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Defined Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)

certificate of sponsorship, also known as COS, is issued by a sponsor who is licenced to hire migrant workers. These documents are essential for those who apply for work visas in the UK.

To learn more about the benefits of defined CoS and how you can get one, call our friendly advisors today at 0333 305 9375. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone, or online.

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What is a Defined Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)?

Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is an electronic record issued by the sponsor (employer) to the applicant (employee) for the visa application. Each certificate has its own unique number that can be used with a skilled worker visa application.

A Defined Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is an immigration document that allows employers to hire skilled workers from outside the UK on a temporary basis. This enables the employer to have more flexibility when choosing which type of employee they want and helps them avoid having to spend time training their own staff.

In order to apply for a Defined Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), you must prove that you have been actively looking for suitable candidates in the UK, but have been unable to find anyone with the right skills and experience. You also need to show that there are no suitable applicants from within the United Kingdom available for recruitment into your company.

Within three months of receiving a CoS, it should be assigned to an individual. Otherwise, the process has to be repeated from the start.

Requirements for the Defined CoS

To obtain CoS, you must possess an A-rated licence that gives you the authority to create and assign certificates of sponsorship.

To get a Certificate of Sponsorship, you must provide the following details:

  • The migrant worker travel route
  • The migrant’s personal information
  • Contact details
  • Job description
  • Work address(es) in the UK
  • Working hours
  • Salary
  • Start and end date of employment

If the Home Office does not have all the details required to justify the CoS application, they can refuse it.

How to Apply for a Defined CoS?

You need to apply for certificates for the workers through the sponsorship management system (SMS). You will get access to the SMS when you get your licence.

Follow the step-by-step instructions below to apply for defined Certificates of Sponsorship:

  1. Log in to your Sponsor Management System (SMS) account as a level 1 or 2 user
  2. From the “Workers” screen in the SMS, select “Defined CoS”
  3. Select “Apply for defined CoS” from the “Apply for defined CoS” screen
  4. Enter the number of defined CoS you require
  5. In the employment details screen, enter your employment details
  6. Read the declaration and tick the box to indicate your agreement
  7. When you’re finished, select “Submit”

When applying for a CoS based on a previous application, follow these steps:

  1. From the “Apply for CoS screen”, select “Apply for defined CoS based on a previous application”
  2. From the Apply for a new CoS screen, select the radio button next to the application on which you wish to base a new application
  3. Enter the number of CoS you need
  4. Tick the box to indicate your agreement and click “Submit”

After you submit your application, it should be processed within one working day. The UKVI can take longer to make a decision if they need to carry out further checks or request additional information.

Need help obtaining your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)? Our expert immigration lawyers are here to assist you.

How to Assign A Defined Certificate of Sponsorship?

If you want to create and assign a single CoS, follow these steps. You must first apply for a defined Certificate of Sponsorship before you can create it.

  1. Log in to your account as a level 1 or level 2 user
  2. From the “Apply for defined CoS screen”, select “Granted applications – create and assign defined CoS”
  3. Select the appropriate CoS from the granted applications
  4. Review the application summary and click “Create”
  5. Add the migrant’s details and select “Save”
  6. Read the declaration and tick the box to agree to the terms. When you are finished, select “Submit”
  7. Pay the CoS fee and immigration skills charge through Worldpay (a third-party payment service)

When the CoS has been issued, you will be able to see the unique reference number on the screen.

an employer and employee shaking hands while standing

Cost of Issuing Defined Certificates of Sponsorship

When you assign a certificate to a worker, you’ll need to pay a fee. The cost will depend on the type of sponsor license you have.

The cost to apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship for temporary workers is £21 and £199 for workers (except those on the International Sportsperson visa).

The cost of a CoS for an International Sportsperson is £199, with a certificate assigned for more than 12 months. If the CoS is assigned for 12 months or less, it costs £21.

Cancelling an Issued CoS

You must cancel the Certificate of Sponsorship of an employee who leaves your organisation or changes job (to a job outside the current SOC code). You’ll need to do this within five days of receiving notification of this change.

To avoid confusion, an employee can only hold one live certificate at a time, so their original certificate must be canceled before a fresh one can be issued.

Let us help you get your Defined Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) with ease. We are here to guide you through the process.

How IAS can help?

At IAS, we understand what it takes to get your business off the ground. We’ve helped thousands of individuals and businesses find the right employees for their needs, and we can help you with your certificate of sponsorship requirements.

We will prepare your application and submit it on your behalf so that all you have to do is review it before sending it off to the Home Office. We will also handle any follow-up questions or concerns that arise during the process.

Our team will work with you every step of the way so you know exactly what’s happening with your application. We will also help you to understand the requirements for defined and undefined CoS, and we can assist with other immigration services.

If you have any questions about the process or would like to discuss your options, please contact us at 0333 305 9375. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone, or online.

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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