What is a certificate of sponsorship (CoS)?

What is a certificate of sponsorship (CoS)?

A certificate of sponsorship (CoS) is an electronic document which the sponsoring employer assigns to a migrant worker in order for them to be able to apply for a Skilled worker visa. A sponsoring employer must assign a CoS to every foreign worker they employ.

Requirements for a CoS

Once an employer has successfully applied for a sponsorship license they will have access to the Sponsor Management System (SMS), where they will be able to complete a CoS form online. The form will ask for specific information about the migrant’s personal information such as contact details, work address in the UK, job description, hours they will work, the salary, and the start date of their employment. The information provided in the CoS about the migrant must be the same as their passport.

The sponsoring employer must ensure that they inform the applicant worker that the CoS is assigned. The CoS can only be used once and will expire after 3 months from the date the employer assigned it, therefore, the worker must keep this time frame in mind whilst applying for a skilled worker visa.

Please note that issuing a CoS doesn’t guarantee that a visa for the worker will be granted. Once the CoS is assigned, the worker will then 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.

Types of Certificate of Sponsorship

There are two different types of CoS that can be assigned: Defined Certificates and Undefined Certificates. The responsibility falls on the sponsoring employer to determine which type of Cos is needed for the migrant worker. 

Undefined Certificates of Sponsorship

Undefined certificates of sponsorship are for individuals who are seeking to switch into a Skilled Worker visa from within the UK or to extend their stay in the UK as a Tier 2 (General) / Skilled worker migrant. This type of certificate is also available to those applying on the Intra-Company T5 or T2 routes.

There is no limit to the number of Undefined sponsorship certificates available.

Defined Certificates of Sponsorship

Defined Certificates of Sponsorship are for Skilled Workers who are currently abroad. Employers must apply for a defined CoS for each individual worker through the SMS, once a defined CoS has been approved, an employer can then assign it to the prospective migrant. Applications are usually approved within one working day but this may be longer if the UKVI needs to carry out any further checks or requests any further information.

How much does a CoS cost?

Assigning a CoS costs £199 for Skilled Workers, Intra-Company transfers, and some T2 visas. It costs £21 to assign a CoS for T5 temporary workers.

Assigning certificates for citizens from the following countries are free: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey.

Other charges may still apply depending on what type of application is being made e.g. NHS surcharge and the visa application fee.

Contact NA Law solicitors 

Contact NA Law solicitors if you require more assistance in applying for sponsorship licenses or assigning certificates of sponsorship to your future employees.

Need help? Chat to us