What is the change? U.K. Visas and Immigration has introduced a fee-based priority service for A-rated sponsors of Tier 2 and Tier 5 workers to make certain change of circumstances requests.

What does the change mean? For an additional fee, mandatory change of circumstances Sponsor Management System updates will be processed in just five working days. This add-on service applies to in-year CoS allocations, follow-on CoS allocations, addition of a new Level 1 user, or replacement of an authorizing officer. The service does not apply to restricted certificates of sponsorship.

  • Implementation time frame: The priority service is now available. Requests for change of circumstance submitted Nov. 7 and later qualify for the priority processing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Tier 2 sponsor licenses.
  • Who is affected: A-rated sponsors of Tier 2 and Tier 5 workers only.
  • Impact on processing times: The five-day processing is considerably faster than the normal processing time of 18 weeks.
  • Next steps: Sponsors apply via the sponsorship management system. A maximum of 20 priority requests will be accepted each day (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday).

BAL Analysis: The service benefits A-rated sponsors who are not registered as premium sponsors. Premium sponsors are already given faster consideration of changes of circumstances. Although at an added cost, the new service means that employers are able to manage their compliance obligations as a licensed sponsor with greater ease and ensure that the Sponsor Management System is more responsive to business changes and needs.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact

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