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Overview of Certificate of Sponsorship – 2021

Published on: 6th May 2021
Reading time: Approx 3 mins

A Certificate of sponsorship (CoS) is an electronic record generated on the Sponsor Management System (SMS). Each certificate has its own number which an applicant can use to apply for a visa.

The employer is required to request a CoS from the Home Office through the SMS, on approval it can be assigned to a migrant worker and used in the entry clearance applications.

Earlier the CoS were of two types

  • Restricted CoS
  • Unrestricted CoS

With effect from 1 Jan 2021, they are now rebranded as

  • Defined CoS
  • Undefined CoS
To know the ‘Importance of Certificate of Sponsorship in UK Tier 2 General Visa’ Click Here

Defined CoS

These certificates are required for migrants based outside the UK and applying for entry clearance as skilled worker. Earlier this was known as the Restricted CoS and the sponsors were required to apply for this by the 5th of each month and a decision on the same would be received by 11th of the same month.

Undefined CoS

These certificates are for Skilled Workers applying from inside the UK, and applicants on all other visas. When employers apply for licence they estimate the number of undefined certificates required for workers and temporary workers during the year. The annual allocation of undefined CoS runs from 6 April to 5 April each year.

If you are a UK employer and want to apply for CoS you can contact our UK visa experts on:

I had job offer with a company in UK with COS however my visa was refused for English level will company now provide me new COS or my offer letter will be taken back

- General Question

If your application has been refused then you would require a new CoS from your employer and it would be at the employer’s discretion to re-issue a fresh CoS in order for you to make a fresh application.



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