The UK Border Agency has requested that all sponsors complete and return a UKBA form to request their allocation of unrestricted Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) for the year from 6 April 2011 to 5 April 2012. Sponsors should complete the form and return this to the UKBA by 11 March 2011. Failure to do so will mean that your Cos allocation will be set to zero on 6 April 2011.

What are unrestricted Certificates of Sponsorship?

You can request the coming year's allocation of CoS for:

  • Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfers)
  • Extensions – where you need to extend leave for a migrant who is already in the UK and working for you and who has existing leave under Tier 2 (General) or as a Work Permit holder that was granted on or before 5 April 2011;
  • Changes of Employment – where a migrant is already in the UK with valid leave under Tier 2 (General) or as a Work Permit holder which was granted on or before 5 April 2011 and who wants to change employer;
  • Switching Immigration Category – where a CoS is required for a migrant who is already in the UK in another immigration category of stay and who wants to switch in-country into Tier 2 (General) where this is allowable under the Immigration Rules;
  • New hires earning over £150,000 - where the migrant will be entering the UK from overseas and the annual salary for the job is £150,000 or more.

How do I know how many unrestricted CoS I will need?

You must ensure that you have sufficient CoS to cover all those who are already sponsored by you under Tier 2 or as work permit holders and who will need extensions. For CoS for other potential migrants, you will need to decide how many you will need based on your projected recruitment for the coming year, taking into account any anticipated graduate recruitment from within the UK (for example graduate hires or those working for you on Tier 1 (Post Study Work) , possible hires of senior level or highly paid staff

How do I notify UKBA of my allocation request?

You should fully complete the UKBA worksheet form, save this and email it to by 17:00 on 11 March 2011.

What will happen once I submit the form?

If you allocation request is approved, you allocation will be available on the Sponsor Management System form 6 April 2011. You will receive confirmation of the allocation but you will not be able to view or assign Certificates until 6 April 2011.

What if I do not complete the form and return it by the deadline?

The UKBA has said that if you do not return the form by the above deadline then it cannot guarantee that your requested CoS allocation will be on the SMS by 6 April. If this happens, you allocation will be set to zero from that date.

Can I request more unrestricted CoS after 6 April 2011?

You will be able to apply for unrestricted CoS during the year if either you did not submit your request in time or if you need additional unrestricted CoS if you use up all your requested allocation runs out with the 2011/2012 year.

What will happen to any CoS which I currently have?

We understand that all sponsor's current allocation will be reset on 6 April 2011 for both unrestricted and restricted CoS. This mean that if you have any unused Tier 2 (General) CoS under your existing allocation, you must either assign these before 6 April or lose them when your allocation is reset.

Click here to read the UKBA letter to Sponsors on the initial CoS allocation.