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Skilled Worker route: Certificate of Sponsorship


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The Skilled Worker route will replace the existing Tier 2 General route, what does that mean for Certificate of Sponsorship?

The Skilled Worker route will replace the existing Tier 2 (General) route from 1st December 2020. Employers will be able to recruit migrant workers for a specific job in an eligible skilled occupation. It is important to note that this will also apply to EEA nationals who arrived in the UK after 31st December 2020.

You can access more information on this type of visa here and Barar & Associates also explained the salary requirement further here. The team summarised the position regarding to the Certificate of Sponsorship below.


Certificate of Sponsorship 

If the person you wish to sponsor will be applying for entry clearance from outside the UK, you must first apply for a defined CoS for them before you can assign one.

If the person will be applying for permission to stay from within the UK, you must assign them an undefined CoS from your annual CoS allocation.

If you need to request a defined or undefined CoS, you can do this through your Sponsorship Management System (SMS), but you will have to pay the Home Office fee for requesting a CoS.

If your application is straightforward and does not require any further information, the Home Office should normally decide your application for a defined CoS within one working day.

When you apply for a defined CoS, the information you give in your application, such as the salary and job description, will appear on the CoS. When you are ready to assign that CoS to a worker, you will not be able to change any of these pre-populated fields.

However, it is possible to add a sponsor note to the SMS to inform the Home Office of the following changes only:

  • Change of salary, but the revised salary must be eligible for at least the same number of points as the salary stated in the original application for that CoS. If it is not, the Home Office will cancel the CoS.
  • Change of start and end date of the job

For other changes, you will need to notify the HO to cancel and reapply for a CoS.

Once the CoS is allocated to your SMS, you will have 3 months to assign a defined CoS to a worker. Once you have assigned the CoS to a worker, they will then have 3 months to use it to support a UK visa application for skilled worker.


Transitional arrangement for unused Tier 2 (General) CoS

If you have assigned a Tier 2 (General) CoS (restricted or unrestricted) to a worker before 1st December 2020 but it has not been used in an immigration application by that date, you can ‘upgrade’ the CoS to a Skilled Worker CoS, provided the CoS was assigned to the worker no more than 3 months ago. You do this by adding a ‘sponsor note’ to the CoS with some necessary information.

If you provide all the information required, the worker can use the CoS to make an application on the Skilled Worker route, provided no more than 3 months have elapsed since the CoS was originally assigned.

If you requested a Tier 2 (General) restricted CoS before 28th November 2020 but the application has not yet been decided, the Home Office should decide the application on that date and notify you of the outcome. If your application is granted in the Tier 2 General (New hires – restricted) category, this will become a ‘defined CoS’ and you will be able to assign the CoS to a Skilled Worker from 1st December 2020.

If you have been allocated a Tier 2 (General) restricted CoS before 1st December 2020 but have not assigned it to a worker by that date, you can ‘upgrade’ the CoS to a Skilled Worker defined CoS and assign it to a worker, provided it was allocated to you no more than 3 months ago. In order to do so, you should add a ‘sponsor note’ to the CoS. You will have 3 months to assign the CoS to a worker for use in a Skilled Worker entry clearance (visa) application.


Should you wish to discuss this new Skilled Worker visa in more detail, please contact our expert team of London immigration lawyers at Barar and Associates at or call us on 020 7487 8370. You can access more information about us via


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