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Obtaining a Certificate of Sponsorship For a Visa

  1. Immigration Blog
  2. Obtaining a Certificate of Sponsorship For a Visa

Your company will need to apply for a certificate of sponsorship after your sponsor license has been approved.

If you set up a new business in the U.K. or already own one, you may be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa through your own U.K. company via self-sponsorship. Once your U.K. business has obtained a Skilled Worker sponsor licence, you will then need to apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship.

Assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)

Once your company’s sponsor licence application has been approved, your business will be able to apply for and then assign a Defined Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).

Certificates of Sponsorship are electronic records which must be assigned for each migrant worker you wish to employ. Each CoS will have a unique reference number which enables an applicant worker to apply for a self-sponsorship Skilled Worker visa.

Your Certificate of Sponsorship must have been issued not more than 3 months before the date of your Skilled Worker application.

Your Certificate of Sponsorship must include certain mandatory information, including:

  • Details of your name, job and salary;
  • A start date which is no more than 3 months after the date your Skilled Worker visa application;
  • Confirmation that the Certificate of Sponsorship has not been used in a previous application which was either granted or refused and has not been withdrawn by the sponsor or cancelled by the Home Office.

Apply for a Self-Sponsored Skilled Worker Visa

Once a Certificate of Sponsorship has been assigned, you can apply for a Skilled Worker visa via self-sponsorship.

To sponsor yourself for a Skilled Worker visa, your visa application will need to demonstrate that:

  • Your Certificate of Sponsorship is valid;
  • Your job offer is a genuine vacancy;
  • Your job is at an appropriate skill level;
  • You will be paid a salary which equals or exceeds a general salary threshold, the ‘going rate’ for the occupation and a minimum hourly rate (if applicable);
  • Your sponsor has paid any required Immigration Skills Charge;
  • You are competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B1 (equivalent to IELTS 4.0);
  • You have enough money to support yourself without relying on public funds;
  • You have provided a criminal record certificate, if required; and
  • You have provided a valid TB certificate, if required.

You can apply for a Skilled Worker visa up to 3 months before the day you are due to start work in the U.K.

If applying from overseas, you should normally receive a decision on your self-sponsored Skilled Worker visa application within 3 weeks. The standard processing time for an application to switch into or extend a stay in the U.K. as a Skilled Worker is 8 weeks. Priority services may also be available.

This is the third of four articles on obtaining a self-sponsored Skilled Worker visa.

If you have a question or would like our team's assistance with any immigration matters please get in touch through our contact form or by phone. We will be happy to provide the latest information and expert advice relevant to your specific requirements.

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