Certificate of Sponsorship. What is it and how does it work?
To apply for a Skilled Worker Visa, you must have a Certificate of Sponsorship for the job you are planning to do.
As described in the Home Office guidance, the Certificate of Sponsorship is a virtual document (like a database record) which is assigned by the sponsor.
When assigning a Certificate of Sponsorship, sponsors use a secure IT system called the Sponsorship Management System. Each Certificate of Sponsorship has a reference number which should be provided by you in the application. If you cannot supply the reference number of the Certificate of Sponsorship assigned to you, you must provide an explanation as to why you are not able to provide it.
The caseworker can check whether a Certificate of Sponsorship has been assigned to you by searching the checking system he has access to using the Certificate of Sponsorship reference number, or your details (your passport number, family name, given name, nationality, date of birth), or your sponsor’s details (your sponsor’s licence number, name, or address).
If the caseworker is satisfied that the sponsor has assigned a Certificate of Sponsorship to you, he will continue to assess your application for a Skilled Worker Visa. He must check whether the Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned to you no more than 3 months before the date of your application. If it was assigned too early, the application may be rejected.
If the caseworker is not satisfied that the sponsor has assigned a Certificate of Sponsorship to you, he may reject your application.
If the Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned to you but subsequently it was withdrawn (and therefore it is no longer valid), the decision maker may refuse your application if the sponsor does not assign another Certificate of Sponsorship to you.
If the checking system shows that the Certificate of Sponsorship assigned to you was already used (and therefore it is no longer valid), the caseworker must check to see if the sponsor has assigned a new Certificate of Sponsorship to you, and if not, he must refuse the application.
If the reason the sponsor has not yet assigned a (new) Certificate of Sponsorship to you is because of delays by UK Visas and Immigration in processing your sponsor’s licence application or your sponsor’s request for a Certificate of Sponsorship, the caseworker may exceptionally place your application on hold pending the outcome.
If the checking system shows that your sponsor or the Certificate of Sponsorship assigned to you is suspended, the decision maker will not decide the case, but will place it on hold. He must contact the Sponsor Licensing Unit to find out if they will be re-instating the sponsor or if it will be suspended indefinitely. If the sponsor is suspended indefinitely and does not issue a new Certificate of Sponsorship, your application will be refused.
If you want to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa and need my specialist advice, feel free to contact me. Please note that I am an accredited immigration adviser, not an employee of the UK Visas and Immigration. I charge fees for the advice provided.