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What do employers need to know before they apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship?

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What do employers need to know before they apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship?

If you’re looking to hire international workers for your business, have obtained your sponsor licence, and have chosen the ideal candidate, you need to go through one final step before you welcome your new employee: Assigning a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). As an employer, you need to be aware of the rules that apply when assigning the CoS to ensure your compliance and to make it easier for your employees to secure the required visas to enter the country.

What is a Certificate of Sponsorship?

A CoS is a self-certifying electronic record with a unique reference number that is required to complete the visa application process. 

 

As mentioned earlier, a CoS is a mandatory prerequisite if you are hiring workers through the Skilled Worker and ICT routes; in certain instances, even T2 and T5 visas will also require the CoS during the visa application process.

 

Any errors or non-compliance issues when assigning the CoS to your selected employees can result in a rejected visa application and Home Office penalties against your business, including sponsor licence downgrade, suspension, or revocation.

What are the different types of CoS?

There are two types of Certificates of Sponsorship in the UK.

A defined CoS

This type of CoS is generally used to hire international talent for a job paying less than £159,600 annually. You can apply for it through the Home Office’s Sponsorship Management System (SMS) and can assign the electronic document to your selected employee once your CoS application is approved.

An undefined CoS

This type of CoS is used to hire international employees earning more than £159,600 per year. You will need to provide an estimate of the number of undefined CoS you need in the first year when applying for your sponsor licence. 

You can apply for additional CoS via the SMS if you exhaust your allocation.

How much does a CoS cost?

If you hire through the Skilled Worker, ICT, or certain T2 routes, you will have to pay £199 to assign the CoS, and it costs £21 to issue a CoS if you’re hiring through the T5 Temporary Worker route.


You are exempt from CoS charges if you hire from a select few countries.

What else do I need to know about the CoS?

To issue a CoS, your business must possess a valid sponsor licence and have access to the SMS, and your nominated Level 1 or Level 2 user must apply for the CoS via the SMS.

Your selected employee must use the Certificate of Sponsorship to apply for the relevant visa within three months of receiving the certificate. That said, your employee can’t apply for the visa more than three months before the start of their employment.

Understand how to apply for and manage your Certificate of Sponsorship

Issuing the CoS is an important but complex step in your international hiring process, and understanding the rules and procedures that apply can help you avoid unnecessary complications across your recruitment and compliance processes.

At Nation.better, we help you simplify this process with our sponsor licence support services. 

Contact our team today to learn how we can help you streamline your international hiring process.

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