Certificate of sponsorship (CoS) is a document issued by the UK Home Office at the request of your UK employer. You will apply for your Tier 2 visa (which is your work visa) on the basis of your certificate of sponsorship.
Certificate of sponsorship holds your personal details and information about the job you’ve been offered. You can think of it as a letter of invitation for your employment in the UK.
It will be emailed to you by your employer. It’s an electronic record, not a paper document. You will attach a print out of this certificate along with your Tier 2 visa application.
The certificate of sponsorship is valid for only 3 months from the issue date. It means that we need to apply for the Tier 2 visa within 3 months of the certificate of sponsorship being issued.
When is the Certificate of Sponsorship Issued?
It is issued on the first working day after the 10th day of the month IF the application for the certificate of sponsorship was submitted by the trust to the Home Office before the 5th day of the same month. If it was submitted after the 5th day of the month, then the certificate would be issued the next month.
When we go to the UK for employment, we need funds before we get our first pay cheque. We also need a place to stay. Most trusts mention on the certificate of sponsorship that they will take care of this. This is something that you should discuss with your HR in detail before you get your certificate.
Letter of Maintenance
You can ask your trust’s HR to issue a separate letter of maintenance to you, certifying that they will take care of your expenses and accommodation before you get your first pay cheque. However, as long as they have mentioned this on the certificate of sponsorship, you do not need a separate letter of maintenance from the trust.
The Cost of Certificate of Sponsorship
The cost is only £199 and it is paid by the trust, not the employee.
Immigration Skills Charge
From April 2017, an additional fee of £1000 per year was added by the UK government to the cost of certificate of sponsorship. This is also paid by the trust and not the employee.
Certificate of Sponsorship Rejections
Recently a few doctors have faced CoS rejections. Dr. Ibrahim Ivan has written about the subject in detail here.