close menu

Skilled workers visa hits UK immigration cap

by John Dunn | Jun 12, 2015
  • The government’s skilled workers immigration cap for this year has already been hit. This is likely to have a knock-on effect and cause a backlog of applications for the rest of the year.

    June’s allocation of Tier 2 visas, totalling 1,650, has already been filled, also hitting the yearly UK immigration cap of 20,700. The annual allocation of Tier 2 visas works on a rolling basis, so new slots will open up at the beginning of the month.

    If the number of requests for certificates exceeds the 1,650, a points-based system is used to decide who will be issued a certificate. Priority is given to those filling posts at PhD level, in recognised shortages and thereafter with the highest salary.

    However, the Home Office has already been forced to refuse many applications. Dominic Casciani, Home Affairs correspondent for BBC News, noted on his twitter feed that “among the visas turned down were applications to bring in nurses, doctors and teachers.”

    The Home Office has refused to say how many skilled workers visa applications it received and refused after the cap was hit.

    This comes amid recent announcements from Prime Minister David Cameron that the government plans to make it harder for businesses to bring in skilled employees from outside the EU in an attempt to encourage the training of British citizens and limit the hiring of lower-paid skilled workers.

    According to Immigration Minister James Brokenshire, the reforms do not stop businesses from employing the skilled migrants they need, but aim to make employers “far better at recruiting and training UK workers first.”

    Dissenters  to the reforms say that jobs and growth will be negatively affected. They have pointed out that, although it’s good for businesses to hire locally, it takes years to develop specific skills. Reducing the number of non-EU skilled workers limits companies’ immediate access to these skills.

    What does the skilled visa cap mean for you?

    If you are preparing to go to the UK on a Tier 2 visa, your application may be delayed and you will have to compete for the limited spots available each month. If your application is already in, it will be assessed as usual, but one third of the applications have already been declined.

    The best alternative for those affected is to check if they have another route to the UK, such as links to the UK via parents or grandparents. If this is not an option, we suggest sending your application long before you need to get to the UK to avoid delays.

    With the Tories’ pledging to limit migration, the government will continue to make changes that make it more difficult to get to the UK.  There has even been talk of scrapping the Ancestral visa, but as it stands this is still one of the most popular and easiest ways to get to the UK.

    If you have limited options or links to the UK, our advice is to apply as soon as possible before those routes are no longer available. For assistance with finding your best route to the UK you can email us at or call us on +44 (0) 2077597528.

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

    • Australia-look-see.png
      Everything you should do on your look-and-see visit to Australia
      Aug 12, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood
    • Porto cityscape
      10 reasons to move to Porto, Portugal
      Jul 29, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • Oxford-street
      Everything you ever wanted to know about applying for a UK Tier 2 (General) visa
      Jul 18, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • Australia skyline
      Landed a temporary job Down Under? Get an Australian working holiday visa
      Jul 08, 2019  |  by Guest writer
    • sydney-australia
      Australian visa processing times: How long you’ll wait for approval
      Jun 27, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood
    • British passport and citizenship approved
      British citizenship and indefinite leave to remain: Why you need to know the difference
      Jun 25, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • seven-corners-image
      The importance of purchasing travel insurance with a Tier 4 UK student visa
      Jun 13, 2019  |  by Guest writer
    • kangaroos
      Two new Aussie visa routes for skilled migrants
      May 23, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood
    • Passport-stamp
      25% of UK spouse visa applications are refused every year – make sure yours isn’t one
      Apr 02, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood
    • Mother, daughter and grandmother
      Australia’s new five-year parent visa – another way to bring your parents Down Under
      Apr 01, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood

    South Africa

    Cape Town

    Regent Square
    Doncaster Road
    Kenilworth 7708 +27 (0) 21 657 2120


    25 Richefond Circle
    Umhlanga 4320 +27 (0) 31 536 8843

    United Kingdom


    One Croydon
    12-16 Addiscombe Road
    Croydon CR0 0XT +44 (0) 20 7759 7514



    9 Yarra Street
    South Yarra
    VIC 3141 +613 (0) 8651 4500

    Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS Licence number 335 126).

    We use cookies to provide the best website experience for you. Using this website means that you agree to this. How we use cookies.