Understanding the Certificate of Sponsorship
A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is a crucial document for migrant workers who are in the process of applying for either the Skilled Worker Visa or the Temporary Worker Visa. To secure a CoS for your employees, you, as a UK employer, are required to possess a valid Sponsorship Licence.
The application for a CoS should be initiated once a job offer has been extended to a prospective employee. This certificate contains detailed information about the role the employee is expected to undertake. It necessitates accurate data regarding their job position and the anticipated salary. Any disparities between the details in the CoS and the actual job responsibilities may lead to the suspension of your Sponsor Licence.
The government issues two categories of Certificates of Sponsorship – Restricted and Unrestricted. The Restricted CoS has an annual quota of 20,700, making it imperative to ensure precise applications to secure employment for your migrant worker.
Certificate of Sponsorship Allocations
The term “Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) allocations” pertains to the quantity of COS that an employer, possessing a Sponsorship Licence, is authorised to grant to foreign employees. These allocations are contingent upon specific regulations and constraints, which are contingent on the kind of Sponsorship Licence held and the requirements of the employer.
Skilled Worker Sponsorship
In the category of Skilled Worker Sponsorship, employers are granted a designated number of COS, determined by factors such as their specific circumstances, such as the size of their organisation and their history of employing foreign workers. These COS are employed to support skilled foreign workers recruited to fill specific job positions within the UK.
Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Sponsorship
Employers holding an ICT Sponsorship Licence are provided with COS to sponsor employees transferring to the UK from an overseas branch or subsidiary of the same company. The number of COS allocated can vary based on the type of ICT route (e.g., Long-term or Short-term).
Temporary Worker Sponsorship
For employers looking to sponsor temporary workers across various sectors like hospitality, agriculture, or creative arts, COS allocations are contingent upon the particular scheme within the Temporary Worker category.
Other Sponsorship Categories
Certain employers may possess Sponsorship Licences for other distinct categories, such as Ministers of Religion, Religious Workers, or International Agreement Workers. The COS allocations for these categories will fluctuate accordingly.
Compliance and Record-keeping
Employers are obligated to use their COS allocations judiciously and in adherence to immigration regulations. Maintaining meticulous records and complying with sponsorship responsibilities are vital to sustaining the Sponsorship Licence and retaining access to COS allocations.
Who Requires a Certificate of Sponsorship?
A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is obligatory for all applicants seeking Tier 2 Visas and the majority of Tier 5 applicants.
Notably, the Youth Mobility route does not necessitate a CoS, as the applicant’s country of origin functions as their sponsor for this visa category.
Additionally, those holding a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa in the UK do not require sponsorship to work for your company.
Certificate of Sponsorship Costs
The expense associated with a Certificate of Sponsorship hinges on the specific type of CoS being applied for. At present, the Tier 2 CoS costs £199, while the Tier 5 CoS costs £21.
Furthermore, if you are employing someone via the Tier 2 General or Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer route, you may also be required to pay the ‘immigration skills charge.’
Issuing a Certificate of Sponsorship
Issuing a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) typically encompasses the following steps:
- Check Eligibility: Verify that both your organisation and the foreign worker satisfy the eligibility criteria for the designated visa category, including ensuring the worker’s role aligns with the COS job description.
- Create a COS: Generate a Certificate of Sponsorship for the foreign worker via the Sponsorship Management System (SMS), an online tool provided by the UK Home Office. This necessitates inputting pertinent information, such as the worker’s personal details, job particulars, and sponsorship duration.
- Assign COS to Worker: Subsequently creating the COS, assign it to the intended worker, providing them with a unique COS reference number requisite for their visa application.
- Inform the Worker: Ensure the worker is apprised of their COS assignment and supply them with all the essential information necessary for their visa application, including the COS reference number.
- Retain Records: Maintain meticulous records of the COS assignment and all associated documents, as they may be required as evidence of compliance during Home Office audits.
What Constitutes a Certificate of Sponsorship?
A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is indispensable for migrant workers applying for a Skilled Worker Visa or Temporary Worker Visa. As a UK employer, possessing a valid Sponsorship Licence is a prerequisite to applying for a Certificate of Sponsorship for each employee you intend to bring to the country.
The CoS application is initiated subsequent to extending a job offer, comprising comprehensive information regarding the prospective employee’s role, including job responsibilities and expected salary. Discrepancies between the CoS and the actual job role can lead to the suspension of your Sponsor Licence.
The government issues two varieties of Certificates of Sponsorship – Restricted and Unrestricted. The Restricted CoS has an annual limit of 20,700, necessitating precise application submissions to employ migrant workers.
How to Apply for a Sponsorship Licence
To apply for a Sponsorship Licence in the UK, follow these general steps:
- Check Eligibility: Confirm that your organisation satisfies the eligibility criteria, encompassing having a legitimate and operational entity in the UK.
- Choose the Type of Sponsorship Licence: Determine the appropriate licence category based on the type of workers you intend to sponsor, including options like 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, including Authorising Officers, Key Contacts, and Level 1 User(s), ensuring they meet the necessary criteria.
- Register on the Sponsorship Management System (SMS): Establish an account on the Sponsorship Management System (SMS), an online platform provided by the UK Home Office for sponsorship management. Complete the registration, providing details about your organisation and Key Personnel.
- Complete the Application Form: Fill out the online Sponsor Licence application form on the SMS, furnishing comprehensive information about your organisation, its activities, and the type of workers you plan to sponsor.
- Pay the Application Fee: Submit the required application fee, which varies based on your organisation’s size and type, typically through the SMS online payment system.
- Submit Supporting Documents: Upload all necessary supporting documents, such as financial statements and business bank statements, as requested by the Home Office.
- Await a Decision: The Home Office will evaluate your application, possibly conducting a compliance visit to assess your organisation’s readiness to sponsor workers, either in-person or virtually.
- Receive the Sponsorship Licence: Upon approval, you will receive a Sponsorship Licence specifying the category and number of Certificates of Sponsorship (COS) you are permitted to assign.
- Manage and Comply: Utilise the SMS to oversee your sponsorship obligations, including COS assignment, reporting changes, and maintaining records, ensuring adherence to immigration regulations.
How Immigration Secure Can Assist You
Navigating the various visa categories and application procedures can be challenging. Immigration Secure offers expert guidance to help you choose the right Workers Visa category and ensure you meet all specific requirements for a successful application. Our services include comprehensive document checks, assistance with application forms, and the provision of a Letter of Representation to strengthen your case.
To initiate the process of obtaining your Temporary Worker Visa, please reach out to us or make an online enquiry. Our team of professionals is here to guide you through the entire application process.
CERTIFICATE OF SPONSORSHIP
Frequently Asked Questions
A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is a crucial document required for migrant workers applying for certain UK visas, such as the Skilled Worker Visa and Temporary Worker Visa. It is issued by employers who hold a valid Sponsorship Licence.
Tier 2 Visa applicants and most Tier 5 Visa applicants typically require a CoS. However, the Youth Mobility route does not necessitate a CoS, as the applicant’s home country acts as their sponsor in this case. Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa holders also do not need sponsorship.
The cost of a CoS depends on the type you are applying for. Feel free to inquire about the cost, as it may vary based on specific circumstances. Additionally, if you are employing someone through the Tier 2 General or Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer route, you may be required to pay the ‘immigration skills charge.’
The Restricted CoS has an annual cap of 20,700 and is typically used for skilled worker roles. Unrestricted CoS, on the other hand, is not subject to this cap and is often used for roles like intra-company transfers.
To apply for a Sponsorship Licence, follow these steps: check eligibility, choose the appropriate licence category, appoint key personnel, register on the Sponsorship Management System (SMS), complete the application form, pay the application fee, submit supporting documents, await a decision, and upon approval, receive and manage the Sponsorship Licence.
No, a CoS application should be initiated after extending a job offer to a prospective employee. It includes specific details about the job role and expected salary, and any discrepancies between the CoS and the actual job role can lead to the suspension of your Sponsor Licence.
Exceeding your allocated CoS limit can have consequences, including the inability to sponsor additional workers until the next allocation period. It’s important to manage your CoS allocations carefully to avoid disruptions in your recruitment efforts.
Sponsor Licence holders are responsible for complying with immigration regulations, maintaining accurate records, reporting changes or issues to the Home Office as required, and ensuring sponsored workers adhere to visa conditions.
Immigration Secure offers support with applying for a Sponsorship Licence and provides consultancy services to help you fulfill your sponsor duties.
It’s crucial to monitor sponsored workers for compliance with visa conditions. If you encounter significant changes or issues, report them to the Home Office as required to ensure ongoing compliance.