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Certificates of Sponsorship for Skilled Workers

Certificate of sponsorship

As a business looking to recruit from overseas, securing your sponsor licence is the first step. You will then need to understand the process for securing and assigning a certificate of sponsorship for your overseas candidates. 

Certificate of sponsorship (CoS)

For every migrant worker, the certificate of sponsorship is their immigration ticket to the UK.  It’s a certificate only sponsor licence holders can issue. The certificate sets out key information about the role and the worker you are sponsoring. It’s a vital document in the sponsorship system as it’s your confirmation to the Home Office that all the conditions of the visa are met. As with any aspect of the immigration system, it can get complex.

Types of certificates of sponsorship

There are two types of certificates of sponsorship, defined and undefined: 

  • Defined Certificate of Sponsorship (DCoS): These certificates are for workers who are applying to enter the UK.  You will be required to apply for a DCoS for every applicant which is then assessed by the Home Office. Most times the DCoS will be issued without question but sometimes the Home Office will require further information. Usually, an application for a DCoS is granted within a day or two. There is no fee to apply for a DCoS.
  • Undefined Certificate of Sponsorship (UCoS): These certificates are for workers who are already in the UK. They may already be working for you and need to extend their visa, they may be working for a different employer and moving to you, or they may have a different type of visa such as a Student or Graduate visa.  When you apply for your sponsor licence, you can request an allocation of UCoSs which are then held on the licence until they are needed and assigned. If you have used all your UCoSs, you can request more. There is no fee for a UCoS allocation however it can take up to 18 weeks to receive unless you pay for priority service. 

How to assign a certification of sponsorship

Once you have your CoS (defined or undefined), you will need to assign this to the worker you wish to sponsor. There are strict rules about assigning a CoS. You must not assign a CoS earlier than 3 months before the proposed start date. It must be used within 3 months of assignment. When you assign the CoS, you will be required to pay an assignment fee which is £239. You may be required to pay the immigration skills charge which is either £364 or £1000 per year of sponsorship, depending on the size of your company.

At Freeths, our immigration solicitors offer comprehensive assistance to businesses seeking Certificates of Sponsorship, providing guidance and support at every step of the process. Here's how we can help you:

  1. Initial Assessment and Eligibility Check: Our experts will evaluate your business requirements, assess the job role, and determine if it meets the criteria for sponsorship. We'll provide you with a clear understanding of the eligibility requirements, ensuring you make informed decisions from the outset
  2. CoS Allocation and Compliance: We will assist you in obtaining Certificates of Sponsorship for your prospective employees. We will navigate the UK’s immigration system, ensuring compliance with the rules and regulations governing sponsorship. Our experts will help you avoid potential pitfalls and ensure a smooth and successful application process
  3. CoS Assignment: We will work with you and your candidates to assign your certificates of sponsorship according to your recruitment requirements. We can then assist your candidates to successfully secure the required visa clearance 

We understand that each business is unique, with its own goals and challenges. We provide customised solutions that align with your business objectives, ensuring you receive practical and effective immigration advice. 

If you require legal assistance or would just like to discuss your situation with one of our experts, please contact our dedicated team of immigration solicitors who are ready to assist you in ensuring compliance, attracting talent, and enabling your business to thrive in an increasingly globalised world.

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