A valid Certificate of Sponsorship from a Tier 2 Licensed Employer is required in order to apply for a Tier 2 General Visa. If you do not have a CoS you will NOT be able to apply for a Tier 2 General Visa.
A Certificate of Sponsorship is a database record in the UK Border Agency’s Sponsor Management System. Once a Sponsor has passed all mandatory Tier 2 employment processes it can assign a live CoS to a migrant worker. The CoS takes the form of a 10 digit Certificate of Sponsorship reference number which the individual must use when applying for the visa.
Are you a highly skilled IT, Engineering, Medical or Financial Services Professional? Do you need a Tier 2 General visa for the UK? If so Commonwealth Contractors may be able to help! We partner with Tier 2 Licensed employers and consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual under Tier 2 General.
What is a Certificate of Sponsorship?
A Certificate of Sponsorship is a ‘virtual document’ which effectively forms the basis of a sponsors right to employ an individual on a Tier 2 General Visa. It is very important that a sponsor issues a CoS correctly and accurately as errors may be picked up at an annual UKBA compliance audit and repercussions can be costly (the UKBA may fine a sponsor for non compliance and downgrade or revoke a license where required).
There are two types of Certificate of Sponsorship (as detailed below);
- ’Restricted’ Certificates of Sponsorship , AND
- ‘Unrestricted’ Certificates of Sponsorship
Restricted CoS’s are used in the case of most ‘out of country’ applications which are subject to the Immigration Cap. Unrestricted CoS’s are used in the case of ‘In Country’ extension or switching applications which do not have any effect on the Immigration Cap.
What are Un-Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship?
Each year Tier 2 Sponsors are asked to request an allocation of Certificates of Sponsorship based on their usage in the previous year and their expectations for the year ahead. The UKBA consider the application and normally credit an allocation of unrestricted Certificates of Sponsorship to the sponsor.
Sponsors can assign an unrestricted Certificates of Sponsorship in the case of:
- Intra Company Transfers (where an Tier 2 ICT license is held)
- Existing migrants who are extending their employment with the same employer
- New employees who are ‘switching’ their employment
- Those seeking admission to fill a vacancy attracting a salary of £150,000 or more
- Tier 2 Sports People or Ministers of Religion
Unrestricted Certificates of Sponsorship may be allocated by the Sponsor without applying to UKBA as their allocation does not affect the Immigration Cap.
Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship
A Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is used in the most part for ‘out of country’ applications which are subject to the Immigration Cap. Unrestricted CoS’s are used in the case of ‘In Country’ extension or switching applications which do not have any effect on the Immigration Cap.
To apply for a restricted CoS a Sponsor must submit an application to the UKBA by the 5th of the month and then wait for approval before assigning the CoS to a prospective employee.
In the current financial year the Immigration Cap has been set to 20,700 with the total number of available certificates divided up each month. The Cap may change after the 5th April 2014. Points are awarded based on the following:
- Priority is given to those roles detailed on the Shortage Occupation List, THEN
- Those who apply to work in a role which requires a PhD and is in the research field, THEN
- Those who have carried out a Resident Labour Market Test with higher level salaries attracting more points.
Croatian citizens don’t need a restricted certificate.
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