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Non-EEA nationals need to apply for a visa from the Home Office in order to work in the UK. Some are eligible for a visa based on the immigration status of their relatives or ancestry; others apply and are considered and scored by UK Visas and Immigration using a points-based system (PBS) to determine whether a visa will be granted.
Tier 2 of the PBS covers sponsored skilled workers to whom we have made a job offer. As a hiring manager or as a line manager, you will need to be aware of your roles and responsibilities during their recruitment and employment. You will be supported by the HR Recruitment Team.
For anything not covered below, please contact the HR Recruitment Team (see contact details below).
The University is licenced to provide a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) which demonstrates that the individual has a firm offer of appropriate employment, which contributes points to their score. As such it supports an individual’s Tier 2 visa
application (but does not guarantee its approval, and does not give the migrant the right to work in the UK).
The CoS is not a paper certificate or document, but a virtual document with a reference number, issued by UKVI and provided to the individual via Human Resources.
To obtain a CoS:
UKVI regularly update the
criteria for jobs
which can be sponsored, which is based on:
In general, the University has been able to sponsor academic workers (Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, Readers) earning a minimum of £33,000 and Research roles at Grade 8 and above, earning a minimum of £30,000 (as at April 2017).
Minimum salary rates for Tier 2 visas can be found here. The £30,000 minimum applies to ‘experienced workers’. This applies in the following circumstances:
We recommend that you contact the HR Recruitment Team
to advertising a role to establish whether it would meet current eligibility criteria, and whether a Resident Labour Market Test will be required.
For most roles, UKVI require us to conduct a test of the local labour pool, to ensure that there are no suitable workers already living permanently in the UK, before a Certificate of Sponsorship can be issued. This involves:
The HR Recruitment Team will conduct the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT), which you must discuss prior to advertising. Exceptionally there may be very specific circumstances when the RLMT might not be possible due to prescribed external funding
restrictions. If this is a possibility then the position should be discussed with the HR Recruitment Team. If the post is not exempt, and your appointee needs a Certificate of Sponsorship, the HR Recruitment Team will require a copy of your
shortlisting information for all candidates, and copies of interview notes.Please note:
youshouldneverreject,orbe seen to reject, any candidate (or potential candidate) on the grounds that they do not hold the right to work in the UK. It is recommended that right to work, or absence thereof, is considered as late in the
selectionprocessaspossible forthefollowing reasons:
They can only be granted up to a total maximum of six years. After this period the University cannot obtain any further extensions and the individual would have to leave the UK. They would not be able to apply for a further Tier 2 visa for 12
months. They may wish to apply for settlement or “indefinite leave to remain”.
One month prior to the end of a visa, an individual receives an automated email from HR reminding them about that. If an extension for a current member of staff is required, you should contact the HR employee services team (see contact details
below), as soon as possible to discuss, however please note that a CoS extension cannot be processed more than 3 months before an individual’s Tier 2 visa is due to expire.
The process to hire a sponsored worker can be lengthy, given the requirement to advertise for 28 days, the time it takes to complete shortlisting and interviews, and the time it takes for an individual’s visa application to be considered by the
Home Office. This is usually 2 to 3 weeks.
Additionally, if the individual is applying from outside the UK, the University will need to apply for a
‘restricted’ COS. These are allocated by a Home Office group which meets once a month. There is a national monthly maximum number of
restricted Certificates of Sponsorships. It is possible that the University’s application might be subject to that monthly maximum and need to be considered in the subsequent month. A realistic start date should be considered taking these steps into
NB: The university cannot guarantee that any valid Certificate of Sponsorship application will result in the allocation of a restricted Tier 2 visa. Consideration should also be given to whether sponsorship is feasible for roles that have fixed
start and end dates (for example, as a condition of funding).
Less commonly, prospective staff can apply for a
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa, but the individual makes this application personally without being sponsored by the University.
covers international students, sponsored by the University to support their visa application to study in the UK. Their visa may allow them to work in the UK with restrictions. However their applications are processed by the University’s
International Student Advice Team.
The University can also issue Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) under the
Government Authorised Exchange category for sponsored researchers. Contact the
HR Recruitment Team
for further information.