There are two types of certificates of sponsorship (CoS) that an employer may issue namely restricted and unrestricted CoS.
These are for:
♠ Tier 2 (General) workers currently abroad who’ll be paid less than £153,500 a year; and
♠ family members (dependents) of Tier 4 migrants; and
♠ You must apply for restricted certificates for these workers through the sponsorship management system (SMS). You’ll get access to this when you get your licence.
There’s a limited number of restricted certificates available each month. Each application is assessed using a points system.
When you apply for your licence you’ll be asked to estimate how many Tier 2 and Tier 5 certificates you’ll need. These are called unrestricted certificates because there’s no limit on how many you can get.
Restricted CoS (Government annual limit – currently 20,700 per year/ 1725 per month)
|Applies to all new overseas visa applications if salary = less than £152,100 (£153,500 from 6 April 2014) or applicant = recent T4 dependent||Applies to employees in the UK, switching into T2, extending T2, ‘High Earners’ (£152,100 or above salary- £153,500 from 6 April 2014) or Croatian Nationals|
|Normal recruitment process occurs Resident Labour Market Test carried out/ exemption applied||Annual request made by employer for CoS-once granted, can issue this type of CoS to eligible employees|
|Employer applies to Home Office for Restricted CoS. Requests are ‘ranked’ and applications have to score 32+ points to be granted||Normal recruitment process, Resident Labour Market Test carried out or exemption applied|
|Home Office assess requests each month (so it could take up to a month to receive a Restricted CoS)||Pre-CoS checks carried out by employer or us, CoS issued (generally within 6 months of advertising post-sometimes 12 months possible for HE Teaching posts)|
|If CoS approved, employer then assign it to the employee in the normal way||Employee liaises with employer or with us for Immigration Advice, makes T2 visa application within 3 months of CoS issue date|
|Employee makes visa application (normally) outside the UK & is hopefully granted a Tier 2 visa||Tier 2 Visa issued (usually within 4-8 weeks for postal applications)|