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Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)

A CoS is basically an undertaking that the role a migrant is looking to be sponsored for is a genuine one and that it meets the appropriate salary as well skill requirement levels. Importantly, a CoS will only be assigned by the Immigration compliance team to an individual when it has been deemed that the individual meets all the requirements.

If a UK based company is looking to take on a non-european migrant for an employment in its firm; having obtained a sponsor licence, the next step would be to request for a Certificate of Sponsorship.

It is important to note that with non-PhD level jobs, the Certificate of Sponsorship must be assigned with 6 month of the Resident Labour market test (RLMT). Whereas PhD level roles would need the CoS to have been assigned within 12 months of the RLMT.

Types of Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship

There are 2 types of CoSs namely:-

  • Restricted CoS
  • Non-Restricted Cos

Restricted CoS

Restricted CoSs applies majorly to out-of-country applications. The UKVI places a cap on the number of unrestricted CoS allowable within a month. Businesses within the UK are therefore strictly restricted to the total number of CoSs determined by the UKVI. As a result, it is not entirely certain, even where the application meets all the requirements, that a requested CoS will be issued.

Unrestricted CoS

Unrestricted CoSs applies mostly to in-country applications. Unrestricted CoS will be issued in the circumstances below:-

  • Where the salary for the job role is £155,300 and above
  • Where an individual is switching from another immigration category in-country
  • Croatian nationals are able to request for an unrestricted CoS to the UK
  • Where a current Tier 2 visa holder is changing employment

It is important to note that even though there are not rigid deadlines for applying for unrestricted CoSs, companies must note that for Tier 2 extensions, you cannot make a visa application more than three months prior to the expiration of your current leave. Also, individuals looking to submit an application for an unrestricted CoS cannot do so more than three months prior to the start date of the CoS.

Our business immigration solicitors can assist you with your CoS request as well as managing the entire process for you.

Feel free to give us a call for a free assessment now on 020 3744 2797 or drop us an email on

Certificate of Sponsorship CoS - Frequently Asked Questions

Annual allocation is the amount of restricted Certificate of Sponsorship certificates that are granted or allocated to the UK sponsor based on what the employer has requested or their previous CoS / immigration history.

No you must be issued a new Certificate of Sponsorship for your extension application

A certificate of Sponsorship is a digital record. It is a Unique reference number that links a Tier 2 applicant to his employer and job role. It is issued by an employer to an employee specifially for immigration purposes.

CoS allocation is usually in line with what is on the contract. However, a CoS may be allocated for any period within 6 months and 5 years.

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