July 20, 2024

Have you ever dreamt of working in the UK, but felt overwhelmed by the complexities of visa procedures? Well, if you did, you’re not alone. But fear not! This article is here to help you understand the nitty-gritty of the UK Sponsorship Visa.

The UK Sponsorship Visa Explained

In simple terms, a UK Sponsorship Visa is a type of work visa that allows non-EEA nationals to work in the UK. An employer (known as a sponsor) must endorse this visa, hence its name.

There are several categories under the UK Sponsorship Visa, each serving a different purpose. Let’s dive deeper into three of the most common ones.

Tier 2 (General) Visa

Do you have a job offer from a UK-based company? Then the Tier 2 (General) Visa might be your ticket to the UK. This visa is designed for individuals with a specific skilled job offer in the UK.

Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Visa

If you’re working for an international company planning to transfer you to their UK branch, the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Visa is your best bet.

Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Visa

If you’re looking for temporary or seasonal work, consider the Tier 5 Visa. This category includes creative and sporting visas, charity worker visas, religious worker visas, and more.

Now that we know the types of sponsorship visas, what are the criteria to qualify?

Certificate of Sponsorship

You’ll need a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from an authorized employer. The CoS isn’t a physical document but rather an electronic record with its unique reference number.

Maintenance Funds

You must prove that you can support yourself without public funds during your stay in the UK.

English Proficiency

Unless exempted, you need to pass an English language test at the appropriate level.

Obtaining a sponsorship visa might seem daunting, but we can break it down into three steps.

Step 1: Getting a Sponsor

Your first step is to find a UK-based employer who is licensed to sponsor foreign employees.

Step 2: Receiving a Certificate of Sponsorship

Once you’ve secured a job, your employer will issue a CoS.

Step 3: Applying for the Visa

With the CoS in hand, you can proceed to apply for the visa online.

The processing time for a UK Sponsorship Visa can vary, but you can usually expect a decision within 3 weeks of your application date.

The cost depends on the visa category, your circumstances, and whether you’re applying from inside or outside the UK.

In some cases, you may apply for an extension or switch to a different visa if you meet the requirements.

Navigating the UK sponsorship visa can seem complicated at first, but by understanding the categories and the process, you’ll find the journey much less daunting. Armed with this knowledge, you’re one step closer to your dream job in the UK.


  1. How long does the UK Sponsorship Visa last?
    • The duration of the UK Sponsorship Visa depends on the specific category of visa you receive. Generally, Tier 2 Visas can last up to 5 years and 14 days, or the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 1 month, whichever is shorter. For extensions, there are certain conditions which allow for a stay up to a maximum of 6 years.
  2. Can I bring my family members if I get a UK Sponsorship Visa?
    • Yes, you can bring dependents (your partner and your children under 18) with you while you work in the UK on a Sponsorship Visa. They will need to apply for a dependent visa.
  3. What happens if my job ends while I’m in the UK on a Sponsorship Visa?
    • If your job ends for any reason, your sponsor is required to report this to the UK Home Office. Your visa may be curtailed and you might have to leave the UK, unless you find another sponsor or apply for a different type of visa.
  4. What are the chances of my UK Sponsorship Visa application being rejected?
    • The approval of your UK Sponsorship Visa application depends on many factors, including the validity of your sponsorship, your ability to meet all the eligibility requirements, and your personal and professional circumstances. Ensuring you correctly fill out the application and provide all necessary documentation can increase the chances of approval.
  5. Can I switch employers while I’m in the UK on a Sponsorship Visa?
    • Yes, you can switch employers, but the new employer must also be a licensed sponsor, and you will need to apply for a new sponsorship visa. It’s important to ensure you maintain legal status during any transition period.

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