NewsUK Unveils Expedited Priority CoS for Overseas Worker Visas - Streamlining Hiring...

UK Unveils Expedited Priority CoS for Overseas Worker Visas – Streamlining Hiring of Global Talent

The United Kingdom has introduced a new work visa route that aims to streamline the process for overseas workers seeking employment opportunities in the country. The “Priority Change of Circumstances (CoS)” service, launched in April 2023, allows UK employers to prioritize certain requests related to their sponsored workers, including the issuance of Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS).

What is a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)?

A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is a crucial document required for most work visa applications in the UK. It is issued by an employer that holds a valid sponsor license from the Home Office. The CoS contains details about the job offer, including the role, salary, and other relevant information.

Without a valid CoS, an overseas worker cannot apply for a work visa in the UK. This new Priority CoS service aims to expedite the process of obtaining a CoS, making it easier for employers to hire foreign talent quickly.

How Does the Priority CoS Service Work?

The Priority CoS service allows UK employers to submit requests for CoS via email, prioritizing them for faster processing. Each day, sponsors can prioritize a certain number of requests, depending on their sponsor rating and the size of their organization.

Here’s how the process works:

  1. Eligibility Check: Employers must first ensure that they hold a valid sponsor license and that the role they wish to sponsor meets the eligibility criteria for the relevant work visa category.
  2. Submit Request: Eligible employers can submit their request for a Priority CoS via email, following the guidelines provided by the Home Office.
  3. Priority Processing: The Home Office will prioritize the processing of these requests, aiming to issue the CoS within a shorter timeframe compared to the standard processing times.
  4. Assign CoS: Once the CoS is issued, the employer can assign it to the prospective overseas worker, who can then proceed with their work visa application.

It’s important to note that while the Priority CoS service aims to expedite the process, it does not guarantee a specific turnaround time. The processing time may vary depending on the volume of requests and other factors.

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Benefits of the Priority CoS Service

The Priority CoS service offers several benefits for both employers and overseas workers:

  1. Faster Hiring Process: By obtaining the CoS more quickly, employers can streamline the hiring process for overseas workers, reducing delays and ensuring that they can start working in the UK as soon as possible.
  2. Attracting Top Talent: The ability to offer a faster visa application process can make UK employers more attractive to highly skilled foreign workers, who may have multiple job offers to consider.
  3. Flexibility: The Priority CoS service provides employers with greater flexibility in managing their workforce, allowing them to respond quickly to changing business needs and staffing requirements.
  4. Reduced Costs: By minimizing delays in the hiring process, employers can potentially reduce costs associated with extended recruitment efforts or temporary staffing solutions.

Eligibility and Requirements

To take advantage of the Priority CoS service, employers must meet the following requirements:

  1. Valid Sponsor License: The employer must hold a valid sponsor license from the Home Office, which allows them to sponsor overseas workers for specific job roles.
  2. Eligible Job Role: The job role for which the CoS is being requested must meet the eligibility criteria for the relevant work visa category, such as the Skilled Worker visa or the Global Business Mobility routes.
  3. Sponsor Rating: The employer’s sponsor rating, which is determined by their compliance with the Home Office’s sponsorship duties, may impact the number of Priority CoS requests they can submit each day.

It’s essential for employers to familiarize themselves with the specific requirements and guidelines provided by the Home Office to ensure a smooth and successful application process.

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How to Apply for a UK Work Visa with a Priority CoS

If you are an overseas worker seeking employment in the UK, and your prospective employer has obtained a Priority CoS for you, here are the general steps to apply for a work visa:

  1. Check Eligibility: Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria for the relevant work visa category, such as the Skilled Worker visa or one of the Global Business Mobility routes.
  2. Gather Documents: Prepare all the required documents, including your passport, educational qualifications, proof of English language proficiency, and any other supporting documents specified by the Home Office.
  3. Apply Online:¬†Apply for your work visa online¬†through the UK government’s website. You will need to provide your personal details, employment information, and the CoS reference number issued by your employer.
  4. Pay Fees: Pay the applicable visa application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) to cover your use of the National Health Service (NHS) during your stay in the UK.
  5. Attend Biometric Appointment: Attend a biometric appointment to provide your fingerprints and a photograph, if required.
  6. Wait for Decision: Wait for the Home Office to process your application and make a decision. With the Priority CoS service, the processing time may be shorter than the standard processing times.
  7. Collect Biometric Residence Permit (BRP): If your application is successful, you will receive a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), which serves as evidence of your immigration status and entitlements in the UK.

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It’s important to note that the specific requirements and process may vary depending on your individual circumstances and the work visa category you are applying for.

It’s always advisable to consult the official Home Office guidance or seek professional immigration advice to ensure a smooth and successful application process.


The introduction of the Priority CoS service in the UK is a welcome development for both employers and overseas workers. By streamlining the process of obtaining a Certificate of Sponsorship, this service aims to facilitate faster hiring of foreign talent, enabling UK businesses to remain competitive in the global market.

For overseas workers, the Priority CoS service offers the opportunity to secure employment in the UK more efficiently, reducing delays and uncertainties associated with the visa application process.

As the UK continues to attract skilled workers from around the world, initiatives like the Priority CoS service demonstrate the government’s commitment to supporting businesses and fostering a dynamic and diverse workforce.

Also Read:

Calling All Nurses, Midwives & Health Pros: NHS Now Sponsoring UK Work Visas


How to Find and Apply for UK Visa Sponsorship Jobs – Nursing Abroad

UK Visa Sponsorship Jobs: A Step-by-Step Guide for Foreign Workers

Maximize Your Career Potential: Explore Premier UK Nanny Positions Offering Comprehensive Visa Sponsorship for International Caregivers

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