The Essential Guide to Documents Required for Certificate of Sponsorship UK

Summary- All set to work in the UK but need to know what’s next? Your first goal should be obtaining a Certificate of Sponsorship UK licence from the Home Office. Your prospective employer should meet all the necessary legitimacy requirements so that your sponsorship licence procedure can be smooth sailing.

Do you want to relocate to the UK via employment eligibility but need to know how? Or do you need clarification about the documents required for the Certificate of Sponsorship UK? Well, do not worry; we are here to help!

Firstly, you must know that to obtain a UK visa sponsorship licence, you must apply to the Home Office and submit the necessary payment. 

The Home Office will grant a UK work permit only after your organisation can demonstrate the job roles they are recruiting for and the selected employees they wish to sponsor who fulfil the required conditions. 

Moreover, your organisation’s HR should firmly adhere to the compliance requirements. Are you interested to learn more? Great, let’s get started!

What’s a Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa in the UK?

What Is a Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa |

Before knowing about the documents required for Certificate of Sponsorship UK, you must first know about the Tier 2 Skilled Worker – UKVI skilled worker – visa. 

The Tier 2 Skilled Worker visa, having replaced the Tier 2 General) work visa, is for applicants who have been given a job in the UK and are sponsored by UKVI-approved companies. 

It is the primary migration pathway for skilled individuals to work and live in the UK. Some of the other point-based UK immigration systems for the requirement of Tier 2 visa are:

  • Global Business Mobility visas
  • Temporary Worker visas
  • Health and Care Worker visa

Each of the visa types mentioned above requires sponsorship from a licensed employer and has different Tier 2 visa application processes. 

Suppose you do not belong to the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and have been offered a job in the UK by a good business with a valid Tier 2 sponsorship licence. In that case, you can apply for a Tier 2 Visa UK (General).

Moreover, your prospective employer should be a UK-based firm with a UKVI sponsorship licence. If the potential employer does not hold a UKVI sponsorship licence, it may be feasible for it to apply for one. 

You must note that only organisations with a UKVI sponsorship licence, not individuals, can grant a UK work permit. This rule has been established to prevent the misuse of the UK’s immigration policies.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements for Sponsored Jobs in the UK?

Eligibility Requirements for Sponsored Jobs in the UK |

Before going about collecting the documents required for Certificate of Sponsorship UK, you must know about the eligibility requirements for sponsored jobs in the UK:

  • The organisation should be operating legally in the UK.
  • The prospective organisation offering the job must be a legitimate enterprise. For instance, limited companies should be registered with Companies House.
  • Although there are no requirements in the official guidelines that the organisation should have been in operation for a specific duration, a UK resident who is an employee of the organisation should interact with the Home Office on any application-related queries.
  • The organisation should be based in the UK.

The application for a UKVI sponsorship licence will be denied if the business seeking it has no operating/trading presence in the UK. 

Even if the firm has no physical location in the UK and works virtually, it may apply for the UKVI sponsor licence. But it must demonstrate that it can satisfy its sponsor duties and obligations and is functioning legitimately in the UK.

Additional Criteria:

The UKVI will ensure that a sponsor meets the following requirements:

  • It provides an accurate position that fits the criteria for skilled workers. Job descriptions exaggerated to fulfil the skill level criteria will generate concerns that the vacancy is fake. The Home Office will do its due diligence to clarify the precise nature of the post and its responsibilities and validate the role’s existence.
  • HR and recruitment mechanisms are in place to demonstrate compliance with the sponsor’s obligations and responsibilities. The Home Office maintains the right to undertake a site visit before (and after) the licence is granted to examine sponsor compliance.
  • The sponsor is honest, reliable and trustworthy. It means that the organisation, its owners, directors and key people do not have any criminal cases.
  • The sponsor complies with immigration control and has no records of non-compliance.
  • The sponsor has the local planning authority’s consent to run a business at the designated address.

What Are the Documents Needed for Certificate of Sponsorship UK?

Documents Required for Certificate of Sponsorship UK |

A specialised skilled worker visa application staff at the Home Office will assess applications for sponsorship and the documents required for the Certificate of Sponsorship UK. 

Before proceeding with the necessary documents for Certificate of Sponsorship UK, learning more about the CoS will be pertinent.

About Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)

What is a Certificate of Sponsorship? A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is a vital document issued by an employer to a sponsored worker from another nation. The sponsored worker can apply for a visa and become a legitimate employee.

‘You should assign a Certificate of Sponsorship to each foreign worker you employ. It is an electronic record … Each certificate has a unique number which a worker can use to apply for a visa’.

a sample of what the official UK government website says about Certificates of Sponsorship

The certificate of sponsorship is required for all workers seeking a Skilled Worker or Temporary visa. 

However, to apply for a certificate of sponsorship for each person you hire, you must first acquire an up-to-date sponsorship licence from the Home Office.

When you make a job offer as an employer, the next step should be to apply for the CoS, one of the documents required for you to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship to each foreign employee. 

This certificate has to incorporate details of your potential employee’s work in your organisation and the projected remuneration of the UKVI-approved skilled worker. 

If any irregularity is discovered between you and your foreign employee, your licence may be revoked. 

Defined CoS

Defined certifications are especially for Skilled Worker visa applicants not from the UK. Once you receive your sponsor licence, you must apply using the online Sponsorship Management System (SMS) – you will get access to the SMS after you get your certificate of sponsorship licence – to be granted a defined CoS. 

Upon being accepted by the UKVI, the relevant CoS will be sent to the foreign worker, who can then apply for a UK visa. Typically, applications for defined CoSs are handled within one working day. However, the duration may also depend on the active Tier 2 sponsor lists length.

Undefined CoS

Undefined certifications are for Skilled Worker visa applicants applying from within the UK, among all the other sponsored visa applications. 

When you apply for your licence as a sponsoring organisation, you will be asked to estimate how many undefined certificates you will require during the initial calendar year of sponsorship. 

You may increase the number of undefined certificates you need by sending a request via SMS.

Apart from the CoS types mentioned above, additional CoSs can be issued: restricted and unrestricted. The process of obtaining each differs. The following information may be more relevant for an employer than an employee. 

Unrestricted CoS

Before issuing an Unrestricted CoS as an employer, you must obtain a sponsor licence from the Home Office. Additionally, you must first register with the Sponsorship Management System (SMS). 

The licensing fee will be debited from your company’s SMS account. You must provide the Certificate of Sponsorship to the hired worker once you have acquired your sponsor licence.

When your selected migrant worker files for an Unrestricted CoS, it should be provided within 48 hours of submission. In addition, if you wish to submit an application for extra sponsorship licences as an employer, you must give proof of requirement for the needed amount.

Restricted CoS

If you’ve allocated all of the Unrestricted CoSs you have acquired in a year to your employees and future employees, you can request a Restricted CoS for recruiting workers using the Tier 2 route. 

But  Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship have limited monthly availability – it varies per month – in the UK.

After you apply for a sponsor licence, your application will be reviewed by a panel (not applicable to an Unrestricted CoS) that will examine the application and utilise a points-based system to determine whether or not the sponsor licence will be granted. Instead of Unrestricted CoSs, an application for a Restricted CoS takes longer due to the processes needed.

Let us now dive into the documents required for the Certificate of Sponsorship UK.

Tier 2 Visa UK Cover Letter

Among the documents required for Certificate of Sponsorship UK, a cover letter can be included. Although a cover letter is not mandatory for a Tier 2 visa, it may still be demanded in some instances. 

As an employee selected to work in the UK, your cover letter must mention your valid personal details with the passport and visa application reference numbers. Furthermore, you must specify the following information about your prospective employment offer:

  • Job title
  • Sponsor (employer) name
  • Sponsor licence (employer) number
  • Certificate of Sponsorship (employer) no.
  • Gross salary
  • English knowledge proof (along with the assessment body)

Apart from the documents required for Certificate of Sponsorship UK mentioned above, mention the status of the following certificates depending on their availability:

  • Criminal Record Certificate
  • TB Clearance Certificate
  • International Health Surcharge
  • CoS Code (employer) and CoS Letter

Please keep in mind that if you stated in your online application that you have held any dual citizenship, previous nationalities, or statuses such as an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) or of a National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) in the last ten years, you must clarify this in your cover letter, especially if you still have any expired passports from the last ten years. Please remember that OCI and NICOP are visas, not passports.

Your CV goes hand in hand with your cover letter. However, you need not worry if you are yet to prepare. iCover’s professional CV writing services and cover letter writing service will ensure that you have your professional documents in top shape!

TB (Tuberculosis) Clearance Certificate

If you intend to stay in the UK for over six months, you must get a tuberculosis (TB) test certificate as one of the documents for a skilled worker visa UK. You may also be required to undergo a TB test if:

  • You reside in any of the countries listed by the Government of the UK 
  • You lived in any of the countries listed by the Government of the UK in the last six months

A chest X-ray will be performed to check for tuberculosis. If the X-ray results need clarification, you may be requested to provide a sputum sample. 

Lastly, if your test results demonstrate that you do not have tuberculosis, you will be issued a certificate valid for six months after the Government of the UK receives your X-ray report. 

You must include this certificate as a part of the documents required for the Certificate of Sponsorship UK.

On the other hand, you may not require a TB clearance certificate among the documents required for the Certificate of Sponsorship UK if:

  • You are a UK-accredited diplomat.
  • You’re a repatriated UK resident who hasn’t been abroad for more than two years. 
  • You have resided in a nation for six months where the UK doesn’t need TB screening and have lived elsewhere for more than six months.

Criminal Record Certificate

A criminal record certificate is the most vital Tier 2 visa application document among the documents required for the Certificate of Sponsorship UK. 

This certificate will contain details regarding an individual’s past crimes, covering prior offences, repeat offences and current arrests for which prosecution may be underway. The local police or another competent law enforcement body typically provides an official document certifying an individual’s criminal record. 

On the other hand, the certificate can also affirm that the person has no criminal report. A criminal record certificate is known by different names in different regions, such as:

  • Canada – Police Certificate or Criminal Record Check
  • Bangladesh – Police Clearance Certificate
  • India – Local Police Report or Police Clearance Certificate
  • Egypt –  Criminal Status Record (Saheefat al Hala al Gina’iyya)
  • Pakistan – Police Character Certificate 
  • Saudi Arabia – Police clearance certificate
  • Nigeria –  Certificate of Good Conduct
  • United States –  Criminal Record History or FBI Identification Record
  • United Arab Emirates –  Police Clearance or Good Conduct Certificate

Additional Documents Required for Certificate of Sponsorship UK

Bank Statement or Maintenance Letter

Suppose your company is not a fully authorised (A-rated) sponsor and has not checked ’Y’ for maintenance. 

In that case, you must present a bank statement showing an outstanding balance of £945 deposited in the past 90 days before applying for your certificate of sponsorship UK. You can also speak to your prospective company’s HR about it, after which they may issue a maintenance letter among the documents required for Certificate of Sponsorship UK.

Furthermore, you must demonstrate that you can sustain your dependents (husband/wife/partner/child/child above 18, if in the UK currently) in the UK. 

Whether they apply with you or individually, each dependant should have £630 in their bank account and the £945 you must have for living expenses.

 Before you or they apply, you must furnish documentation that proves you have the money and that it has been in your or their bank account for at least 90 days.

Educational Documents and Tenancy Letter

Although not mandatory for the Certificate of Sponsorship UK, you must still include proof of education and a tenancy letter for your rented accommodation to supplement your Tier 2 visa application.

Wrapping Up

We hope all your doubts concerning the documents you need for sponsored jobs in the UK are cleared. 

Although obtaining a sponsor licence has become necessary for firms hiring non-UK resident employees from abroad, UK immigration regulations remain difficult, exacting and costly for employers attracting talent to the UK.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you qualify for CoS in the UK?

The Sponsor Management System (SMS) generates a Certificate of Sponsorship for all eligible candidates after they have submitted their documents required for Certificate of Sponsorship UK. A CoS can be assigned by a qualified sponsor (employer) with a licence and a Level 1 or Level 2 SMS user. 

The hiring manager must determine whether the company can obtain a sponsor licence. Furthermore, they must not hold criminal records for immigration or other associated cases. 

They also must not have had their sponsor licence revoked in the past. Lastly, the sponsor must check whether the work profile offered qualifies for sponsorship.

2. How long does it take for CoS to be approved?

CoS applications are typically approved within one working day. Yet it may take longer if the UKVI has to assess and verify the information – for a prospective employee who has been offered a job in the UK – in the submitted application. 

Verification by the Home Office of the authenticity of documents required for the Certificate of Sponsorship UK – for the employer – can also contribute to the delay.

3. Does CoS guarantee a UK visa?

A CoS does not ensure the issuance of a UK visa. After the CoS has been allocated, the applicant must submit an authorised visa application under the points-based system’s Skilled Worker, Minister of Religion, Intra Company, Temporary Worker or Sportsperson categories.

4. How long does the Home Office take to process CoS?

The Home Office will usually award the required CoS within one working day after verifying all documents required for Certificate of Sponsorship UK. 

However, while requesting a specific CoS type, the Home Office may require more information about the function, how the applicant was identified, etc. 

Sponsors should be willing to give pertinent information in this regard.

5. Who pays for certificates of sponsorship?

When an employer issues a Certificate of Sponsorship to a worker, they pay the immigration skills charge. Moreover, the amount they must pay is determined by their company’s size and the duration of the employee’s work agreement.

6. Is getting sponsorship in the UK difficult?

It is often assumed that it is difficult for competent immigrants to work while living in the UK. However, with the correct approach, documents required for Certificate of Sponsorship UK and supporting information, obtaining a sponsorship in the UK can be a breeze. It may be longer and more difficult than in other prominent migrant destinations, but obtaining a UK Skilled Worker Visa is not impossible.

7. How do I check my sponsorship status in the UK?

The Sponsor Management System (SMS) will give you access after you – employer – get your certificate of sponsorship licence. The SMS will help you track your sponsorship status until you receive a defined CoS.

8. What happens after sponsor approval?

Once a specific CoS has been issued after approval and reviewing documents required for Certificate of Sponsorship UK, it must be assigned to the prospective individual within a period of three months, or it will expire, necessitating a repeat of the procedure .

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