Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship
Before a worker can apply for a Tier 2 General visa the employer needs to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to that worker. Certificates of Sponsorship are virtual documents and identified by a unique reference number.
Unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship
This is generally for applications submitted within the UK, such as Tier 2 General Extensions, change of employer applications and switching from permitted categories such as Tier 4 Student Visas.
Each year the Sponsor can request their annual allocation for the number of Unrestricted Certificates of Sponsorship that they anticipate needing for the year ahead (usually for extensions).
If a new employee needs to be sponsored in the UK then the Sponsor can request a CoS allocation through their Sponsor Management System.
Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship
A Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship is required for those who are outside the UK and will need to apply for entry clearance as a Tier 2 General migrant. An Unrestricted CoS can be used in specific circumstances such as where the salary is at least £159,600 per annum.
Obtaining A Certificate Of Sponsorship Allocation
Firstly, the employer needs to have been granted a Sponsor Licence. Each year the Sponsor can request the number of Unrestricted CoS that are anticipated for the year ahead. This annual allocation request will generally be used for known Tier 2 General Extension applications.
At any time the Sponsor can request an increase in their current allocation.
Where an Unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship is required then the Sponsor must submit the request, with detailed information about the requirement, on or before the 5th of each month. Decisions are provided by the Home Office on or around the 12th of the same month. For example, a request submitted on 20 November would be decided on or around 12 December.
Assigning A Certificate of Sponsorship
The Sponsor will assign the Certificate of Sponsorship to the worker and needs to ensure that the details are entered correctly and that they have chosen the correct type of CoS and that the role, salary and duties and responsibilities are compliant with current Home Office requirements.
Assigning a Certificate of Sponsorship attracts two fees, payable together:
- CoS Assignment Fee: £199
- Immigration Skills Charge: £1,092 for a small organisation or charity / £3,000 for medium or large organisations (based on the standard 3-year initial period of Sponsorship)
You will not pay the Immigration Skills Charge if the worker you’re sponsoring:
- has a Tier 4 (Student) visa and is switching to a Tier 2 (General) visa;
- has a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Graduate Trainee visa;
- will do a job with a PhD-level standard occupational classification (SOC) code.
How Our UK Immigration Lawyers Can Help
We have extensive experience and expertise in Sponsorship and have been helping organisations bring skilled workers to the UK for more than 20 years. We pride ourselves on providing a friendly service, having a keen eye for the details necessary to achieve consistent success in this area of law and meeting the highest standards of professional expertise and integrity. Get in touch to find out how we can help you.