Certificate of Sponsorship

A certificate of sponsorship must be assigned to every sponsored worker who you employ. The certificate allows the employee to apply for a visa.

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What is a certificate of sponsorship?

A certificate of sponsorship (also known as CoS) is an electronic record which must be assigned to every sponsored worker. A sponsored worker is required to have a certificate of sponsorship before they can apply for their visa to work in the UK.

What is on a certificate of sponsorship (CoS)?

A certificate of sponsorship contains the following information about the employee:

  • Their name.

  • Passport number.

  • Nationality.

  • Job title.

  • A brief description of their role.

  • Remuneration (salary plus benefits and allowances).

  • The main location where the individual will be working.

  • The occupation code (SOC code).


Types of certificate of sponsorship (CoS)

There are two different types of certificate of sponsorship: an undefined certificate of sponsorship and a defined certificate of sponsorship.

Defined certificate of sponsorship

A defined certificate of sponsorship is for employees who are applying for a Skilled Worker visa from outside of the UK. Employers must apply for a defined certificate of sponsorship through the Sponsorship Management System (SMS) once they have got their sponsor licence.

Undefined certificate of sponsorship

An undefined certificate of sponsorship is for those individuals who are making a Skilled Worker visa application from inside the UK, they are also for applicants on all other visas. 

When you apply for a sponsor licence, you will be asked how many undefined certificates of sponsorship you will need in the first year and you will also be asked to justify this. Every year you will be asked to give an indication to the UKVI as to how many undefined certificates you require for the following year. If you run out of undefined certificates during the life of your sponsor licence, then you can apply for them on a case-by-case basis. 


How long does it take to get a certificate of sponsorship?

It usually takes one working day to approve a CoS application. However, if UKVI are required to carry out further checks then the approval time will be longer.


How much does a certificate of sponsorship cost?

Every time you assign a CoS to an employee, you will be required to pay a fee. The fee is dependent on what kind of sponsor licence you have.

Type of sponsor licence Cost
Worker (not including the International Sportsperson visa) £199
Temporary Worker £21
International Sportsperson visa (where the CoS is assigned for more than 12 months) £199
International Sportsperson visa (where the CoS is assigned for 12 months or less) £21



How can Paragon Law help?

At Paragon Law, our expert business immigration lawyers have supported many businesses with matters regarding the certificate of sponsorship. If you require assistance with the certificate of sponsorship, or require support with any issue relating to UK immigration law then please contact us to speak to an expert immigration lawyer.

Make an enquiry


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