseas.
Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship – which are places within the cap – are allocated by points scores. When demand exceeds available places, priority, and the highest number of points, is awarded to occupations in national shortage first. The higher minimum points score in December 2017 was due to a rise in demand.
We keep all of our immigration routes under review.