Tier 2: Resident Labour Market Test

If you are a UK employer and you want to recruit a skilled worker from outside the European Economic Area on a Tier 2 (General) visa, you must normally complete a Resident Labour Market Test – unless the job to be filled is on the UK's Shortage Occupation List.

The Resident Labour Market Test requires employers to prove to UK Visas and Immigration that no native or resident UK worker is available for the role. To do this employers must advertise the job to UK workers in specific ways.

This guide is split into the following sections:

  • Completing a valid Resident Labour Market Test
     
  • Exemptions from the Resident Labour Market Test
     
  • Jobs advertised with the Jobcentre Plus
     
  • Exceptions to the Jobcentre Plus rule
     
  • Methods of advertising a vacancy
     
  • After the Resident Labour Market test

Completing a valid Resident Labour Market Test

To complete a satisfactory Resident Labour Market Test you must, in most cases

  • Advertise in the UK in two places which are suitable for the industry and job in question
     

  • Include the following in the advert:

    • The job title
       

    • Main duties and responsibilities of the job
       

    • The location
       

    • Salary package or range
       

    • Necessary skills, qualifications and experience
       

    • Closing date for applications. For rolling recruitment programmes the advertisement must show the period the programme will run for.

  • Advertise for the required length of time: a total of 28 days in either one or two stages, each of which must be no shorter than 7 days. For example, you could run one advertisement period for 10 days, and later run a second advertisement period for 18 days.

Exemptions

You do not have to complete a Resident Labour Market Test if:

  • The job is on the Shortage Occupation List
     

  • The job is an Intra Company Transfer
     

  • The migrant is already working for you on a tier 2 or Tier 5 visa and needs to extend their leave to remain in the UK under the same category, and in the same job
     

  • The migrant is already in the UK, or was last granted leave to enter on stay in the UK, in one of the following immigration categories:

    • Tier 1 (Post Study Work) visa – this category was closed to new applicants in April 2012
       

    • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa
       

    • the International Graduates Scheme
       

    • the Fresh Talent Working in Scotland Scheme
       

    • the Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme.

You are also exempted if

  • The salary for the job will be £155,300 or above
     

  • You are a higher education institution and the worker is returning to a post with you after a period of academic leave
     

  • The job is a supernumery research position, where the worker has received a non-transferable award or fellowship for scientific research from another organisation. After this award or fellowship has ended you may continue to sponsor the worker to continue their research

    • The worker is a doctor or dentist doing speciality training and their salary is being paid by an overseas government as part of an international agreement. You are also exempted if the worker is applying to continue their training after an out-of-progamme experience.
       

    • The migrant is currently a UK student (Tier 4) and has passed his/her final exams and

      • Has been (or will be) awarded a recognised UK bachelor's or postgraduate degree, or
         

      • Has been (or will be) awarded a UK postgraduate certificate or diploma in education, or
         

      • Has completed at least 12 months of study for a PhD in the UK

    Jobs advertised on Jobcentre Plus

    For most jobs you should advertise on the UK government's Jobcentre Plus Universal Jobmatch website – or the JobCentre Online in Northern Ireland – and in one other place.

    The vast majority of jobs with a salary under £72,500 per year, should be advertised on Universal Jobmatch and in one other place. Please see the Methods of advertising a vacancy section below for more details.

    Exceptions

    The following jobs do not have to be advertised on Jobcentre Plus or Jobcentre Online, but must still be advertisied in a minimum of 2 places. Please see our Methods of advertising a vacancy section below for more details.

    • Jobs with a total remuneration package worth over £72,500 per annum
       

    • Jobs for named researchers
       

    • Some jobs in the creative sector where advertising is not required because the migrant will be making 'an additional contribution to the UK labour market'
       

    • Jobs where there will be 'stock exchange disclosure' requirements
       

    • University recruitment 'milkround' jobs
       

    • Barristers' pupillage places
       

    • PhD level jobs with the following Standard occupation Classification codes:

      • 2111 - Chemical scientists
         

      • 2112 – Biological scientists and biochemists
         

      • 2113 - Physical scientists
         

      • 2114 - Social and humanities scientists
         

      • 2119 - Natural and social science professionals not elsewhere classified. This includes those employed by research institutions which are not universities
         

      • 2150 - Research and development managers
         

      • 2311 - Higher education teaching professionals

    • Jobs which are exempt from the need for a Resident Labour Market Test


    Although these jobs do not have to be advertised on the Jobcentre Plus site, all other Resident Market Labour Test rules apply.

    Methods of advertising a job vacancy

    All jobs must be advertised in a minimum of 2 places, even if they are exempt from the Jobcentre plus rule (see above). You may choose to advertise the job on the Jobcentre Plus Universal Jobmatch service even if it is exempt, and you can also use any of the following methods:

    1. National newspaper or professional journal

    2. A university milkround. You must visit at least 3 universities or all universities which offer the course relevant to the job, if that number is lower

    3. Rolling recruitment programmes.

    4. Recruitment Agencies and headhunters. In these cases the agency or headhunter must still adverstise the job in line with Resident Labour Market Test rules.

    5. The internet.

    Documents related to the Resident Labour Market test must be kept for each recruitment method used.

    1. National newspaper or professional journal

    The job may be advertised using the employment section appropriate to the job, of a national newspaper or a professional journal. A national newspaper is one that is available throughout the United Kingdom from the majority of newsagents. A professional journal is one that is published for a particular field and is available nationally either at a majority of newsagents or through subscription.

    • The Scotsman and The Herald are acceptable as suitable national newspapers for vacancies in Scotland and bordering counties of England.
       

    • The Western Mail is acceptable for vacancies in Wales.
       

    • The Belfast Telegraph is acceptable for vacancies in Northern Ireland.

    2. Annual recruitment programme

    An annual recruitment programme, known as a 'milkround' may be used; employers from a wide range of sectors visit universities to give presentations and interview students, usually as part of university career fairs.

    • A minimum of three UK universities must be included in the recruitment programme, unless fewer than 3 universities offer the course relevant to the job

    3. Rolling recruitment programme

    Employers can use rolling recruitment programmes to identify suitable candidates for positions that they cannot fill but they must still advertise each individual UK-based job to UK-resident workers first.

    4. Recruitment agencies

    If the relevant code of practice permits it, you can use a recruitment agency or headhunter to help you fill the post. The agency or headhunter may then recruit by advertising in Jobcentre Plus or a national newspaper or professional journal or website or by using its own contacts and research.

    5. Internet

    The Internet may be used to advertise a job. The website must be one of the following:

    • The Jobcentre Plus Universal Jobmatch service in the UK, or JobCentre Online in Northern Ireland
       

    • An national newspaper's website
       

    • a professional journal's website
       

    • a prominent or professional recruitment organisation's website

    An organisation's own website may be used but only if the organisation is a multi-national or global company, or a large organisation with over 250 permanent employees in the United Kingdom.

    After the Resident Labour Market Test

    • If a UK-resident worker applies for the job and has all the correct qualifications, experience and skills, you cannot employ a migrant over them, even if the migrant is more qualified. The exception is for PhD level jobs with the following Standard occupation Classification codes:

      • 2111 - Chemical scientists
         

      • 2112 – Biological scientists and biochemists
         

      • 2113 - Physical scientists
         

      • 2114 - Social and humanities scientists
         

      • 2119 - Natural and social science professionals not elsewhere classified. This includes those employed by research institutions which are not universities
         

      • 2150 - Research and development managers
         

      • 2311 - Higher education teaching professionals

    • If you do offer the job to a worker from outside the European Economic Area, you must issue a Certificate of Sponsorship within six months of placing the advert. This is to make sure that the results of the advertising reflect the current availability of the skills needed. The only exception is where an organisation recruits a migrant using a milkround, in which case the Certificate of Sponsorship must be issued within 12 months.
       

    • The Certificate of Sponsorship should specify the annual equivalent salary for the job if the migrant will be working in the United Kingdom for less than 12 months. For example, earnings of £10,000 on a six month contract would mean an annual salary of £20,000.

    Further information, help, and advice

    Workpermit.com's team of specialists has over 25 years of experience in immigration services, and have helped thousands of people to study and work in the UK. We work with OISC registered advisers who can submit your UK visa application to the Home Office to be dealt with on the same day.

    For more information and advice on UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on 0344 991 9222 or at london@workpermit.com