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Sponsors take stock — upcoming Certificates of Sponsorship annual allocation deadline

Find out what you need to do before the Certificates of Sponsorship deadline on 5 April.

The annual allocation of undefined (previously unrestricted) Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) runs from 6 April to 5 April each year. You should have received a reminder from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) informing you if your unused undefined CoS will expire on 5 April 2021.

As a sponsor, your ‘CoS year’ (or ‘allocation year’) will run either:

  1. From 6 April in one year to 5 April the following year if you held a valid Tier 2 (General) or Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) licence on 30 November 2020 and this was converted into a Skilled Worker or Intra-Company routes licence on 1 December 2020; or
  2. 12 months from the date your licence was granted and, in subsequent years, 12 months from the date an allocation renewal request is granted for all other sponsors.

If you foresee a need, you can request multiple undefined CoS before your CoS year deadline.

In advance of the CoS allocation process, it is important that you consider your future business requirements in the coming year to evaluate how many undefined CoS you are likely to need to assign. If you anticipate a need, you should apply for a new annual allocation before the deadline using the Sponsor Management System (SMS).

You will only need to apply for a new annual allocation if you identify a potential need to issue undefined CoS during the following year to a migrant who, for example:

  • is an existing employee who will renew their visa in the next 12 months;
  • is already sponsored in the UK and will need to extend their visa;
  • is in the UK under a different immigration route and is eligible to switch to a skilled worker route.

Key points

  • Remember that this request relates only to in-country applications you need or intend to make during the 2021/2022 period.
  • Consider your CoS use over the previous 12 months — this may assist in forecasting future needs.
  • Requests for a new annual allocation of undefined CoS should include justification for the number required.
  • Before submitting your annual allocation request, we recommend that you review your sponsor licence and current sponsored workers’ circumstances to ensure these are correct and up to date.
  • Should additional needs arise, you can also request additional undefined CoS throughout the year.

We’re here to help

If you need advice or assistance in managing your CoS annual allocation request, any other sponsor licence requirements or compliance, please get in touch with Mandy Higgins or author Carolyn Bowie.

If you require any help with sponsor licences or visas, contact our immigration solicitors.

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