Application process under the Skilled worker visa route

Please ensure that you familiarise yourself with the application process in the country you are applying from and the requirements for obtaining entry clearance or leave under the skilled worker category to ensure that you can meet all of the eligibility criteria for this visa. Full information about this visa category can be found by clicking on the following link:

Some of the skilled worker criteria are briefly set out below:

Certificate of sponsorship

Upon confirming that you can be offered sponsorship by the University for your role under the skilled worker route, HR will liaise with you to arrange for a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to be assigned for you:

  1. The Home Office will be given information about you and the work you will do.
  2. When the CoS is assigned, a reference number is generated and we give this number to you.
  3. You must then include the reference number in your application for entry clearance (if outside the UK) or leave to remain (if inside the UK). 

Maintenance requirement

You must show that you have enough money to support yourself and any dependants when you enter the UK.  If you are based in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences or College of Social Sciences the University will “certify maintenance”, in which case this requirement is automatically met.  If you are based in any other area in the University, maintenance certification can be requested on your behalf by HR.

English language requirement

You must meet the English language requirement.  This can be done on the basis that you are a national of a majority English speaking country (as defined by UKVI); you hold a qualification or degree taught or researched in the UK or in English which is at Bachelors level or above (this may require NARIC certification); or you have passed an English language test at the appropriate level at a designated test centre (as defined by UKVI).

Starting at the university

Upon making a successful application for leave to enter the UK, you will be issued with a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and required to collect the same within 10 days of your first arrival in the UK from a designated Post office branch.  Your passport will be endorsed with a short validity (travel) vignette - which will be valid for 30 days from the expected date of travel provided by you - to enable travel to the UK.   You must travel to the UK during this 30 day window and then collect your BRP within 10 days of arrival in the UK.  If you need to start work before collecting the BRP, you will be able to evidence your right to work by producing the short validity (travel) vignette in your passport, which must be current.  In these circumstances, the University must check and copy the BRP before the vignette expires. 

Please read the following leaflet issued by UKVI for full details:

In all circumstances your BRP or travel vignette must be checked and copied by HR the day before you are able to start work.



What is sponsorship?

If an employer wishes to employ a person who is not a settled worker, and who does not otherwise have immigration permission to work in the UK, that employer will need to be authorised by the Home Office. This authorisation is known as a ‘sponsor licence’, and employers who hold a sponsor licence are known as ‘sponsors’. 

When can I make my visa application?

You can submit your visa application no more than 3 months prior to your start date.


What is the sponsor management system?

The sponsorship management system (SMS) is an online function that enables the University carry out day-to-day sponsorship activities, including reporting matters to the Home Office. The University also uses the SMS to assign CoSs to individuals who wish to come to, or stay in the UK to work. 

I require immigration advice

If you require immigration advice, a list of regulated Immigration Advisors can be found on the OISC website:

A list of immigration solicitors can be found via the law society website:

What is the immigration health surcharge?

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) was introduced in April 2015 for all non-EEA nationals who are coming to live in the UK for longer than 6 months. The IHS is required in order to gain access to the healthcare by the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. 

The IHS is payable up-front in full when an individual submits their visa application online. Further information on the charges can be found at:

What support can the University offer me to help pay for immigration related costs?

The University has introduced an interest free loan scheme to support staff and your immediate, dependent family members (i.e. husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried or same sex partner and your children aged under 18 at the time of application) with immigration related costs incurred during your employment at the University. This loan is available to staff across all job families. Further information can be found at:   


For any queries please contact the Recruitment Team on 0121 415 9000


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