What is a Certificate of Sponsorship?
The certificate of sponsorship(CoS) is an electronic document issued by the licenced UK sponsor (or Employer) to every skilled worker or staff they hire. There is a mention of a Unique reference number(URN) using which every migrant worker applies for a job.
The Certificate of Sponsorship(CoS) is the validation for each employer which the migrant workers can use to confirm that the sponsorship is genuine or not.
How do Employers obtain the Certificate of Sponsorship?
The Certificate of Sponsorship can be obtained from the Home Office, the prospective employer will need to complete a CoS form issued by the UK Visa and Immigration Office(Home Office). The CoS form contains essential information such as the migrant worker’s personal information, contact details, work address in the UK, job description, job location, number of hours, salary, and start and end date of job role. The Certificate of Sponsorship must have the same details as mentioned in the migrant worker’s passport.
Different types of Certificates of Sponsorship(CoS)
Typically, there are two types of CoS: Defined CoS and Undefined CoS
Defined Certificate of Sponsorship(CoS)
Defined Certificates of Sponsorship(CoS) are for Skilled migrant Workers who are living overseas. You must apply for a Defined CoS for a skilled worker through the sponsorship management system (SMS). Applications are usually approved within a working day’s time but may take longer if the UK Visa and Immigration needs to carry out additional checks or seek further information from the Employer. Once a Defined CoS has been approved and granted, you may assign it to the migrant.
As a part of your Sponsorship duties, the employer must ensure that the prospective employee or worker is informed when a CoS is assigned. A CoS can only be used once and it tends to expire or loses its validity if it is not used by the applicant worker within 3 months of the employer assigning it to them.
Having a CoS from a UK employer does not guarantee that your visa will be granted. Once you have been assigned the CoS, the applicant worker will still need to submit a visa application under the Skilled Worker, Intra Company, T2 (Minister of Religion), (Sportsperson), or T5 (Temporary Worker) category of the points-based system to the UK Visa Immigration office.
Undefined Certificate of Sponsorship(CoS)
The undefined CoS is assigned by the UK visa and Immigration office as per the annual allocation. The Undefined CoS must be assigned to those skilled workers who are applying for permission to stay from within the UK. It also includes those workers applying on all other routes, be it entry clearance or permission to stay, etc.
The annual allocation of undefined CoS is from 6 April to 5 April each year.
How do you decide the CoS allocation?
When you apply for a Sponsor license, the UK visa and Immigration Office(Or the Home Office) asks you to send a request about the estimate of the number of the undefined CoS you require to assign in the first year for each of the routes.
Once the UK visa and Immigration Office( Home Office) approves the allocation, you will receive a notification about the allocation of the CoS on your Sponsorship Management System(SMS)
You can then use it to assign to genuine workers and offer them genuine job roles to fill.
CoS (Certificate of Sponsorship) fee
Certificate Of Sponsorship (COS) for Skilled Worker, T2 Sportsperson, Intra-company Transfer, T2 Minister of Religion, Intra-company Transfer Graduate Trainee will require you to pay £199.
Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for T5 (Temporary worker) costs £21
The applicant need not be assigned CoS if they belong to any of the following countries
Turkey, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Malta, North Macedonia, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, and Sweden.
It would be best if you take help of legal experts who can handhold you in applying for your CoS.