Defined and Undefined Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)

14th April 2023

A CoS is a digital file with a unique reference number, this certificate is issued through the sponsor, to a visa candidate. But there are different types of CoS.

Defined Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)

Defined CoS are for Candidates applying for a Skilled Worker visa from overseas. Without a defined CoS their application will be rejected. 

You must submit a request to the Home Office for a single defined certificate or a batch of certificates if you want to sponsor a candidate applying from overseas. If we are designated as your immigration representatives we can make the request on your behalf via the sponsorship management system (SMS). Once the request is granted, you can assign the CoS to the candidate, and they can use the unique CoS reference number to complete their skilled worker visa.

You will not get a yearly defined certificate of sponsorship allocation and there is no cap on the number of defined CoS you can request in a year.

Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)

Undefined CoS are used for candidates making applications from within the UK, this could be that they are switching categories into the skilled worker route or they are switching from their current or previous sponsor. 

Your organisation can be granted an initial annual allocation of undefined certificates by making an allocation request within the sponsor licence application. There is no cap on the number of undefined CoS that may be allocated, providing the workers are eligible under the visa route and the sponsor pays the associated fee to assign the CoS.  Annual allocations can be automatically renewed and a request to amend the annual CoS allocation can be made if required. 

Once your annual allocation runs out you can make a request for additional CoS to be added to your allocation. Although these requests will normally require specific candidate details for the CoS to be granted by the Home Office. 

Still unsure? Contact us and we will be happy to help…

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