UK Visa Sponsorship for Employers

UK Visa Sponsorship for Employers

UK Visa Sponsorship for Employers

What is UK Visa Sponsorship for Employers? This is the authorization empowering UK employers with the right to assign a certificate of sponsorship for foreign nationals that come to the UK under a work visa. Those seeking to get a sponsor employer must have the needed qualification, experience, and skills for the position which should be suitable for sponsorship.

A UK employer that wants to hire a foreign worker in their organization will be asked to sponsor them in their visa application, by granting them a certificate of sponsorship for work. The longest an employer can sponsor a foreign worker is five years.

The purpose of a Certificate of Sponsorship is, primarily, to support foreign workers’ visa applications but, equally, to assure the UK authorities that the UK employer will take the needed responsibilities and obligations for the activities of the sponsored employee during their employment in their company.

UK Visa Sponsorship for Employers

What is a Certificate of Sponsorship?

The Certificates of sponsorship (CoS) are not regular paper documents, they are electronic records with a unique number reserved for each foreign employee. This number is to be used by the employee during their application for the work visa (amongst a list of other application documents), and it cannot be put in use later than three months from the issuance day.

Eligibility for Certificate of Sponsorship to work in the UK

Any foreigner who has the required skills, qualifications, and experience to do a job in either Tier 2 or Tier 5 of the points-based system is eligible to get a sponsor employer in the UK.

Tier 2 skilled workers:

  • Tier 2 General– persons that have a job offer in a skilled job position or a position ranked in the shortage list that cannot be taken by the settled or EEA workers
  • Tier 2 Intra-company transfer– foreigners working in a multinational company willing to either get a job position that cannot be taken by the settled or EEA workers or to follow a training program within the UK branch of the same company.
  • Tier 2 Sports person– foreigners with a job offer as an elite Sports person or coach in the UK who are internationally recognized and whose contribution would be of benefit for further development of the UK sports field
  • Tier 2 Minister of religion– foreigners with a job offer for a position in a faith community as a minister of religion engage in preaching and pastoral activities, missionaries or are members of religious orders.

See Also: What is Visa Sponsorship?

Tier 5 temporary workers:

  • Creative and sporting: foreigners with a job offer for a position that lasts up to 1 year as a sports person, or lasting up to 2 years for a job as an entertainer or artist
  • Charity worker: foreigners with a job offer for a voluntary position lasting up to 1 year
  • Religious worker: foreigners with a job offer lasting up to 2 years as a preacher, pastor or non-pastor
  • Government-authorized exchange: foreigners with a job offer lasting up to 1 year for work experience, or lasting up to 2 years for attending training or research projects for exchange purposes
  • International agreement: foreigners have a short-term position covered by international law – i.e. a position as foreign government staff, or as a private servant in a diplomatic household

Who Can Sponsor Foreign Workers?

Almost any UK employer is entitled to employ foreign staff in their company. Yet, they must be authorized for issuing Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS). To issue a CoS, an employer must first get the sponsor license – a license that is appropriate to the type of job they will occupy with foreign staff.

The legitimacy to sponsor employment of the foreign staff within their company is reserved only for those employers who can cope with the requirements, conditions, and procedures set for the UK employment sponsorship.

How to Get a CoS?

A Certificate of Sponsorship has to be created by the assigned staff of the sponsoring employer using the Sponsorship Management System (SMS) after the staff was given the login details of a licensed sponsor (following the successful application for the license).

The sponsor has to complete all the mandatory fields in the system with the needed information regarding the sponsored foreign employer. The information includes ID information, passport info, current home address, identification numbers, work address, work dates, home address in the UK, migrant employment, labor market test, and others as required in the online form.

There is a fee to be paid by the sponsoring employer for assigning a certificate of sponsorship, as in:

  • Tier 2 CoS – £199
  • Tier 5 CoS – £21
  • Free to nationals of Turkey, Croatia, and North Macedonia

Another fee known as the “Immigration Skills Charge” is applicable for issuing Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) CoS. The fee needs to be paid latest 10 days from assigning the CoS; otherwise, the worker’s visa will be canceled.

See Also: USA student visa -11 Powerful Tricks on How to Get a Student Visa for USA

What are the Types of Certificate of Sponsorship?

Depending on the job a foreign employee will perform in their business, the employer must require a sponsor license to issue certificates of sponsorship for either Tier 2 – skilled workers with long-term contracts, or Tier 5 – temporary workers with short-term.

When the employer applies for the license, they have to estimate the number of CoS they are attentive to issue in the first year of the license.

For specific jobs, employers are restricted in regards to the number of CoS allowed to assign each month. These are known as restricted certificates. While for some jobs there is no limitation on the number of CoS employers can assign, and these are called unrestricted certificates.

Restricted certificates are issued in the following categories:

  • Tier 2 (General) out of the UK, with a salary offer under £159,600/year
  • Dependants of Tier 4 foreigners willing to switch to a Tier 2 visa

How to apply for a Sponsoring Licence?

Briefly said, the organization can assign CoS and support a foreign employee to come and work with them in the UK if these following conditions are met:

  • have open job positions suitable for sponsorship,
  • prove that their organization is an eligible business,
  • successfully apply for and receive the sponsor license,
  • demonstrate having the staff and capacity to properly administrate the sponsorship process

UK employers have to undergo the following steps in applying to get a sponsor license:

  1. Complete, sign, and send the online application form for the sponsor license
  2. Pay the application fee
  3. Send the supporting documents to show you are in the UK
  4. Show documents that prove to be an eligible and suitable business/organization
  5. Send planning permission, or local planning authority, to consent to operate the type of business at your trading address (if required)
  6. Offer the registration certificate with the food authority (if being a food business)
  7. During the application, the tiers, categories, and subcategories under which the employer wishes to be licensed must be chosen, to get the sponsor license

Fees involved in the application for a sponsor license

Premium sponsor scheme – Tiers 2 & 5 (large sponsor) £25,000
Premium sponsor scheme – Tiers 2 & 5 (small sponsor) £8,000
Premium sponsor scheme – Tiers 2 & 5 (large sponsor) for 3 months £6,250
Premium sponsor scheme – Tiers 2 & 5 (small sponsor) for 3 months £2,000
Premium Change of Circumstances £200
Tier 2 large sponsor license (may also include Tier 4 and/or Tier 5) £1,476
Tier 2 small sponsor license (may also include Tier 4 and/or Tier 5) £536
Tier 5 sponsor license £536
Add Tier 2 to an existing Tier 4 &/or Tier 5 license (large sponsor) £940
Sponsor action plan £1,476
Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) £199
Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) £21

How to consider a job suitable for sponsorship?

Job suitability means that the job position a UK employer offers for the foreign national worker meets the criteria as regards the salary offered and skills required.

This is because for every category there is a criterion for sponsorship, as in:

  • Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) – must reach level 6 and higher of the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF)
  • Ballet dancers, other dancers, film and TV performers, theatre and opera performers, film and TV workers

The sponsor has to take the procedure known as “the resident labor market test” sometimes to assure that the job position that the foreign worker can occupy could not be filled by either local or EEA nationals.

The case includes Tier 2 (General), Tier 2 (Minister of Religion), or Tier 5 (Religious Workers) important positions only, excluding cases when living within a religious order (such as a monk or nun), as well as for Tier 5 (Creative and Sporting) in the creative and entertainment sector.

The test means advertising the job position in a minimum of two job advertising mediums for 28 days.

See Also: Free Visa Sponsorship Jobs for Foreigners

What is an Immigration Skills Charge?

The immigration skills charge is a fee to be paid by the sponsoring employer when assigning CoS for Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) foreigners.

The fee is charged for the aforementioned cases if they are expecting to get a job lasting 6 months or longer while they are out of the UK. While, if the foreigner is already in the UK the fee will be charged for any sort of the extent of the job period.

Exempt to pay this fee are cases when the sponsor wishes to assign a CoS to the following cases:

  • A foreigner with Tier 4 (General) student about to switch to a Tier 2 (General)
  • A foreigner already having a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Graduate Trainee
  • A foreigner who is about to get a job within the Ph.D. level of the SOC code
  • Dependants of the worker that the sponsor wishes to assign CoS for

The fee depends on the size of the sponsoring employer and the length of the contract with the sponsored foreign worker, but the general fee is presented below:

  • First-year/small or charitable employers – £364
  • First-year/medium or large employers – £1,000
  • Every further half-year / small or charitable employers – £182
  • Every further half-year/medium or large employers – £500
  • For persons working less than a year and more than half-year – £364 or £1,000

Which are the responsibilities of the sponsor?

Assigning a Certificate of Sponsorship to a foreign worker will make the sponsor responsible for:

  • Properly examine skills, education, and accreditations related to the job requirements
  • Issuing the CoS has to be for a suitable job for sponsorship
  • Inform UKVI about any break of the visa conditions from the sponsored worker
  • be informed about workers’ immigration status
  • keeping dossier of sponsorship for any foreign worker
  • keep information and registers about worker’s presence in the workplace and inform IKVI in case of any unexplained absence
  • update the contact information of the worker
  • For any change in the business process–must inform UKVI within 20 working days, if any of the following happens to the sponsoring employer:
    • Insolvency
    • change in the business’ scope of work
    • part-taking in a union or take-over
  • The change must be registered using SMS.

Who cannot be sponsored to work in the UK?

Employers are not allowed to sponsor:

  • Persons aged below 18 for the category of Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme), Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – International Agreement) for a job as a private servant in a diplomatic household, or in the household of an international organization
  • Persons aged below 16 for any Tier 2 category

Hope this helps. If you have questions relating to UK Visa Sponsorship for Employers, do kindly contact us via the comment box or through the Contact Us page. We shall be there to assist you better.

14 thoughts on “UK Visa Sponsorship for Employers

  1. I love it wow I like it to get UK visa will I worked with UK Advisors I have a lot of stories unfortunately I don’t have any one of them address. Right now I’m in Kabul Afghanistan.

  2. I love it wow I like it to get UK visa will I worked with UK Advisors I have a lot of stories unfortunately I don’t have any one of them address. Right now I’m in Kabul Afghanistan

  3. My name is Getahun Gunta. Iam from Ethiopia. I like to get UK sponsorship visa. I have BSc degree in Chemical Engineering and Iam certified with 4 years working experience of Sugar factory production supervising. Please, contact me through whatsapp: +251955148056 or Email: I like kindly to thank UN government for preparing this great working opportunity for developing countries and for another countries.

  4. Hello dear respectiful Sir the situation in afghanistan is very difficult for me and my family members I am kindly request from the government of Netherland to help me in this process and support me .
    I did worked with (HEAlTHNET TOP )one of the netderland government organisation in Afghanistan Kandahar Province and districts.
    And I have all proof documents on my hand .
    Best Regards.
    Full Name: Nazifa Hishami.
    Contact number #:0706197522
    Email address:

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