What is a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS)?

A Certificate of Sponsorship (‘CoS’) is an electronic record that an employer must assign to each foreign worker it employs. A CoS has its own unique reference number which a worker will need to apply for a visa. 

Call now to speak to an immigration expert on 0203 5245439.

Initial Consultation

High Success Rate

Competitive Fees

No Hidden Charges

Get in touch

Get in touch

Types of Certificate of Sponsorship (COS)

There are two types of Certificates of Sponsorship – a defined certificate and an undefined certificate of sponsorship. It is important to know which one to attain as it could affect a visa application. 

Defined Certificates

A defined certificate is issued to overseas individuals that are applying for a Skilled Worker visa. Employers must use the Sponsorship Management System (SMS) to apply for defined certificates. They are only able to do so once they attain their sponsor licence. Once the defined certificate has been approved it will appear in the SMS account and can be assigned to the foreign worker.

Undefined Certificates

Undefined certificates are issued to individuals that are applying from within the UK for a Skilled Worker visa. An employer applying for a sponsor licence will need to estimate the number of undefined certificates it will need in its first year.

What is the Process for Applying for a 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 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 Sponsorship licence has been approved, in order to fully sponsor a foreign worker, the sponsor will need to assign the COS to the foreign worker in question.

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 foreign worker 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 Sponsorship Licence 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 Skilled Worker visa policy guidance.

Get in touch for an initial consultation!

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Need help? Chat to us