17 / 3 / 2014
To sponsor an individual outside of the UK under Tier 2 (General) of the points-based system, for a skilled job that is not on the list of shortage occupations, you have to first complete a resident labour market test (RLMT).
Once the RLMT is completed, it will demonstrate there is no suitable settled worker already in the UK who can carry out the job.
Note to employers - exemption from advertising on the Jobcentre Plus Universal Jobmatch website
Due to technical issues, NHS organisations continue to be exempt from advertising vacancies on the Universal Jobmatch website to satisfy the RLMT until further notice. You will however be required to retain evidence that your advert has been placed on NHS Jobs for 28 days in line with original guidance. All other criteria remains the same. Please refer to the NHS Jobs website regularly to keep advised of developments.
About the RLMT
When applying for both restricted and unrestricted certificates of sponsorship (CoS) employers will need to demonstrate that they have carried out a RLMT unless the post is on the shortage occupation list or there is an exemption as outlined below.
Exemptions from the RLMT
Existing employees and switching immigration categories
The current exemptions apply to individuals who already have permission to stay and work in the UK in any of these categories and are switching into Tier 2:
- tier 1 (post-study work)
- the International Graduates Scheme
- the Fresh Talent Working in Scotland Scheme
- the Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme
- tier 4 as a student and they have received final results confirming that they have passed and will be (or have been) awarded a UK recognised bachelor's or master's degree, or have passed and will be (or have been) awarded a UK Postgraduate Certificate in Education, or have completed a minimum of 12 months study in the UK towards a UK PhD.
You also do not need to complete a resident labour market test if:
- the annual salary for the job is £153,500 or above
Doctors and dentists
Employers do not need to complete a RLMT for postgraduate doctors or dentists in further specialty training in the UK who need to apply for further permission to stay under Tier 2 (general) to allow them to complete their training after an out-of-programme experience.
If a postgraduate doctor or dentist in speciality training wants to carry out their out-of-programme experience in the UK, the organisation providing the programme must become their new sponsor. The current sponsor (usually the NHS trust) must notify UK Visas and Immigration that it no longer has sponsorship responsibilities. The new sponsor must assign a new CoS and carry out the RLMT.
When the out-of-programme experience is complete, the individual may need to return to their specialty training. The original sponsor must assign a new CoS, but will not need to complete a RLMT. It must confirm on the CoS that an exception to the RLMT applies.
Postgraduate doctors and dentists are given a national training number (NTN). The sponsor must produce this on request as evidence that the migrant was undertaking specialty training before their out-of-programme experience. PhD-level occupations are also exempt, Tier 2 (General) sponsors do not need to appoint a suitable settled worker when carrying out the RLMT for PhD-level occupations, if a migrant applicant is better qualified for the post.
Current advertising vacancies process
The RLMT requires that vacancies are subject to a four-week advertising period (28 days). This four-week period does not have to be continuous. Employers have the following options available to them:
- You will be able to advertise skilled jobs under Tier 2 of the points-based system for an initial period of no less than seven days. If a suitable resident worker applies, you can appoint them straight away
- If no suitable resident labour worker is available, you cannot appoint a migrant worker at this stage but must re-advertise for the remainder of the 28 days. If no suitable resident labour market worker is identified at this stage, then employers can then consider appointing a Tier 2 migrant
- Another option is to advertise for the full four weeks and go through the normal recruitment and selection process.
In April 2013 the prescriptive lists of media employers have had to use to advertise vacancies to satisfy the RLMT were removed from the Codes of Practice. Instead, advertising requirements and criteria for identifying suitable media are set out in Appendix A of the Immigration Rules, relating to Tier 2 (General) migrants. For NHS employers this will have little impact, in most instances you will continue to advertise using NHS Jobs (and Jobcentre Plus when the exemption is lifted) to satisfy the RLMT.