Resident Labour Market Test

map north west

18 / 3 / 2016 Midday

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. 

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 £155,300 (£153,500 if recruitment took place prior to 6 April 2015) or above.

Doctors and dentists

Employers do not need to complete a RLMT for postgraduate doctors or dentists in further speciality 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.

Advertising requirements and criteria for identifying suitable media are set out in Appendix A of the Immigration Rules, relating to Tier 2 (General) migrants. 

An automatic transfer exists so that vacancies advertised on NHS Jobs will also be listed on the Universal Jobmatch (UJM) website. Please note that it can take up to two working days for the job advert to appear on the UJM website. Employers will need to obtain a screenshot that shows the vacancy details and closing date on the UJM website as part of their RLMT evidence (an NHS Jobs screenshot should also be used if the closing date is not visible on UJM). Once the job advert closes it will no longer be available on the UJM website and so it is important to obtain a screenshot for evidence whilst it is live on the UJM websitesite.

Employers no longer have to advertise specifically on UJM for positions that attract an annual salary of £72,500 or more. However, in most instances employers will continue to advertise using NHS Jobs and UJM to satisfy the RLMT.

Please see our news page for more information on the link between NHS Jobs and UJM.

Latest Tweets

Why Register?

Great reasons to register with NHS Employers

  • A personalised website
    Manage your profile and select topics of interest to you
  • Access your dashboard
    Bookmark useful content to help you quickly find what you're looking for
  • Get involved
    Contribute to our Talking Points discussions, comment on and rate our webpages
  • Keep up to date
    Receive the latest newsletters and media summaries

Sounds great, what next?

Register Now

Not now, I will register later

Log In