Assigning a Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship

In order to apply for a Tier 2 work visa, migrant workers must have a job offer from a Tier 2 Sponsor licenced business and a valid Certificate of Sponsorship reference number. It is important that the details on the Certificate of Sponsorship are correct; not only for the Tier 2 migrant but also for the Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder as incorrect information could lead to the Home Office doubting the genuineness of the Sponsor and the licence may be suspended or revoked. We specialise in points-based system application and have a vast amount of experience in dealing with Certificates of Sponsorship. Therefore our team are happy to review a Certificate of Sponsorship before it is assigned to the migrant worker, to avoid complications down the road.  

What is a Certificate of Sponsorship?

A Certificate of Sponsorship (“CoS”) is an electronic document which has a unique reference number and holds personal information about the potential migrant employee, as well as information about the job such as salary, length of employment, whether the Resident Labour Market Test has been completed (if applicable) and relevant SOC code and job description. Tier 2 Applicants must have a valid CoS reference number before they can apply under the Tier 2 visa route. By assigning a CoS using the SMS Portal, the Sponsor is confirming to the best of their knowledge that the migrant is able to undertake a particular job and that they intend to do so. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the Tier 2 Sponsor Licence employer to correctly complete the details of the CoS and assign it to the relevant migrant.

Once assigned, a CoS is only valid for 3 months and the unique Certificate of Sponsorship reference number can only be used once. A Certificate of Sponsorship can also be withdrawn or cancelled at any time by either the Home Office or the Tier 2 Sponsor. The CoS will only be valid if the Tier 2 Sponsor has paid the compulsory Immigration Skills Charge (unless an exemption applies).

Correctly assigning the Certificate of Sponsorship is part of the Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder’s sponsorship duties and it is important that the details on the CoS are correct. LEXVISA business immigration team can assist businesses and their HR departments to correctly complete and assign the CoS and are happy to arrange a consultation with our specialist senior solicitors in order to discuss this further. Failure to enter the correct details on the CoS, such as the applicable SOC code under Appendix J of the Immigration Rules, can lead to the Tier 2 or settlement application being refused as this could be seen as deception in the eyes of the Home Office, also resulting in the Tier 2 Sponsor Licence being suspended or revoked.

What is the difference between a Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship and Unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship?

There are two types of Certificate of Sponsorship; Restricted and Unrestricted. There is a monthly allocation specifying the number of Restricted CoS available to be assigned. The monthly application and allocation periods begin on the 6th day of each calendar month and end on the 5th day of the next calendar month. In some exceptional circumstances, a Restricted CoS can be issued before the next allocation date, but Sponsors will have to be able to demonstrate the urgency for the Certificate of Sponsorship to be issued sooner.

An Unrestricted CoS is not subject to the above mentioned monthly allocation and therefore Tier 2 Sponsors can assign an Unrestricted CoS without first applying for permission from the Home Office. Unrestricted CoS can only be used for the following applications:

  • if the migrant is sponsored for a job as a doctor or nurse under SOC codes 2211 and 2231;
  • if the migrant is sponsored for a job with a salary of £159,600 or above;
  • if the migrant is sponsored for a job connected with the inward investment provisions;
  • all in-country Tier 2 visa applications; with the exception of those who are switching from a Tier 4 dependant visa.

If a Tier 2 Sponsor is found to be issuing Unrestricted CoS to Tier 2 Applicants who fall within the Restricted CoS category, then this could also lead to their Tier 2 Sponsor Licence being revoked.

Using Legal Representation to assign a Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on the law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you in assigning a Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship. Our Solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to revoke sponsor licences which are not meeting the Tier 2 Sponsor Duties for example by failing to properly include the correct details on the Certificate of Sponsorship. In order to ensure your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence continues to receive a good rating, our immigration team can conduct regular compliance visits and assist in assigning any Certificates of Sponsorship. Our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be retained in the files.

The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that you continue to meet the Immigration Rules.

Successfully assign a Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of the restricted and unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship, even before your matter reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you in assigning the Certificate of Sponsorship and with meeting your other Tier 2 responsibilities by conducting quarterly compliance checks and by working with your Human Resources department ensuring all the relevant files meet the Home Office requirements.

Our offices are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful compliance checks from the Home Office. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss your matter further.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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