What is Sponsor for UK Visa?
Importance of Sponsorship while applying for UK Visa.
Sponsorship while applying for UK Visa refers to the availability of a third party to be responsible for you on your visit to the UK. Not all Visa categories require a Sponsor.
Under the points based system the UK visa categories that require a ‘sponsor’ are
- Tier 2
- Tier 4
- Tier 5
The UK immigration requirements for each category of visa is different for the sponsors. A sponsor can only be a person or institution who has been registered with the Home Office and holds a license of sponsorship. The Home Office maintains a register of sponsor for each category.
In most cases when you are applying for a visa as an employee of the company or any other institution established and functioning in the UK, you will need a certificate of sponsorship from the same to complete your visa application. While generating the certificate of sponsorship, you will also have to ensure that the concerned company is registered with the Home office.
You can check the Register of Sponsors licensed Under the Points-based System. This is a list of organizations licensed to sponsor migrants under Tiers 2 & 5 of the Points-Based System. It shows the organization’s name (in alphabetical order), the tier(s) they are licensed for and their rating against each sub tier.
A sponsor may be licensed under more than one tier, and may have different rating for each tier–
When you are applying to work in the UK, a sponsorship certificate implies that you will be able to live and work in the UK.
A sponsor has to ensure compliances in several areas including record keeping, reporting duties and ensuring the migrant complied with Home Office requirements.
What does the Home Office look for when issuing a Sponsor license? –
The Home Office while issuing license to the companies ensures that the company is in a good position to complete its responsibilities and duties.
The Home Office takes action against those businesses which employ illegal workers and do not undertake the correct checks.
Every company seeking to retain a sponsor license must therefore not only show they are a genuine organization operating lawfully in the UK but also demonstrate their ability to carry out essential sponsor duties via their existing human resources and recruitment practices.
For instance when applying for a Tier 2 General certificate of sponsorship the employer is required to demonstrate that they have met the conditions of the Resident Labor Market Test (RLMT), or the activity is excluded from the Resident Labor Market Test necessities. To meet RLMT prerequisites the activity has to be publicized to laborers from the European Economic Area before being offered to the candidate from outside the EEA.
There are two types of Certificate of Sponsorship: restricted and unrestricted. All prospective employees based outside the UK will need a restricted certificate of sponsorship unless they will be working in a role which pays £159,600 a year or more, or will be working in an inward investment post. Restricted certificate is for employees who are based outside the UK and will start working in the UK. There is a monthly allocation meeting for restricted certificates and an annual cap of 20,700. Prospective employees based in the UK who are eligible to change status to a Tier 2 visa do not come under the Tier 2 Visa Cap and usually do not need a restricted COS. The exception is for partners of Tier 4 visa holders who wish to switch to a Tier 2 visa. These applicants do need a restricted certificate of sponsorship.
The organization that offers you a job in the UK will also provide you with the Certificate of sponsorship (CoS). Your application must be made no more than 3 months after the CoS is issued, and you will start work no more than 3 months after your visa application is made. Once you have been assigned a CoS you have 3 months to make your Tier 2 visa application, after which time the certificate will expire. During this 3 month period you cannot be assigned any additional CoS by another employer. In case you decide to not go to the UK after getting a certificate of sponsorship, you need to inform your employer to cancel your certificate,or it expires in 3 months.