Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)
HEE is responsible for the sponsorship of medical postgraduate doctors and dentists for their Sponsorship application in England
The HEE National Overseas Sponsorship Team are not qualified immigration advisors and cannot offer immigration advice.
Immigration rules are subject to change. You are advised to regularly visit the Home Office website to check the latest guidance and rules.
The HEE Overseas Sponsorship Team work within the West Midlands and administer the process on behalf of HEE.
Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)
Once you have been made an offer via Oriel, the HEE National Overseas Sponsorship Team will be notified. They will contact you via email to provide you with log in details to the Overseas Sponsorship Portal where you can complete all the relevant information required for HEE to issue you with a CoS.
You will need to complete all of the mandatory sections of the online application form.
- A scanned copy of the Conditions of Sponsorship Applicant Declaration form.
- A scanned copy of passport (including all relevant pages).
- A scanned copy of your current visa (including the front and back of your Visa).
- A copy of payslip/relevant proof of National Insurance Number.
- A copy of your medical degree certificate.
- Evidence of General Medical Council (GMC) registration (if applicable).
- The offer letter or Oriel email for your post.
Your application cannot be processed without these documents.
We can only request a CoS 3 months prior to a start date as per Home Office guidance. As an example for August start dates the earliest HEE National Overseas Sponsorship Team can request a CoS would be May. Due to the volumes HEE National Overseas Sponsorship Team need to process during this time, CoS will be issued throughout May, June and early July for August starters and November, December and January for February starters. The following order is used to prioritise.
- Expiry dates of current Visas.
- Out of country applications.
- New applicants to HEE (change of employer).
- Tier 4/Student switching to Tier 2/Skilled Worker.
- Extensions of Tier 2/Skilled Worker of those already sponsored by HEE.
Due to the significant volumes the HEE National Overseas Sponsorship Team receive it is difficult to provide constant updates. You will be updated on the Portal of your application progress, including if your application has been approved or rejected (pending further actions from you). If the team have any further queries regarding your application, they will contact you directly. If for any reason you are not contacted and it is less than 3 months until your start date, please email [email protected].
Please only contact the National Overseas Sponsorship Team for urgent queries so that the team can process applications as quickly as possible. Please state Urgent and your GMC number in the subject box so that we can try to address these as soon as possible. Please do not send multiple emails. Our standard response time is within 5 working days, but this may be longer during our busiest periods.
Requesting your CoS to be issued earlier
- Travel arrangements - you cannot request you CoS to be issued earlier due to travel arrangements. You are advised not to make travel arrangements during this period.
- Applying for a mortgage or a rental/tenancy agreement - the National Overseas Sponsorship Team cannot take into account any mortgage or rental requirements and will use the priority listed above for the order that CoS are issued.
- Getting married or attending a wedding - the National Overseas Sponsorship Team cannot take any weddings into account and will use the priority listed above for the order that CoS are issued. We recommend where possible that CoS and visa processing times are considered when planning your celebration.
- Family emergency - in most cases, we cannot issue the CoS early. During our busy periods we will issue thousands of CoS over the course of several months, and in this time many of our applicants experience extremely challenging events, such as bereavements. To ensure fairness, this unfortunately means that the National Overseas Sponsorship Team can only take extremely severe circumstances into account and will normally use the priority listed above for the order that CoS are issued. However, if you have an emergency, please email us at [email protected] explaining the full circumstances, and your situation will be considered. We will always do our best to help and if we cannot issue your CoS early, we will advise you on your options regarding your sponsorship.
If you already have a valid CoS with another employer
If you already have a CoS that has been issued by another employer and you have not used it for a visa application, then HEE will not be able to issue you with another CoS until the sponsor of the other CoS withdraws it on the Home Office System. This is because the Home Office system will only allow one unused CoS to be assigned to you at any given time. If you have a CoS from another employer that you have already used for a visa application, this should not cause any problems.
If your passport is due to expire
If your passport is due to expire, as long as you are applying from within the UK and is valid at the time of application with the Home Office there should not be any issues. It is advisable to review when you may be making your application with the Home Office to ascertain if a new passport is needed in the first instance.
If you are applying from outside of the UK, you need to ensure your passport is valid for more than 6 months so you will be able to travel after your visa has been granted.
If you are currently pregnant and will be on maternity leave when you are due to commence your training
Please contact the HEE National Overseas Sponsorship Team at [email protected] for further information.
HEE will pay for the initial CoS (and any confirmed extensions) and the relevant Immigration Skills Charge (ISC). HEE are not able to assist with any of the costs associated with your Skilled Worker application to the Home Office (including application charges and any other associated charges).
If you do not use your CoS before the expiry date, you will require a new CoS. If this happens then you will be required to pay the cost of the CoS (£199) to HEE.
CoS application status
When you log into the Overseas Sponsorship Portal, the current status of your application will show near the top, left hand side of the screen.
Your CoS application on the Portal may show several different statuses as you go through various stages of the process.
- Submitted – waiting approval - You have successfully submitted your application, and it is waiting to be reviewed by a member of the team.
- Rejected - Your application has been checked but further action is needed from you before it can be approved. The details will be shown on your dashboard.
- Rejected - resubmitted - This indicates that you have made changes to your application, and it will be re-checked by a member of the team.
- Approved - You have provided all the information we need in order to issue your CoS.
- CoS issued - Your CoS has been issued and is available for you to view and download in the CoS Information tab.
Checking your CoS
Once your application for a Skilled Worker CoS has been reviewed and accepted by HEE National Overseas Sponsorship Team, you will be issued with a CoS. You should check this document fully to ensure that there are no mistakes.
After you've received your CoS, you should check all of the details on it before making your application to the Home Office to gain your Skilled Worker visa. Any errors will need to be amended before making your application. You should check:
- all your personal details
- your work start and end dates
- your specialty under job title
It is important to be aware of the following when checking your CoS.
- Your 'main work address' will be listed as HEE (Birmingham) and 'other regular work address in the UK' to allow you to rotate between Trusts.
- Your job title will be listed as 'specialty registrar in <specialty>' as per the Standard Occupation Code (SOC) in Appendix J of the Immigration Rules.
- In line with the Home Office guidance, HEE will confirm on your CoS the basic salary as per ‘NHS Employers Pay and Conditions circular (Medical and Dental)’ as this is the minimum guaranteed salary a doctor/dentist will earn. Your exact salary will be calculated by your employer nearer to your start date. For Less Than Full Time (LTFT) this figure will be calculated on basic salary and pro rata for your LTFT hours; evidence of payslips may be required.
Amends to your CoS
If you notice something is wrong on the CoS you should contact the HEE National Overseas Sponsorship Team via email [email protected] which the subject tile Sponsor note required detailing the error.
The HEE National Overseas Sponsorship team will add a Sponsor note to the CoS that was issued to you to clarify the error and will upload the updated copy to the portal. The sponsor note section can be found towards the top of your CoS.
The Sponsor note will not affect your visa application with the Home Office. The Home Office case workers will be able to view any amendments on your CoS.
The longest a CoS can be issued is the length of your training contract, up to a maximum of 5 years at a time. You will need to apply to extend your visa when it is due to expire if you are continuing in training. Please contact us 3-4 months before it is due to expire if you need to arrange an extension.
If you have applied for your CoS and now have a new passport
If you have already applied for your CoS and now have a new passport, you will need to upload a copy your new passport to the Sponsorship Portal. You will then need to email the HEE National Overseas Sponsorship team via [email protected] to confirm this has been completed.
If your CoS has not been used towards an application, we will be able to add a sponsor note. However, is advisable to have all up to date information at the point of requesting a CoS.
If you have received your updated CoS but the error is still on the CoS
The error on the CoS cannot be removed; however, you will see under the sponsor note section near the top of the CoS the comments regarding the error and the updated information. The Home Office case workers will review these sponsor notes alongside the CoS. Sponsor notes are a Home Office process and the case workers at the Home Office will view any amendments on your CoS. It will not have a negative affect on your visa application.
If you decide you no longer want/need a Skilled Worker CoS, then Please inform the HEE National Overseas Sponsorship Team on [email protected] as soon as possible.
If you do not use your CoS before the expiry date then you will require a new CoS. If this happens then you will be required to pay the cost of the CoS (£199) to HEE.
Extensions to Sponsorship
A CoS can only be issued for the length of your training contract and only for a maximum of 5 years at a time. Current post graduate doctors in training can request an extension to their Tier 2/Skilled Worker visa to complete their training.
We can request an extension to your CoS 3 months prior to the end date of your existing leave as per Home Office guidance. When an extension CoS is issued, the start date will be the day after your current Visa expires. You will be able to work on your current Visa until the end date
If you require an extension, please contact the Overseas Sponsorship Team via email [email protected].
GMC registration application
You cannot use the Certificate of Sponsorship issued by this team towards your General Medical Council (GMC) registration application.
The Certificate of Sponsorship the GMC require as part of their application process is not the same as the Certificate of Sponsorship that the National overseas Sponsorship Team issues.
The National Overseas Sponsorship Team issue Certificates of Sponsorship for visa application purposes only.
The Certificate of Sponsorship the GMC require is a different document which confirms that a doctor possesses the knowledge, skills and experience required for practising as a fully registered medical practitioner in the UK. Doctors need to apply for this directly from one of the GMC approved sponsors.
Page last reviewed: 29 March 2023
Next review due: 29 March 2024