In July 2010, the British government announced a change for the labour market access of foreign workers.



  • 1 harmful
  • 0 neutral
  • 0 liberalising


UK Border Agency. (2010). Immigration limit for Tier 1 (General) of the points-based system. Available at

Uk Border Agency. (2010). Immigration limit for Tier 2 (General) of the points-based system. Available at

Inception date: 19 Jul 2010 | Removal date: 19 Mar 2011

Labour market access

On 19 July 2010, the government of the UK introduced caps on the number of work permits issued to highly skilled (Tier 1) and skilled (Tier 2) foreign workers. The ceilings will be in place until 31 March 2011.

Within the stated period, the UK Border Agency will not issue more than 600 Tier 1 working permits per months. Excluded from this quota are permits issued to investors, entrepreneurs, and post-study graduates.

As a further restriction on Tier 1 work permits, the UK government raised the number of points necessary to qualify for the class of highly skilled workers. Until 31 March 2011, successful applicants will need to score 100 instead of 95 points. 10 of these points have to be scored each by the language test and the test on personal funding of the applicant.

With respect to Tier 2 work permits, the British government decided to cap the amount of Certificates of Sponsorship an indivual company can issue. The government imposes this ceiling based on the number of Certificates issued by a licensed sponsership employer between 19 July 2009 and 31 March 2010. Until 31 March 2011, licensed sponsorship employers may only issue 95 percent of the Certificates they issued in the base period. Certificate renewals for existing employees will be counted against this ceiling. The limit will also be applied if it reduces the number of Certificates to zero. However, the UK Border Agency administers an emergency pool of sponsorship certificates that may be tapped under exceptionalcircumstances.