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Tier 2 refusals: Full FOI data by occupation

16 May 2018

Download the full set of data from CaSE’s Home Office FOI detailing Tier 2 visa refusals by occupation

 After repeated attempts by Parliamentarians asking the Home Office for the data, CaSE submitted an FOI and can reveal the scale of Tier 2 visa refusals broken down by occupational code.

We are calling on the Government to act in the interests of the UK and fix this broken policy by exempting Shortage Occupation List and PhD level roles from the cap, so that we can stop refusing visas for engineers, tech workers, teachers, doctors…with job offers to work in the UK.

Data is below and the full spreadsheet can be downloaded. In future, this data should not be denied to Parliament or need to be forced out by an FOI but published by the Home Office in the interests of transparency and accountability to the public for the effects of Government policy. 


  • Between December 2017 and March 2018, 6080 Tier 2 (General) Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) were refused due the number of applications exceeding the cap imposed by the Government (the annual cap is 20,700 with a specific allocation set for each month).
  • Of all eligible applications for a Tier 2 (General) CoS: in December 36% were refused; in January 47% were refused; in February 48% were refused; in March 59% were refused.
  • Within the 6080 eligible applications refused a CoS due to the annual cap, were:

412 Engineering roles 
1226 IT & Technology roles 
197 Teacher roles (9 STEM teachers)
1518 Doctor roles
362 Other healthcare professional roles 
1815 Professional services
550 All other professions

This figure of 6080 is the number of applications that were refused, not the number of individuals affected as an employer could reapply the following month for a CoS for the same role.

Table 1 – The number of Tier 2 (General) Certificates of Sponsorship that have been refused in each month, since November 2017 as a result of the annual cap being reached. 
No of RCoS Refused01093138316481956     
Table 2 – The number of Tier 2 (General) Certificates of Sponsorship that were refused due to the annual cap in each month since November 2017, in each Standard Occupational Classification code.
SOC CodeDec-17Jan-18Feb-18Mar-18 
1121 Production managers and directors in manufacturing5691333
1122 Production managers and directors in construction123
1123 Production managers and directors in mining and energy11114
1131 Financial managers and directors3261021
1132 Marketing and sales directors8951032
1133 Purchasing managers and directors565420
1134 Advertising and public relations directors3581228
1135 Human resource managers and directors1010181452
1139 Functional managers and directors not elsewhere classified235515
1150 Financial institution managers and directors2226
1161 Managers and directors in transport and distribution11237
1181 Health services and public health managers and directors1113
1184 Social services managers and directors112
2119 Natural and social science professionals not elsewhere classified11
2121 Civil engineers515202161
2122 Mechanical engineers815101447
2123 Electrical engineers – Other electrical engineer (experienced worker)21238
2123 Electrical engineers – Power system, control or protection engineer in electricity industry847625
2124 Electronics engineers247821
2126 Design and development engineers1725332095
2127 Production and process engineers4381126
2129 Engineering professionals not elsewhere classified1720142980
2133 IT specialist managers687728
2134 IT project and programme managers2418213194
2135 IT business analysts, architects and systems designers43647786270
2136 Programmers and software development professionals88108128205529
2137 Web design and development professionals1217273692
2139 Information technology and telecommunications professionals not elsewhere classified37545864213
2141 Conservation professionals2215
2142 Environment professionals1113
2211 Medical practitioners – Foundation year 1 (F1) and equivalent 81713947
2211 Medical practitioners – Foundation year 2 (F2) and equivalent731076487331
2211 Medical practitioners – Speciality doctor and equivalent 42374045164
2211 Medical practitioners – Speciality registrar (StR) and equivalent 143214273346976
2212 Psychologists34411
2213 Pharmacists – Band 5 & equivalent81110
2213 Pharmacists – Band 6 & equivalent546722
2213 Pharmacists – Band 7 & equivalent37121133
2213 Pharmacists – Band 8d & equivalent11
2213 Pharmacists – Pre-registration pharmacists (non-NHS)112
2214 Ophthalmic opticians911121547
2215 Dental practitioners279927
2216 Veterinarians8118835
2217 Medical radiographers21227
2218 Podiatrists11
2219 Health professionals not elsewhere classified – Band 5 & equivalent25310
2219 Health professionals not elsewhere classified – Band 6 & equivalent48121034
2219 Health professionals not elsewhere classified – Band 7 & equivalent 6108731
2219 Health professionals not elsewhere classified – Band 8a & equivalent 112
2219 Health professionals not elsewhere classified – Band 8a & equivalent 213
2221 Physiotherapists18918
2222 Occupational therapists566623
2223 Speech and language therapists 36413
2229 Therapy professionals not elsewhere classified865827
2312 Further education teaching professionals11
2314 Secondary education teaching professionals – chemistry1113
2314 Secondary education teaching professionals – combined science (with element of physics)11
2314 Secondary education teaching professionals – mathematics224
2314 Secondary education teaching professionals – other subjects1015121047
2315 Primary and nursery education teaching professionals16213537109
2316 Special needs education teaching professionals1113
2317 Senior professionals of educational establishments243312
2318 Education advisers and school inspectors112
2319 Teaching and other educational professionals not elsewhere classified344415
2413 Solicitors3714191585
2419 Legal professionals not elsewhere classified345517
2421 Chartered and certified accountants6599126115405
2423 Management consultants and business analysts657888120351
2424 Business and financial project management professionals15223236105
2425 Actuaries, economists and statisticians536822
2426 Business and related research professionals5411323
2429 Business, research and administrative professionals not elsewhere classified1010101040
2431 Architects1117222272
2432 Town planning officers246
2433 Quantity surveyors279
2434 Chartered surveyors112
2436 Construction project managers and related professionals479929
2442 Social workers – Band 7 & equivalent266721
2449 Welfare professionals not elsewhere classified1113
2452 Archivists and curators12238
2461 Quality control and planning engineers38121639
2462 Quality assurance and regulatory professionals1311131552
2463 Environmental health professionals11
2471 Journalists, newspaper and periodical editors612141042
2472 Public relations professionals1119232881
2473 Advertising accounts managers and creative directors25293143128
3113 Engineering technicians11
3213 Paramedics11
3411 Artists11
3412 Authors, writers and translators343212
3413 Actors, entertainers and presenters2215
3414 Dancers and choreographers1113
3415 Musicians33
3416 Arts officers, producers and directors611111038
3422 Product, clothing and related designers344920
3532 Brokers242614
3534 Finance and investment analysts and advisers47232445139
3535 Taxation experts71012938
3538 Financial accounts managers643922
3545 Sales accounts and business development managers6067104109340
5215 Welding trades44
5434 Chefs112

Download the full data set