How to get a Certificate of Sponsorship for your UK Health and Care Visa
If you’re looking to work in healthcare here in the UK, you’ll need to get an all-important Certificate of Sponsorship – or CoS for short – to obtain your right to work here in the UK. Not sure how to do this? Don’t worry – we’ve got all the tips and information you need right here…
What is a Certificate of Sponsorship?
Once an NHS trust has offered you a job, you’ll need a UK Health and Care Visa in order to work legally in the UK.
The first step of obtaining the visa is to receive a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from the hospital’s HR team. For the hospital to receive a CoS, they must apply to the UK Visa and Immigration Department.
Please note, you’ll receive an electronic certificate and not a physical one.
What’s the difference between a restricted and unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship?
- Restricted – used for candidates outside of the UK
- Unrestricted – typically used for candidates within the UK
In June 2018, doctors and nurses were removed from the UK Home Office’s annual visa caps, which means the NHS can assign either of the above CoS types at any time once they have successfully identified a suitable candidate for their vacancy.
You should note that in most cases, hospitals will apply for an unrestricted CoS, which takes only a couple of days to be issued.
Do I need to provide any documentation to get my Certificate of Sponsorship issued?
The NHS trust may ask you to provide personal information and evidencing the following before they can make your CoS Application:
- Proof of Address x2
- Certificate of Good Standing
- GMC Registration status
Please note, that each NHS Trust is different and they do not physically need these documents to apply for the CoS, however, it may just be part of their compliance process.
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After I have received my Certificate of Sponsorship, what do I do next?
The NHS trust will issue you your CoS with a digital reference number stated at the top. You then have three months to apply for your UK Health and Care Visa from the date the CoS has been issued.
Once your CoS has been issued, you should read it thoroughly to check the information is correct:
- Job Post
If any of the information is incorrect or your name is spelt wrong, it can lead to your UK Health and Care visa application being denied.
Tip: Don’t worry about whether your CoS ticks whether your job is on the Shortage Occupation List or not as all doctors and nurses are now on the list.
What happens if I have been issued a Certificate of Sponsorship, but I want to take up a post with another NHS trust?
When international doctors and nurses apply for NHS jobs, they often receive a series of interviews at once. Sometimes it may be the case where you have accepted a role, had your CoS issued and now you want to take another opportunity.
You need to be very careful here, as the NHS trust who has applied for your CoS has spent £1000 on the application and it is lawful to ask for that money back.
- Can I afford to repay the CoS fee?
- Could this decision have repercussions in the future?
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We can support with:
- Securing an NHS post
- UK Health and Care Visa
- Securing UK accommodating
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- Settling into the UK
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At ID Medical, we’ll be here to support you throughout every single step of the way. If you’re interested in receiving our support, please do email your CV to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can register with us by hitting the link below.