Employers: Renew your
COS allocation today!

April’s deadline for the renewal of your annual unrestricted CoS allocation is looming!

If your UK based organisation sponsors skilled foreign workers, now is the time to renew your allocation of unrestricted Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS). Current allocations will expire on 6 April this year and any unused certificates will be withdrawn from use.

Whilst some UK sponsors will receive an automatic renewal of their CoS allowance based on the number of CoS which were assigned during the previous year, the Home Office has in previous years chosen to automatically reset allocations for many employers to zero. If you therefore require a specific number of CoS over the coming year, a renewal request should be submitted to the Home Office as soon as possible.

A Certificate of Sponsorship is an electronic document necessary to the recruitment of all Tier 2 migrant employees, with both ‘restricted’ and ‘unrestricted’ being made available to employers each year. Whilst there is no limit to the number of ‘unrestricted’ CoS which are available for allocation to Tier 2 sponsors each year, a detailed explanation justifying the number requested must be submitted to UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) in support of the petition.

As a sponsor you should renew your annual CoS allocation if you:

  • intend to sponsor migrants from inside the UK who are new to your organisation. For example, hiring an existing Tier 4 student or Tier 2 worker from a competitor firm;
  • maintain a sponsor licence covering the Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer (ICT) visa route and intend to temporarily transfer existing staff to a UK office from overseas; and/or
  • currently employ migrant staff who will be required to extend their sponsored permission to work in the UK within the next 12 months in order to continue in their employment with you.

Although sponsors are able to submit their renewal beyond April’s deadline, UKVI will not guarantee a processing time for considering new allocation requests after this date.

A delayed renewal request is likely to cause much disruption to both the sponsor and assignee, as there is a risk that the company’s CoS allocation could be reset to zero. The sponsor would consequently be unable to sponsor migrant employees until a renewal request had been filed and considered by the authorities.

Smith Stone Walters recommends that all sponsors consider the potential number of CoS required over the forthcoming tax year and submit a strong justification for a new allocation in advance of April’s deadline.

Contact Smith Stone Walters for support and advice on how to best manage this important sponsor management task.

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