Certificate of Sponsorship (COS)

When successfully registered, a sponsor can apply for a number of Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS), which they can then use for the applicants whom they intend to sponsor. A COS is not an actual certificate or paper document, but is a virtual document, similar to a database record.

Sponsor must give this reference number to a migrant whom they wish to employ because it is will be key part of their application for permission to come to the UK if they are overseas (known as 'entry clearance'), or permission to stay in the UK if they are already here (known as 'leave to remain').

A CoS can be following types:-

Unrestricted Certificate of sponsorship
  • A sponsor can have annual allocations of unrestricted certificates of sponsorship. The unrestricted of certificates can only be assigned to the following migrants:-
  • Migrants who currently work for you under Tier 2 (General) or on a work permit and need to extend their stay in the UK to continue working for their sponsor under Tier 2 (General); or
  • Migrants who are to be recruited from outside the UK at a salary of £153,500 or more; or
  • Migrants who are to be recruited are already in the UK under another immigration category that can be switched into Tier 2 (General). (excluding dependants of Tier 4 students)

There is no requirement of resident labour market test to assign an unrestricted CoS.

Restricted Certificate of sponsorship

There is an annual limit on the number of restricted certificates that can be assigned, and the initial allocation of restricted certificates will be zero.

Sponsor must apply a restricted certificate of sponsorship to recruit migrants under Tier 2 (General) who are currently:

  • Abroad and will be paid less than £153,500 a year; or
  • In the UK as the dependant of another migrant whose current permission to stay is as a Tier 4 student.

Any certificate of sponsorship is valid for a period of three (3) months from the date of issue. Once a Certificate of Sponsorship is issued, a sponsor is held fully responsible for the actions of the employee. Non-compliance of the rules may result in either the withdrawal of the certificate or demoting the sponsor to a lesser rank.

  • Government Feesv
    • Home Office fees for Assigning a Certificate of Sponsorship
      Tier 2 £199
  • Our Feesv
    • Type of Service Professional Fees (in GBP)
      Advice on COS £300
      Postal- Full representation service N/ A
      Super Priority Service - Minus Representation N/A
      Super Priority Service - Full Representation N/A
      Document Verification Service £150
      Telephone Consultation £100 per/hour
      Face to Face consultation £100 per/hour
      Form Filling Service £150 per application
      ** All our fees include all the taxes.
      ** For full description of the services, please refer to our ‘Services’ Section on our website.  
  • Processing Timesv
    • The application process a Restricted COS works in a monthly cycle. An application is made on or before the 5th of the month so that a decision can be made by the Home Office on the 11th of that particular month. If the 11th of the month falls on a Saturday, Sunday or Bank Holiday in England, applications is decided on the next working day.

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