On 1 November 2010 the UKBA published refined criteria which are to be applied to tier 2 (general) sponsors' requests for additional certificates of sponsorship. The aim of refining the criteria is to ensure that all requests will be approved if they relate to an extension for the holder of a work permit or tier 2 (general) worker, already employed by a sponsor.

The UKBA says that the updated criteria will enable it to meet the ongoing recruitment needs of sponsors while keeping within the interim limit. As a result of the introduction of the refined criteria, the panel of UK Border Agency managers, who normally meet on the first working day of each month to consider requests for additional certificates of sponsorship, will meet on 12 November instead.

The UKBA has said that the delay in the meeting will enable it to acquire further information from sponsors who have submitted a COS (AR) form and the sponsor will shortly receive a letter if it is necessary for more information to be supplied. The UKBA will consider urgent cases outside the monthly panel for sponsors whose applications cannot wait until 12 November (where an existing employee's leave is due to expire before 19 November).

Please click here to access the revised sponsor guidance and here to access the revised COS (AR) application form.