From January 1, 2021, employers in the UK will be required to have a sponsor licence for the purpose of recruiting any worker from outside the UK – this includes EEA, EU and Swiss citizens.
This is in keeping with the implementation of the new UK points-based immigration system that seeks to provide an equal opportunity to all, regardless of their nationality.
Basic step-wise process for securing a sponsor licence
|STEP 1: Checking if the business is eligible|
|STEP 2: Choosing the kind of licence – restricted or unrestricted – that the employer would want to apply for|
|STEP 3: Deciding as to who would be managing the sponsorship within the business|
|STEP 4 : Applying online and paying the fee|
|STEP 5: If application successful, a licence rating will be given|
|STEP 6: The employer can then issue certificates of sponsorship [CoS], provided they have jobs that require sponsorship|
While the licence will be valid for a period of 4 years, the licence might be lost if the UK employer is unable to meet their responsibilities as a sponsor.
A certificate of sponsorship will have to be assigned by the employer to each of the foreign workers that they would be employing.
The sponsorship certificate is an electronic record and not a physical document as such. Each of the CoS has a unique number that can be used by the foreign worker for applying for a visa.
A certificate will be to be used within 3 months of their being assigned by the UK employer.
There are two kinds of certificates –
Referred to as ‘unrestricted’ certificates as the employer can get as many as required by their business.
Evidence will have to be provided by the employer for proving a requirement for the number of certificates asked for.
These are for –
Only a limited number of restricted certificates are available each month.
Once the certificate has been secured, the foreign worker can then proceed to submitting their visa application. Applications are to be considered on the first working day that follows the 10th day of the month. This is the “allocation date”.
Those applying after the 5th day of the month will have their applications put on hold until the following month’s allocation date.
The details for the “Allocations of restricted certificates of sponsorship” are regularly updated by UK Visas and Immigration.
The most recent update of the same was on November 11, 2020.
The document lists the monthly allocation of restricted certificates of sponsorship as per the limit on migration through Tier 2.
While the latest allocation meeting was held on November 11, 2020, the details of the same will be updated in December.
Allocations of restricted certificates of sponsorship in 2020 so far
|Date of allocation meeting|
|October 12, 2020||September 11, 2020||August 11, 2020||July 11, 2020||June 11, 2020||May 11, 2020||April 11, 2020||March 11, 2020||February 11, 2020||January 11, 2020|
|Number of certificates of sponsorship from annual limit set aside for allocation meeting in the month||1500||2000||2000||2000||2000||2000||2200||100||1500||1500|
|Balance of certificates of sponsorship carried over from previous month||6055||5305||2897||2897||2051||1121||0||1581||1797||1196|
|Number of certificates returned during previous month||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|Number of certificates reclaimed as not used within three months||0||0||0||0||2||1||0||1||2||254|
|Number of certificates granted by exceptional consideration outside of monthly allocation during previous month.||21||42||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||5|
|Total number of certificates of sponsorship available for allocation this month.||7534||7263||4897||4897||4053||3122||2200||2582||3301||2945|
|Minimum point score for successful applications this month.||40||40||40||40||40||40||40||40||40||40|
|Total number of certificates of sponsorship granted this month.||1229||1208||1204||1204||1156||1071||1079||1663||1720||1148|
|Tier 2 [General – New hires under £159,600]||1204||1178||1194||1194||1144||1053||1071||1648||1706||1132|
|Tier 2 [General – Tier 4 dependant switching to Tier 2]||25||30||10||10||12||18||8||15||14||16|
|Balance of certificates of sponsorship carried over to next month.||6305||6055||4693||4693||2897||2051||1121||NA||1581||1797|
|Number of certificates of sponsorship available for allocation in next month.||7805||7555||5693||5693||4897||4051||3122||NA||2581||3297|
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