Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)

For an applicant to submit a valid visa application under the Skilled Worker and other sponsored worker routes, a sponsor must first assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to them.

There are two types of CoS that may be assigned, a defined CoS or an undefined CoS.


What is an Undefined CoS?

Undefined CoS are assigned for:

  • Those who are already in the UK and who are lawfully able to apply under the Skilled Worker route, pursuant to the Immigration Rules; and
  • For those applying under one of the other visa routes from within the UK or overseas.

When a proposed sponsor makes an initial licence application, it will be asked how many CoS are required and are often asked to provide evidence or legal submissions as to why the entity will need to assign the specific number of CoS.

Any CoS that has not been assigned will expire automatically on 5th April each year. Prior to this time, most sponsors will be asked to calculate the amount of CoS they envisage they will require for the following year and to submit a new request to renew the annual allocation. Some sponsors may receive an automatic allocation.

If a sponsor neglects to submit a request to renew the CoS allocation, it is possible to apply for a new allocation throughout the year. Priority service is available to sponsors that need a new allocation of CoS within year. If a sponsor does not opt to use the priority service, applications for a CoS to the Home Office can take up to 18 weeks to process.


What is a Defined CoS?

Defined CoS are used by those applying from overseas.

Sponsors must make an application to the Home Office for a defined CoS. In most cases, the defined CoS will be granted within 24 hours.

When an entity applies for defined CoS, the Home Office may request further information as to the role, salary, and how the individual was identified as a suitable candidate. It is advised that sponsors retain this information and ensure they are prepared to provide this information to the Home Office.

Once a defined CoS has been awarded, it must be assigned to an individual within 90 days or otherwise it will expire.


Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS): How our Immigration lawyers can help

Our immigration experts provide advice and guidance in relation to applying for and assigning a CoS. Our team can provide you with detailed advice regarding the eligibility for both a defined and undefined CoS.

If your organisation requires expert legal advice to apply for a sponsorship licence or would like to discuss an enquiry with a member of our team, please call us or complete our online enquiry form. Please contact Sofia Marques Anaya from our Immigration Department on sm@branchaustinmccormick.com


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