Human Resources

Certificate of Sponsorship questions

Check our frequently asked questions about Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS).

Certificate of Sponsorship

  1. What is a CoS?
    A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is a reference number which holds information about the job and your personal details. It is not a certificate or paper document. Before you can apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa to work in the UK, you need a job offer and a CoS from a licensed sponsor.
    The CoS will be issued to you by email.
  2. Is the University of Sussex a Limited company?
  3. Is my job on the shortage occupation list?
    Please note that only the job roles listed here are on the shortage occupation list.
  4. Can you certify my maintenance for the first month?
    Yes. The University of Sussex holds a Highly Trusted Status with the UKVI therefore once we get approval from the UKVI on your Certificate of Sponsorship we can certify your maintenance; therefore you will not be required to submit any financial details.
  5. The sponsorship personal details form asks 'Does the migrant need to leave and re-enter the UK during the period of approval?' What does this mean?
    The 'period of approval' refers to any travel during the visa application stage. This will always be listed as 'No' on the CoS. Please note, this does not prevent the applicant from travelling once the visa has been issued.
  6. How long until I receive my CoS letter?
    The Home Office will need you to apply for your tier 2 extension not more than 3 months before the start date of CoS. As long as the start date on your CoS is within next 3 months you are good to apply anytime. Your CoS will issued as soon as the necessary paperwork is received from your hiring department and also depends on the type of CoS you require.
    There are two types of Certificates of Sponsorship: restricted and unrestricted. The UKVI only issues restricted CoS on a monthly cycle, and all restricted CoS are subject to review by UKVI before they are agreed. There is a maximum number of restricted CoS that UKVI can issue nationally each month. Therefore, it is never certain that a CoS will be issued when requested. We are required to submit applications to the UKVI by their deadline of 5th of the following month. UKVI will consider applications on the 11th of the month and will notify the University of the outcome of an application within 5 working days of it being considered.
    Restricted CoS
    • New employees earning under £159,600 per year coming to start work in the UK from overseas.
    • Individuals who are dependants of Tier 4 students, where that dependant is already in the UK and wishes to switch into Tier 2 (General).
    Unrestricted CoS
    • Highly-paid new hires: where the annual salary for the job is £159,600 or more.
    • Switching immigration category: Where an individual who is already in the UK under another immigration category is eligible to switch into Tier 2 (General).
    • Extensions: Where you need to extend leave and already in the UK working at the University and has or was last granted leave under Tier 2 (General) or as a Work Permit holder.
    • Changes of employment (1): A current University employee who was last granted leave under Tier 2 (General) and who wants to change to a new job which falls in a different SOC code.
    • Changes of employment (2): An individual who was last granted leave under Tier 2 (General) while sponsored by a different UK employer, who wants to start a new job at the University
    Please note: if you are making a change of employment application, in either of the above scenarios, you cannot start the new job until the Tier 2 visa has been issued.


  1. I haven’t heard back from UKVI, can you contact them and ask about the status of my application?
    No. UKVI do not support contact made on behalf of applicants.
  2. By saying yes to the ‘requiring funding’ in the CoS application form, I will not need to show a bank statement for the visa application, correct?
  3. For the visa applications more than six months of stay in UK, they ask for a tuberculosis test from some countries, do I need that?
    You’ll need to have a tuberculosis (TB) test if you’re coming to the UK for more than 6 months and are resident in any of these listed countries.
  4. If my visa is not approved in time, will it be possible to delay the start date of my contract?
    Yes, we can delay your start date and report the delay to your start date to the UKVI. Please contact International HR for delays in visa processing.
  5. How will a later start date affect the end of my visa?
    Your visa will be issued for a fixed period by UKVI. You can apply for a visa extension if your contract runs past the end date of your visa.
  6. What happens if my visa expires during the visa processing period?
    As long as you apply for your visa before your current visa expires you will not overstay your leave in the UK. We will ask for your consent in running an Employer’s Checking Service with the UKVI that will grant us permission for your continued employment.
  7. I need immigration advice.
    We are unable to provide specific immigration advice as we do not hold the Government accreditation, OISC. If you require independent immigration advice then please contact an immigration solicitor.
  8. Do I need English language knowledge?
    Please see the countries on the UKVI exception list for the English language requirement. Knowledge of English can be proved via the following methods:
    • passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening
    • having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD
  9. Do I need a Criminal Record Check?
    A criminal record check is required for only those occupations listed in part 6 of this government document [PDF].