Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship application process

The application process is a monthly one whereby the university applies for a restricted Certificate of Sponsorship and each application is scored against criteria set by the UKVI.  All applications up to and including the 5th of each month will be considered on the 11th of each month.  The UKVI will then decide how many applications can be approved. This is called the ‘allocation date’. (Where the 11th of the month falls on a Saturday, Sunday or on a Bank Holiday, applications will be decided on the next working day after the 11th.).  The university will be notified of the outcome on this date.

Time period

A Certificate of Sponsorship is valid for three months from the date it was assigned.  If the Certificate of Sponsorship is not used within this period to apply for entry clearance or leave to remain it automatically becomes invalid.


Applications for restricted Certificates of Sponsorship will be scored and prioritised based on the criteria set in the below table.

Type of job




Job is on list of Shortage Occupations


£20,500 - £20,999.99


Job is at PhD level and is one of the SOC (Standard Occupational Classification) codes listed above


£21,000 - £21,999.99


Job is not one of the PhD level SOC codes and a resident labour market test has been conducted (or job is exempt from the resident labour market test)


£22,000 - £22,999.99




£23,000 - £23,999.99




£24,000 - £24,999.99




£25,000 – £25,999.99




£26,000 - £26,999.99




£27,000 - £27,999.99




£28,000 - £31,999.99




£32,000 - £45,999.99




£46,000 - £74,999.99




£75,000 - £99,999.99




£100,000 - £149,999.99


Applications must score points from both columns but can only score points for one entry in the first column. For example if a job is at PhD level and falls within one of the above SOC codes and a resident labour market test has been conducted the application will score 50 points from the first column, not 80. 

The UKVI will then add a further score for the salary that will be paid for the job. For example if the job is a shortage occupation and the salary payable is £26,500 the application will score 75 points plus a further 8 points for salary, giving 83 points in total.  The application must score a minimum of 32 points to be treated as valid.  The university will not be able to submit an application if it scores less than 32 points. 

NB:  The university cannot guarantee that any valid application will result in the allocation of a restricted Certificate of Sponsorship.

Monthly Allocation Process

Each application received for a restricted Certificate of Sponsorship will be scored in line with the table above.  All applications received up to and including the 5th of each month will be considered on the 11th of the same month - the allocation date.  The UKVI approve valid applications solely on the number of points scored, starting with the highest. In the event that the number of valid applications received is greater than the number of Certificate of Sponsorships available, those applications scoring the lowest number of points are less likely to be approved.

It is possible that in any given month the number of applications will exceed the number of Certificates of Sponsorship available and the UKVI will reach a point where there are more applications that score the same amount of points than they have Certificates of Sponsorships available. For example, they have allocated all applications scoring between 105 points (the maximum possible) and 33 points, and are left with more applications that have scored 32 points than they have Certificates of Sponsorships left to allocate. In the event that this happens, they cannot make a fair and objective decision as to whether any of those applications are in some way more urgent, or worthy than any other, therefore they will either approve all of them, or none of them.

The decision the UKVI make will be based only on the number of points the application has scored.  No other information or circumstances will be taken into account and there is no right of appeal.

In the event that the monthly allocation process is undersubscribed, UKBA will carry over any Certificates of Sponsorship that remain unallocated, to the following month.


The cost for assigning a Certificate of Sponsorship will come directly from the recruiting Faculty or Directorate budget.  A Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship costs £175 and a Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship costs £10.  

Self-assessment using the points based calculator

It is advised that migrants who require a Certificate of Sponsorship should use the detailed guide about the points-based system and information on the points allocated for each type of visa to confirm they meet the required points under the Point Based System.