What is a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) ?
A Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship is an electronic certificate that needs to be requested from the Home Office portal before applying for a Tier 2 General visa. The Sponsor will also need to be a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence holder; which will allow UK companies and education providers to employ non-EEA workers in their organisation.
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What is the process for applying for a Tier 2 Sponsorship licence?
Prospective sponsors will need to complete an online application and pay the appropriate fee. They will then need to gather and submit the relevant supporting documents to the Home Office as outlined in Appendix A. Sponsors will also need to satisfy the Tier 2 genuineness test, which will involve providing reasons as to why they require a sponsorship licence and why they cannot fill the vacancy in question with settled workers in the UK. After a Tier 2 Sponsorship licence has been approved, in order to fully sponsor a tier 2 migrant, the sponsor will need to assign the COS to the migrant in question.
Types of Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship (COS)
There are 2 types of certificates; a restricted and an unrestricted COS. An unrestricted COS can be requested as many times as needed and at any given time during the sponsorship. A restricted COS is assigned to tier 2 migrants making the application on an entry clearance. Before an employer can request such a certificate, they will need to ensure that they undertake the Resident Labour Market test, if applicable. The employer will then need to request the restricted COS. These are limited and the requests are assessed using a points system. Therefore, not all requests for a restricted COS are successful.
Things to remember when requesting a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS)
Please note that the COS is a very important document and needs to be completed in accordance with the requirements set out by the Home Office. This is to ensure that the vacancy is genuine, that the migrant has the prerequisite experience and is being employed at the appropriate level with a salary matching the amount stipulated in the relevant SOC code.
These factors must be taken into account when applying for the COS, as incorrect information will result in a failed application. Although reapplication is possible, it is advisable to make a successful application in the first attempt to avoid delay and unnecessary costs.
How can NA Law solicitors help with requesting and assigning a Certificate of Sponsorship?
We are a niche immigration firm based in Brentford, West London. Our team of immigration solicitors specialise in the provision of advice on the Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence, Tier 2 Audit and Compliance and advice on employing migrant workers post- Brexit. We can advise on how to request and assign either a restricted or unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship and ensure that once granted it is assigned correctly in accordance with the Tier 2 Policy guidance.
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