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UK Border Agency | Annual allocations - questions and answers

This page answers some common questions about the annual renewal request process for certificates of sponsorship (CoS).Annual renewal requests must be made through the sponsorship management system(SMS).

When does my current allocation expire?

Your current allocation of CoS in a particular tier or category will expire:

  • one year after the date when you were first able to issue CoS in that tier or category; or
  • if you have previously made an annual allocation renewal request in that tier or category,one year after the date when your last request was granted.

You can find the exact expiry date using the SMS - go tothe 'View and edit sponsor profile' section and select 'Sponsor summary'.

If you were licensed before 28 November 2008, your current allocation will expire on 27 November 2009.

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Can I renew all of my tiers and categories at once?

Yes -you can renew all of your tiers and categories at the same time, regardless of their expiry dates, as long as at least one tier or category will expire in three months or less.

If you want to align some or all of your tiers and categories to a single date, you must ensure that you make a renewal request for all of these tiers and categories before you complete the request on the SMS.

You also have the right to renew each allocation separately, but this will lead to multiple renewal dates throughout the year.

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When can I make my request?

You can make your request up to three months before your current allocation expires, and you will receive a series of emails reminding you to take action.

If you were licensed before 28 November 2009, you can renew your allocation from 5 October 2009 once the system functionality is available - you will receive an email asking you to take action on the day the system goes live.

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When should I make my request?

If your allocation expires between 27 November and 31 December 2009, you should make your request at the earliest possible opportunity after 5 October 2009. This gives your request the best chance of being reviewed and granted before the expiry date.

If your CoS allocation is due to expire after 1 January 2010, the system will email you at monthly intervals, starting four months before the expiry date, to let you know when you can make you request. Once you have submitted a request, the system will stop sending you reminder emails. Again, you should look to apply as early as possible.

We recommend that you make your request at least four weeks before your expiry date, to give your request the best chance of being reviewed and granted before your allocation expires.

Please note that you only need to make a renewal request if you will need further CoS when your current allocation expires. You can legitimately hold a sponsor licence without a current CoS allocation.

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What happens if I do not make my request in time?

If you do not make your request in time, you will not be able to issue any CoS until you have made your request and we have processed, considered and (if applicable) granted it.

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What details must I provide when I make a request?

When you make your request, you will be asked to state the number of CoS that you require in each tier and category. You will need to provide a brief outline of why you need this number of CoS ,including details of any increase or decrease on your previous year's allocation. You should provide full reasons, so that we can consider your request - the more detail you provide, the quicker your request will be actioned.

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How many certificates can I request?

You can request as many certificates as you think are necessary for your organisation. However, you must justify your request, as requests are subject to consideration by us.

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Who should make the request?

The request should be made by your level 1 uservia the SMS.

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How doI make a request?

The level 1 user should make the request following the steps below:

  1. Log onto the SMS.
  2. Click on the tab on the left called 'View and edit sponsor profile'.
  3. Select the tab called 'Request renewal of annual allocation'.
  4. View the table showing all the tiers and categories available for renewal of annual allocation.
  5. Select a tier and hit the 'Add a request' button
  6. Input the number of required CoSs, the reason for the request, and select 'Save'.
  7. Repeat as required for each tier; once completed, select 'Submit'.

The relevant tiers and categories should now show as 'Pending request' on the 'View and edit sponsor profile' screen.

Once a request has been submitted, it cannot be withdrawn or amended by the sponsor.

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Will my request be granted in full?

We anticipate that most requests will be granted in full. However, we may consider it necessary to grant a partial allocation if the reasons provided do not justify the number of CoSsrequested.

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What happens if my allocation runs out?

If you issue all of your CoSs before their expiry date, you can make an 'in-year request' for more CoSs. Please note that we will need to review and consider this request before we issue any extra CoSs.

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What happens if I don't want to renew my allocation?

You do not need to renew your allocation if you think you will not be allocating any CoSs in the coming year. However, you will still be subject to the same sponsorship responsibilities and duties in regard to migrants who you currently sponsor.

If you do not make a request to renew your allocation, you will not be able to issue CoSs once your current allocation has expired. If you later make a renewal request, this willtake the standard time to be processed, considered and (where applicable) granted.

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How will the UK Border Agency notify me of the decision?

We will write to your authorising officerwith details of our decision.

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What happens to my current allocation?

Once your expiry date has passed or we have granted a new renewal request, your current allocation will expire and you will not be able to issue any unassigned CoSs from that allocation.

If you have made an in-year request and been granted an allocation as a result, this too will expire once we have granted a new renewal request.

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Why can't I roll over my unassigned certificates into next year?

Allocations are designed to last for a year, and each year's allocation request is subject to consideration before it is granted.

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What happens if I have recently made an in-year request to increase my current year's allocation?

If your in-year request has already been granted, the additional allocation will expire on either your original expiry date or the date when your renewal request is granted (whichever is first).

If we have not actioned your in-year allocation request when your renewal request is granted, the renewal request will supersede your in-year request.

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What happens next year?

Next year you will be invited to renew your allocation up to three months before the anniversary of this year's request being granted.

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UK Border Agency
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