United Kingdom – Annual Renewal for Certificate of Sponsorship Allocations Set to Expire on April 5, 2018

What has changed

Current Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) allocations will expire at 11:59 pm on April 5, 2018, and any unused CoS will be automatically withdrawn. It is recommended that businesses renew their allocation of unrestricted Tier 2 CoS now to ensure business continuity.

Who is affected?

  • Clients wishing to renew unrestricted Tier 2 Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) for their employees.
  • Clients who wish to transfer existing staff from overseas offices to work in the United Kingdom (UK) on a temporary assignment.
  • Migrants who are already lawfully in the UK and are newly hired by an organisation, including but not limited to Tier 4 student graduates or those currently sponsored and who wish to change employers.
  • This requires a Tier 2 General sponsor license.

What to expect
Businesses who intend to employ or continue to employ (sponsor) non-British/European Economic Area (EEA) nationals whose circumstances fall within any one of the above mentioned scenarios are urged to factor in business considerations which may impact recruitment needs over the next twelve (12) months when attempting to anticipate the number of CoS allocations required for the following year.
In order to receive a new allocation of unrestricted CoS for 2018 and 2019, a renewal request should be submitted via the Sponsor Management System (SMS).

Manual or automatic allocation renewal?
Level 1 users should receive notification via email from their corporate headquarters as well as from UK visas and immigration (UKVI) detailing whether they are required to submit a manual allocation request or if their allocation will automatically be renewed.

Manual Renewal
To submit a manual request, click on the corresponding buttons for Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (ICT) as appropriate for your licence and enter number of CoS you are requesting. A justification (usually related to the needs of the business) is also required at the time of submission of the request. Following submission on the SMS, your request will be considered by UKVI, which will decide whether or not to approve the full number requested or issue a reduction; unfortunately UKVI officials do not provide any details as to how they have come to their decision, and there is no process to challenge UKVI.

Automatic Renewal
Employers can confirm this status by checking the SMS.
The number of CoS that UKVI will automatically allocate you will usually be directly linked to the number that you were assigned during the previous year. This means that if you were allocated fifty (50) CoS this allocation year and only assigned twently-five (25) CoS to individuals, next year you will be allocated twenty-five (25) CoS. If you subsequently need more during the year, you will be required to make an in-year allocation request to corporate headquarters.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Clients should submit a request for next year’s CoS allocation well in advance of the April 5 deadline. In previous years, there have been delays in the issue of new allocations and they were not released exactly on April 6, ready for use.
  • Contact Emigra Worldwide’s United Kingdom Country Manager Nira Segaran nsegaran@emigra.com or your Emigra Worldwide representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.