Certificate of Sponsorship

Certificate of Sponsorship

Our professional immigration lawyers can help you with any information you need on the certificate of sponsorship.

Allocations for a Certificate of Sponsorship

Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) allocations refer to the number of COS that an employer with a Sponsorship Licence is permitted to assign to foreign workers. These allocations are subject to specific rules and limits depending on the type of Sponsorship Licence and the employer’s needs.

Skilled Worker Sponsorship

Under the Skilled Worker Sponsorship category, employers are allocated a certain number of COS, which is determined by their specific circumstances, including size and history of employing foreign workers. These COS are used to sponsor skilled workers from outside the UK who are coming to fill specific job roles.

Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Sponsorship

Employers with an ICT Sponsorship Licence are allocated COS to sponsor employees transferring to the UK from a branch or subsidiary of the same company overseas. The number of COS allocated may vary based on the type of ICT route (e.g., Long-term or Short-term).

Temporary Worker Sponsorship

For employers seeking to sponsor temporary workers in various sectors like hospitality, agriculture, or creative arts, COS allocations depend on the specific scheme within the Temporary Worker category.

Other Sponsorship Categories

Some employers may have Sponsorship Licences for other specific categories, such as Ministers of Religion, Religious Workers, or International Agreement Workers. The COS allocations for these categories will vary.

Compliance and Record-keeping

Employers must ensure they use their COS allocations responsibly and in compliance with immigration regulations. Proper record-keeping and adherence to sponsorship duties are essential to maintaining the Sponsorship Licence and access to COS allocations.

Who is required to get a Certificate of Sponsorship?

The CoS is necessary for all Tier 2 Visa applicants and most Tier 5 applicants.

This does not include the Youth Mobility route, as an applicant’s country of origin will act as your sponsor for this type of visa.

You will also not need to sponsor those in the UK on a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa to work for your company.

How much does a Certificate of Sponsorship cost?

The cost of the Certificate of Sponsorship will depend on what type you are applying for. Currently, the Tier 2 CoS costs £199 and the Tier 5 CoS costs £21.

You may also have to pay the ‘immigration skills charge’ if you are employing someone via the Tier 2 General or Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer route.

Assigning a Certificate of Sponsorship

Assigning a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) typically involves the following steps:

Check Eligibility

Ensure that both your organisation and the foreign worker meet the eligibility criteria for the specific visa category. This includes verifying that the worker’s role matches the job description provided in the COS.

Create a COS

Generate a Certificate of Sponsorship for the foreign worker through the Sponsorship Management System (SMS), an online tool provided by the UK Home Office. You will need to input relevant details, such as the worker’s personal information, job details, and the duration of sponsorship.

Assign COS to Worker

After creating the COS, assign it to the intended worker. This involves providing them with a unique COS reference number, which they will need for their visa application.

Inform the Worker

Make sure the worker is aware that they have been assigned a COS and provide them with all the necessary information they need to apply for a visa, including the COS reference number.

Retain Records

Maintain accurate records of the COS assignment and all associated documents. You may need to provide evidence of compliance with sponsorship duties during Home Office audits.

Monitoring and Reporting

Continue to monitor the worker’s compliance with visa conditions and report any significant changes or issues to the Home Office as required.

What is a Certificate of Sponsorship?

A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is necessary for migrant workers who are applying for their Skilled Worker Visa or Temporary Worker Visa. As a UK employer, you will need to hold a valid Sponsorship Licence to apply for the Certificate of Sponsorship for each employee you bring over.

The CoS must be applied for once the job offer has been made and includes detailed information on what your prospective employee will be doing. You must include information on their job role and expected salary on the application. If there is a discrepancy between the CoS and their actual job role, you may have your Sponsor Licence suspended.

The government issues two types of Certificate of Sponsorship – Restricted and Unrestricted. The Restricted CoS has a limit of 20,700 each year so applications must be done correctly the first time to ensure you are able to employ your migrant worker.

How to Apply for a Sponsorship licence

To apply for a Sponsorship Licence in the UK, follow these general steps:

Check Eligibility

Ensure your organisation meets the eligibility criteria. This typically includes having a legitimate and active business or organisation in the UK.

Choose the Type of Sponsorship Licence

Determine the type of licence you need based on the category of workers you plan to sponsor. Common categories include Skilled Worker, Intra-Company Transfer, Temporary Worker, and more.

Appoint Key Personnel

Identify individuals within your organisation who will serve as Key Personnel responsible for managing the sponsorship process. This typically includes Authorising Officers, Key Contact, and Level 1 User(s). They must be eligible and meet specific requirements.

Register on the Sponsorship Management System (SMS):

Create an account on the Sponsorship Management System (SMS), an online portal provided by the UK Home Office for managing sponsorship. Complete the registration process, which includes providing details about your organisation and the Key Personnel.

Complete the Application Form:

Fill out the online Sponsor Licence application form on the SMS. Provide detailed information about your organisation, its activities, and the type of workers you intend to sponsor.

Pay the Application Fee

Pay the required application fee, which varies depending on the size and type of your organisation. Payment is typically done online through the SMS.

Submit Supporting Documents

Upload all necessary supporting documents, such as financial statements, business bank statements, and any other documents requested by the Home Office.

Wait for a Decision

The Home Office will review your application and may conduct a compliance visit to assess your organisation’s readiness to sponsor workers. This visit could be in-person or virtual.

Receive the Sponsorship Licence

If your application is approved, you will receive a Sponsorship Licence from the Home Office. This licence will specify the category and number of Certificates of Sponsorship (COS) you are allowed to assign.

Manage and Comply

Use the SMS to manage your sponsorship duties, including assigning COS to workers, reporting changes, and maintaining records. Ensure compliance with all immigration regulations.

Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to learn how to apply for your Visa.

How can We Manage Your Visas help?

Our highly-qualified immigration consultants can help you apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship. We offer services to help with applying for a Sponsor Licence, as well as consultancy services to make sure your sponsor duties are followed. To find out more about our services, or for advice on your circumstances, contact us today by calling or make an enquiry online. We look forward to speaking with you.

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