January 30, 2013

Under UK immigration law, a UK company’s Sponsor License with the UK Border Agency (UKBA) is valid for four years; however, the allocation of Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) runs between the fiscal year of April to April. UK company Human Resources are reminded to consider forecasting this upcoming year’s allotments to ensure the appropriate number of CoS are available to initiate new and extend work authorizations.

Forecasting CoS Allotments for Fiscal Year 2013-2014

Allotments are generally granted for ICT CoS (to enable overseas employees to come to the UK), General CoS (to enable hiring new employees, preferably those already present in the UK in a qualified status) or for those requiring extension of their status.

UK HR should consider the number of CoS in each category. Even if there are no definite transfers or hires for FY 2013-2014, it is recommended to submit a request for CoS to cover the company. Please note that while there is no mandatory requirement to file a request now (as these can be filed on a case-by-case basis during the course of the year), doing so will add significantly to the processing times for cases.

CoS Categories Available to Licensed Sponsors

The categories for consideration are as follows:


Long Term – employed overseas for at least 12 months, with salary over £40,000 and coming to the UK for a maximum period of 5 years;

Short Term – employed overseas for at least 12 months, with salary over £24,000 but under £40,000, coming to the UK for a maximum period of 12 months;

Graduate Trainee – employed overseas for at least three months and coming to the UK for training as part of a structured graduate training program with clearly defined progression towards a managerial or specialist role within the organization. This category is limited to 12 months in the UK;

Skills Transfer – no previous employment overseas required with a minimum salary of £24,000 and coming to the UK for only skills and knowledge transfer. This category is limited to six months in the UK.


Switching Immigration Categories – this is for individuals who can switch from their current immigration category within the UK [e.g., Tier 4 students, Tier 1 (Post-StudyWork)] into Tier 2 (General).These individuals must already be within the UK;

Extensions – this is for individuals who are already working for the UK company under a Work Permit or Tier 2 (General) and the company wishes to extend their leave in the same role;

Change of Employment – this is for hiring individuals who are currently working for another company within the UK, or working for the company under a Work Permit or current Tier 2 (General), and there is a change in their employment;

New Hires earning over £150,000 – this is for overseas new hires to the UK company, where their salary will be £150,000 or more.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification. This alert was prepared by Glenn Faulk, Senior Manager, Knowledge Management.