If you are applying for a highly skilled role or are a researcher the University may be able to sponsor you. Further information is available in this section.
If you require sponsorship to be able to work or research for the University and the role you will be undertaking meets the criteria for a Skilled Worker or Temporary Worker Sponsored Researcher visa, we will apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). The CoS is not an actual paper document, but provides a number for you to use when applying for your visa.
From 1 December 2020, the Tier 2 visa route closed for applications. Any applications for a change of employment/extension will be considered under the Skilled Worker visa route. For more information on this route please visit the ‘Skilled Worker’ dropdown.
EEA/Swiss and non-EEA nationals who enter the UK on/after 1 January 2021, and do not have an immigration status which permits them to work will need to apply for a visa, therefore may require sponsorship under the Skilled Worker visa route.
The Skilled Worker route is a points based system and to qualify:
- You must have an offer of a job from a licensed sponsor;
- The job must be at or above the minimum skill level, ie UK A-level or above.
- You must meet the UKVI’s English Language requirement.
- The job must have a salary that meets the appropriate threshold.
- Points can be traded against the salary threshold, for instance where the role is considered a shortage occupation or if the individual holds a PhD in a STEM subject/subject relevant to the job.
Where the criteria is met the University issues a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), as outlined above, and you can then make a visa application online.
If you are applying for a Skilled Worker visa from outside the UK, the CoS may need to be allocated by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) before it can be issued by the University. For applicants within the UK the CoS is issued direct from the University. The different processes will impact on visa application timescales.
Once the CoS has been assigned to you, we will provide you with information that you need to apply for your visa.
Further information on the UKVI requirements, eg English Language and maintenance, and making the application is available at:
Further information on UKVI requirements
Once you have your CoS you apply for your visa online to the UKVI.
Apply for a Skilled Worker visa
In terms of timescales, a CoS cannot be issued more than 3 months prior to the start date and is valid for 3 months. The time taken to complete the process can vary, but usually a minimum of 9 weeks is required.
After the visa is granted you must start work no later than 28 days of whichever is the latest of the:
- Start date on your CoS (or any subsequent change of start date reported)
- “valid from” date on your visa
- date you are notified your visa has been granted.
If you cannot start work by the end of the 28-day period, it may be necessary to cancel the CoS, unless there are extenuating circumstances. If you need to delay your start date, please contact your school/department admin contact.
Please note you may need to obtain an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate from the Counter-Proliferation and Arms Control Centre of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) before you make your application. This is known as the ‘ATAS requirement’.
You will need to apply for an ATAS certificate if:
- you are not a national of an exempt country and;
- you are working in a job with a relevant occupation code and;
- your role includes an element of research at PhD level or above in certain sensitive subject areas where knowledge could be used in programmes to develop Advanced Conventional Military Technology (ACMT), weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) or their means of delivery.
You will be informed by your School/Department administrator if you need to apply and given details on how to do this.
If you are advised that you need to apply for an ATAS certificate, you must do this as soon as possible to avoid any delays in your employment start date. The ATAS certificate must be obtained before you make your visa application, otherwise the visa application will be refused. It can take at least 4 weeks (longer if applying between April and September) for the FCDO to process an application for an ATAS certificate. Please take this into account when agreeing your employment start date with your line manager.
Further information on the Home Office webpages
Guidance on how to apply for an ATAS Certificate from the FCDO
Temporary Worker Sponsored Researcher
As of 1 December 2020, the Tier 5 visa route has closed for applications. Any future applications will be considered under the Temporary Worker Government Authorised Exchange – Sponsored Researcher visa route. From January 2021, European Economic Area (EEA)/Swiss and non-EEA nationals who enter the UK on/after 1 January 2021 will need to apply for a Sponsored Researcher visa.
There are a number of visa routes covered by Temporary Worker Sponsored Researcher, but the Government Authorised Exchange – Sponsored Researcher visa route covers those who require sponsorship as a sponsored researcher.
Further information about Temporary Worker
If you apply for a visa under this subcategory you can be subject to a UKVI "genuineness" test. In order to assess "genuineness" the UKVI may request additional information/evidence and/or request that you attend an interview. They state that they may take into account:
- knowledge of the role;
- relevant experience relative to skills required to do the role;
- knowledge of the Sponsor in the UK;
- explanation of how you were recruited;
- any other relevant information.
If it is identified that Sponsored Researcher sponsorship is an appropriate route for you to be able to take up the work, the University issues you a CoS (in the same way as for a Skilled Worker sponsorship) which will enable you to apply for your visa.
Further information about Temporary Worker
Help is available for making your visa application from the Immigration Legal Adviser (Staff).
Additionally the University offers assistance to those paying for fees in relation to their Skilled Worker visa for both you and your family. On commencing work at the University, you can claim reimbursement for the fees.