Applying for certificates of sponsorship

Access our flow chart explaining the process for applying for certificates of sponsorship.

9 November 2023

A sponsorship licence holder is the organisation responsible for issuing a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) directly to the migrant.

The CoS is not an actual document but a reference number which the migrant can use to apply for leave to remain in, or entry to the UK. This step-by-step guide highlights the differences between undefined and defined CoS and the process employers should use when applying for them.

Below is a step-by-step guide on how employers can complete the CoS process. 

The Home Office is currently amending the Sponsorship Road map, which will see changes to the CoS process. We will keep employers informed of any changes when they are made available.

More information about the sponsorship licence system is available on the GOV.UK website.