Certificate of Sponsorship

A Certificate of Sponsorship must be assigned by a sponsor licence holder to every prospective foreign employee before the individual can apply for a Tier 2 visa. There are two different classes of CoS, and employers must ensure that in each instance, they are using the relevant type of CoS in the correct way.

Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship

Since 6 April 2011 all migrants applying from overseas have been subject to a limit whereby the government will only allow a specific number overseas migrants to enter the UK during each year. The number of restricted certificates available between April 2012 and April 2013 was set at 20,700. Available certificates will be divided up and each month employers must make requests for a Certificate of Sponsorship.

This applies to all migrants applying for a visa from outside the UK. Points will be awarded based on the following:

  • Priority is given to those roles on the shortage occupation list.
  • Then to those who apply to work in role which requires a PhD and is in the research field.
  • Then to those who have carried out a resident labour market test. Note that the higher the salary, the more points will be awarded.

Unrestricted Certificates of Sponsorship

Employers can apply for any number of unrestricted sponsorship certificates based on their estimated requirements. Unrestricted certificates can be allocated to the following individuals:

  • Intra Company Transfers;
  • Tier 2 migrants extending their stay with their original employer;
  • Tier 2 migrants with valid leave extending their stay by switching to a new employer;
  • Those admitted in another visa category and applying to switch in-country into the Tier 2 (general) category;
  • Where transitional arrangements for those already in the United Kingdom as a Tier 2 migrant or work permit holder apply;
  • Those seeking admission to fill a vacancy attracting a salary of £159,600 or more; or
  • Tier 2 Sports People or Ministers of Religion.
  • Croatian Nationals (until 01st July 2018)

Unrestricted Certificates of Sponsorship will be granted as a fixed allocation on a yearly basis as part of your sponsor licence. Individuals must then apply for Tier 2 clearance within three months of receiving the CoS.

Restricted CoS are intended for new employees applying from outside the UK to enter under a Tier 2 (General) visa and who will be earning under £159,600 per annum, and individual dependants of Tier 4 students applying from the UK wishing to switch to a Tier 2 (General) visa.

There is an annual restriction in place on the number of migrant workers admitted to the UK from outside the EU under a Tier 2 visa on restricted CoS.UKVI review all applications for restricted CoS monthly, based on the highest points scored.There are no guarantees if and when restricted CoS applications will be approved. Any restricted CoS unallocated after three months will be automatically returned to UKVI for reallocation.

Employers would need a thorough understanding from the start of their licence how they will use the two different types of Certificates, so that they can plan accordingly and ensure the recruitment needs can be met throughout the four-year licence period. At CIty Legal our specialist Immigration lawyers can assist you with requesting the correct Certificate of Sponsorship and advise you regarding your Sponsor Responsibilities and SMS Management.

Call us today on 0330 058 3929 or email us at [email protected] to get any assistance on your sponsor license needs.