University sponsorship

If you are applying for a highly skilled role or are a sponsored researcher the University may be able to sponsor you. Further information is available in this section.

Tier 2

If you require sponsorship to be able to work for the University and the role you have applied for has met the criteria for a Tier 2 visa, i.e. it is a highly skilled role, the College/Support Group that you are going to work in will apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).  The CoS is not an actual paper document, but provides a number for you to use when applying for your visa.

If you are applying for a Tier 2 visa from outside the UKVI, the CoS will need to be allocated by the UKVI for issue by the University.  For applicants from within the UK the CoS is issued direct from the University. 

Once the CoS has been assigned to you, you will also receive a letter from your College/Professional Services HR Team.  The letter provides the information that you need to apply for a visa, along with further details about the process and support that is available.  

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 UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

Apply for a Tier 2 (General) 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. 

An employment start date cannot be moved forward more than 28 days otherwise it will be necessary to cancel the CoS.

Information on UKVI processing times

Switching from Tier 4 to Tier 2 after your studies

 Further information on obtaining a Tier 2 visa after completing studies 

Tier 5

There are a number of visa routes covered by Tier 5, but the Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange route covers those who require sponsorship as a sponsored researcher.

Those applying for a visa under this subcategory can be subject to a UKVI "genuineness" test.

In order to assess "genuineness" the UKVI may request additional information/evidence and/or request that the applicant attends 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 Tier 5 sponsorship is an appropriate route for you to be able to take up the work, you will be issued with a Certificate of Sponsorship by your College/School (in the same way as for a Tier 2 sponsorship) which will enable you to apply for your visa.

Further information about Tier 5

University support for those applying for Tier 2/5 visas and those switching from Tier 4 to Tier 2

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 Tier 2 visa for both themselves and their dependants.  On commencing work at the University, you can claim reimbursement for the fees. 

Further information on the support the University offers