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Documents Required for Certificate of Sponsorship in the UK

UK employers who want to hire foreign workers must apply for the Certificate of Sponsorship for each international employee. Find out what documents are required for it.

For professional assistance with your situation, call our lawyers on 0333 305 9375. We are here to help you via the phone, in person, or online.


What is the Certificate of Sponsorship?

To be able to bring workers from abroad, UK employers must apply for the Certificate of Sponsorship for each foreign employee. After an employer assigns the Certificate of Sponsorship to an international worker, the prospective employee must use it to apply for their UK visa within 3 months.

Applications for the Certificate of Sponsorship must be submitted after a UK employer makes a job offer to a foreign worker. The Certificate of Sponsorship must include details of what the employee will be doing once in the UK. In addition, the employer must provide information on what their job role and salary will be.

It is important to note that the Certificate of Sponsorship is not a physical document. It is an electronic record and each comes with an individual reference number that foreign workers must include in their application for a UK visa.

What documents are required for the Certificate of Sponsorship?

When applying for the Certificate of Sponsorship, UK employers must provide the following documents:

  • Certificate of Sponsorship application form
  • Copy of National Insurance Number
  • Copies of the worker’s essential qualifications
  • Copy of the worker’s CV
  • Foreign worker’s personal information
  • Details of the route on which the migrant worker is being sponsored
  • Proof of salary that has been offered to the migrant worker
  • Information about the role the migrant worker will hold in the UK
  • Overview of tasks the international worker will be carrying out
  • Information about how many hours the migrant employee will work per week
  • Confirmation of start date and end date of employment
  • Receipt confirming that the sponsor paid a fee for assigning the Certificate of Sponsorship
  • Contact details of the employer

Our lawyers can help you gather all the necessary documents and can guide you through the process of assigning the Certificate of Sponsorship to foreign workers.

After the employer submits the Certificate of Sponsorship application with all of the required information, the processing of the request takes between 24 to 48 hours. Sometimes, the Home Office might request additional information. Then, the processing time can take longer.

What information do I need to provide in the application form?

UK employers must submit the Certificate of Sponsorship application form to obtain the Certificate of Sponsorship for their prospective foreign employees. In the form, they must provide the following information about the international worker:

  • Personal information – their first and last name, gender, nationality, and date of birth
  • Passport or travel document – passport number, issue and expiry dates, and place of issue
  • Home address – their current home address and country of residence
  • Work details – start and end date of employment, as well as total number of weekly hours of work
  • UK work address
  • Sponsorship details – job title, a summary of the job, gross pay, frequency of pay, employing organisation, funding source

If you are a UK employer and you want to apply for the Certificate of Sponsorship for foreign workers you plan to bring to the country, get in touch with our lawyers. Call us on 0333 305 9375 and our lawyers will explain to you in detail what information and documents you need to prepare.

What types of Certificate of Sponsorship are there?

There are two types of the Certificate of Sponsorship. These are:

  • Defined Certificate of Sponsorship intended for nationals living abroad but planning to come to the UK on the Skilled Worker Visa
  • Undefined Certificate of Sponsorship intended for prospective employees living in the UK, as well as those who are already working in the UK and wishing to apply for a visa extension

All foreign workers currently living outside of the UK need the Defined Certificate of Sponsorship to be able to come to the UK to work.

Contact us today to learn more about available sponsorship opportunities. We have expert immigration lawyers to assist you.

What is the sponsor licence?

UK employers must have the right type of sponsor licence to be able to hire migrant workers and assign them the Certificate of Sponsorship.

There are two types of sponsor licence they can get depending on what type of workers they wish to hire. These are:

  • Sponsorship licence for employers looking for long-term workers such as foreign nationals coming to the UK on the Skilled Worker Visa, Ministers of Religion, or International Sportspersons
  • Sponsorship licence for employers looking for temporary workers such as Graduate Trainees, Scale Up Workers, or Service Suppliers

To obtain a sponsorship licence, UK organisations must prove that they lawfully operate in the country. Once they get their sponsor licence, UK employers have the right to employ skilled workers from overseas. Only after they obtain the licence can they assign the Certificate of Sponsorship to foreign employees to enable them to apply for a sponsored worker visa.

How can IAS Help?

At IAS, we have a team of experienced immigration lawyers who can offer you professional advice on issuing the Certificate of Sponsorship to foreign employees.

Our lawyers can tell you in detail what the Certificate of Sponsorship is and why you must obtain it to be able to hire workers from abroad. And, they can help you gather all the required supporting documents, helping you avoid delays in the processing of your Certificate of Sponsorship request.

If you have any questions about applying for or issuing the Certificate of Sponsorship to foreign employees, our lawyers can answer them. Thanks to their help, the process of bringing international talent to work for your company in the UK will be straightforward and stress-free.

We also offer assistance with applying for a sponsor licence.

Call us today on 0333 305 9375 to find out more about how our team can help.

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

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Frequently Asked Questions

Sponsored workers from abroad must be assigned the Certificate of Sponsorship to be able to apply for UK Work Visas. Each Certificate of Sponsorship has a unique number allocated to it and visa applicants must provide this number during the visa application process.

This means that if you are a UK employer wanting to bring foreign workers to the UK to work for your organisation, you must apply for the Certificate of Sponsorship for them. Otherwise, the international workers will not be able to lawfully work in the country.

There are some immigration routes that do not require sponsorship but, most of the time, skilled worker visa applicants need it.

Employers must pay a fee when assigning the Certificate of Sponsorship to an international worker. Typically, it costs £199 to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship.

However, if the migrant worker is applying as a Temporary Worker or as an International Sportsperson, the fee is £21.

UK sponsors might also have to pay the Immigration Skills Charge of £1000 a year per sponsored worker for large companies, or £364 a year per sponsored worker for smaller companies.

They must pay the Immigration Skills Charge if they are assigning the Certificate of Sponsorship to someone applying for a visa outside the UK to work in the UK for 6 months or longer, or to someone applying for a visa from inside the UK for any length of time.

Each Certificate of Sponsorship comes with its own reference number. Foreign workers applying for visas to the UK must provide this number during the UK visa application process.

The Certificate of Sponsorship reference number can be found on the actual Certificate of Sponsorship after it is issued to the employer.

Yes, employers can cancel the Certificate of Sponsorship that they assigned to a migrant worker but that has not yet been used. They can do it using their SMS account.

Unfortunately, application fees are non-refundable so even if an employer cancels the Certificate of Sponsorship, they will not get their money back.

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