?> Skip to content

Give us a ring!

You can contact us on 0191 232 9547 and our reception team will direct you to the right place. If you have the extension number of the person you’d like to speak to they have recently changed and now start with 2 instead of 1. E.g. previously ext. no. 1803 is now 2803.


How can we help?

Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt

Employing Skilled Workers from overseas

Employing Skilled Workers from overseas: applying for Defined Certificates of Sponsorship and visas

If a UK employer who holds a Sponsor Licence wishes to employ a Skilled Worker who is outside the UK, then they must apply for a Defined Certificate of Sponsorship (DCoS).

Once a DCoS has been granted to the UK employer the overseas worker can then use it to apply for their Skilled Worker visa.

Step One – Applying for a Defined Certificate of Sponsorship

All applications for a DCoS are made online via the Sponsorship Management System (SMS).

Information the employer will need:

  • Worker’s name
  • Standard Occupation Code for job .i.e. Chef 5434
  • Salary
  • Job Description including the minimum experience/qualifications needed
  • Start/End date
  • Whether the employer will certify maintenance

The employer will need to specify the type of DCoS they require i.e. Skilled Worker and the number of DCoS they are applying for.

The employer will then be asked to provide information regarding the proposed employment including work dates, job title and gross salary. The employer will also need to provide a job description, there is a character limit of 1000 words, so it is advisable to have the job description prepared before logging onto the SMS.

Once the relevant details have been submitted the employer will be taken to a confirmation screen check. The employer must check the details they have entered are correct and it is always a good idea to take a screen shot or print the confirmation.

Application for DCoS should be processed within 24 hours.

Sometimes the UKVI ask the sponsor to provide additional information and evidence. We are finding that this is routine for roles in the hospitality sector.

Step Two- assigning the Defined Certificate of Sponsorship

Once the employer has been issued with a DCoS they can assign it to the overseas worker.

The employer will:

need to do this online via the SMS.

need to select the option ‘granted applications- create and assign defined CoS’ and then tick which DCoS they wish to assign.

then need to click ‘create’ to assign the DCoS.

be asked to enter the workers details such as their name, nationality and date of birth.

The employer will then be taken to the confirmation of saved DCoS screen. If they are happy with the details they should take a screen shot or print the page before clicking ‘assign’.

Certificates are free for citizens from the following countries:

Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden or Turkey.

For workers from other countries the fee is £199.00.

The amount of Immigration Skills Charge payable will depend on the size of the employers’ organisation and how long the worker will be employed.

Small or charitable sponsors must pay £364.00 for the first 12 months and £182.00 for each additional 6 months thereafter.

Medium to large sponsors must pay £1,000 for the first 12 months and an additional £500.00 for each additional month.

Once a DCoS is assigned, the employer must give the number to the worker. The DCoS is a virtual document, so the employer does not need to give an actual copy. The overseas worker then uses the DCoS number to apply for a visa for the UK.

Step Three – applying for a visa

Each overseas worker will have to apply for their own visa before entering the United Kingdom.

They must complete the correct online application form, pay the Home Office fee and Immigration Health Surcharge.

The Home Office fee depends on how long the worker will be in the United Kingdom. For workers that will be in the UK for up to 3 years the fee is £610 per person and £1,220 per person for workers that will be in the UK for more than 3 years.

Once the application has been submitted the overseas worker must book a biometric enrolment appointment at a visa application centre in the country they are applying from.

EU, EAA and Swiss Citizens can verify their ID instead using their smartphone through the UK Immigration: ID Check app as part of the online application. Those that cannot use their smartphone to do this will need to attend an appointment at a visa application centre.

Supporting documents are either uploaded online before the biometric enrolment appointment or can be taken on the day to be scanned at the visa application centre for an additional fee.

The overseas worker will then have to wait for a decision from the UKVI.

The timescale is usually 3 weeks from attending the biometric enrolment appointment.

If successful, their passport will be endorsed with a vignette giving them 90 days to travel to the UK and they must travel within that period. Once they arrive in the UK they must collect a Biometric Residence Permit which will confirm their immigration status.

If the application is refused, there is a right to seek an Administrative Review within 28 days of the date of decision.


Our immigration specialists are able to advise on business immigration. If you have any queries relating to sponsoring overseas workers, or any other business immigration queries, please contact our team on 0191 232 9547.




Search the site

Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt