Restricted And Unrestricted Certificates of Sponsorship

Once a UK based company has been granted a sponsorship license by the Home Office, the sponsor will need to assess what type of Certificate of Sponsorship is required for the migrant – ‘restricted’ or ‘unrestricted’.

Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS)

Between 6 April 2014 and 5 April 2015 there are a limited number of restricted COS (certificate of sponsorship) available to Tier 2 (General) sponsors each month. The annual limit is 20,700 and they are divided into 12 monthly allocations of 1,725.Only an A-rated sponsor can apply for a restricted COS (certificate of sponsorship).

The restricted COS (certificate of sponsorship)applies to all migrants applying for a visa from outside the UK. The points will be awarded based on whether the role is on the shortage occupation list; or the job requires a PhD in the research field or whether a resident labour market test has been carried out.

Unrestricted Certificates of Sponsorship

There is no limit on the number of unrestricted sponsorship certificates that can be requested by a sponsor.Unrestricted certificates can be allocated to the following individuals:

  • Those seeking admission to fill a vacancy attracting a salary of £153,500 or more; or
  • Intra Company Transfers; or
  • Tier 2 migrants extending their stay with their original employer; or
  • Tier 2 migrants with valid leave extending their stay by switching to a new employer; or
  • Those admitted in another visa category and applying to switch in-country into the Tier 2 (General) category; or
  • Where transitional arrangements for those already in the United Kingdom as a Tier 2 migrant or work permit holder apply; and
  • Tier 2 Sports People or Ministers of Religion.

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