Formal Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship requests

Where a Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship is required for an overseas applicant, the University must submit a formal request for a specific Certificate of Sponsorship from a national annual quota of 20,700 certificates held by the Home Office. The annual quota is divided into 12 monthly allocations with larger allocations from March to September to reflect higher demand in this part of the year.

The only exemption from the requirement to request a Certificate of Sponsorship from the Home Office for an overseas applicant is where the annual salary will be £159,600 per annum or more. For posts where the annual salary is £159,600 per annum or more, the University may issue a Certificate of Sponsorship from its own allocation. In addition, departments are not required to meet the Home Office's advertising requirements for posts with a salary at or above £159,600 per annum.

All requests for Certificates of Sponsorship for overseas applicants received by the Home Office on or before the 5th of each month will be considered on the 11th of the same month. In order for the Staff Immigration Team to submit formal requests for Certificates of Sponsorship to the Home Office by the 5th of each month, departments and colleges must submit fully completed Certificate of Sponsorship applications to the Staff Immigration Team by the 29th of each month to ensure that valid requests can be considered by the Home Office the following month. Where the 29th falls on a weekend or bank holiday, departments and colleges must submit fully completed Certificate of Sponsorship applications to the Staff Immigration Team by the last working day before the 29th.

Departments and colleges are advised to apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship at least three months before the applicant is due to commence employment.

In each month, the Home Office will consider applications for Certificates of Sponsorship for overseas applicants against the following criteria:

Route Points Salary Points
Shortage Occupation (rarely relevant) 130 £100,000-£159,599.99 60
PhD level post, & Resident Labour Market Test met 75 £75,000 - £99,999.99 55
Resident Labour Market Test met through 'Milkround' for new graduate jobs or internships (not relevant) 30 £70,000 - £74,999.99 50
Other post, & Resident Labour Market Test met or exempt 20 £65,000 - £69,999.99 45
    £60,000 - £64,999.99 40
    £55,000 - £59,999.99 35
    £50,000 - £54,999.99 30
    £45,000 - £49,999.99 25
    £44,000 - £44,999.99 24
    £43,000 - £43,999.99 23
    £42,000 - £42,999.99 22
    £41,000 - £41,999.00 21
    £40,000 - £40,999.99 20
    £39,000 - £39,999.99 19
    £38,000 - £38,999.99 18
    £37,000 - £37,999.99  17
    £36,000 - £36,999.99  16
    £35,000 - £35,999.99  15
    £34,000 - £34,999.99  14
    £33,000 - £33,999.99  13
    £32,000 - £32,999.99  12
    £31,000 - £31,999.99  11
    £30,000 - £30,999.99 10
    £29,000 - £29,999.99  9
    £28,000 - £28,999.99  8
    £27,000 - £27,999.99 7
    £26,000 - £26,999.99  6
    £25,000 - £25,999.99 5
    £24,000 - £24,999.99 4
    £23,000 - £23,999.99 3
    £22,000 - £22,999.99 2
    £20,800 - £21,999.99 1

All applications must score a minimum of 21 points from the above table from a combination of both the 'route' and 'salary' columns to be eligible for consideration by the Home Office i.e. even for a PhD level post (scoring 50 points), the minimum salary must be at least equal to the lower 'New Entrant' Tier 2 minimum salary threshold of £20,800 (as would be expected). Each month, the quota of eligible applications scoring the highest points will be allocated a Certificate of Sponsorship by the Home Office.

PLEASE NOTE: applicants are considered to be either a 'New Entrant' or an 'Experienced Worker' and the salary offered must meet both the Tier 2 minimum salary threshold and the salary threshold specific to their role, at the relevant 'New Entrant' or 'Experienced Worker' level for each threshold. Please see our guidance on the points requirement for further details.

Departments and colleges should note that all university and college research and lecturer posts are considered by the Home Office to be 'PhD level' posts, regardless of whether the job actually requires the applicant to hold a PhD, or whether the applicant actually holds a PhD or not. As a result, formal requests made to the Home Office for certificates for university and college research and lecturer posts should be among the applications with the highest points scores.

The University should receive the Home Office's decision on formal requests for Certificates of Sponsorship for overseas applicants within five working days of the date that the Home Office meets to consider the requests.

If a formal request for a Certificate of Sponsorship is approved by the Home Office, the University will be allocated a Certificate of Sponsorship which can only be issued for the specific post in question, and at the specific salary detailed in the application.

Where the Home Office approves a Certificate of Sponsorship request, the Staff Immigration Team will issue the Certificate of Sponsorship to the applicant as soon as possible. The Certificate of Sponsorship will be emailed to the applicant by the Staff Immigration Team. The applicant will need a Certificate of Sponsorship before they can apply for their entry clearance/visa.

Where a formal request for a Certificate of Sponsorship is declined by the Home Office, it will not be considered automatically in the following month. The department or college would need to notify the Staff Immigration Team that they would like the request to be re-submitted to the Home Office for consideration at the next meeting.