Frequently Asked Questions.
Below you will find a range of different topic areas, with Frequently Asked Questions listed.
Where possible, please check the list of questions before contacting the Yorkshire & Humber Sponsorship Team.
If you have a question which isn't listed on the website, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Who is eligible to apply for Health Education England sponsorship?
Non-UK/non-EEA nationals who have been appointed to a medical or dental Training Programme in the UK are eligible to apply for Health Education England sponsorship.
What are the benefits of being sponsored by Health Education England?
The Certificate of Sponsorship HEE assigns will cover the duration of the training programme and all rotations, up to a maximum of five years if required for the programme, as per Home Office regulations. Trainees will only have to apply for a new BRP/visa when their programme comes to an end, or after five years for programmes exceeding five years in duration, rather than applying every time their employment changes as a result of a change in rotation.
This reduces both the administrative and financial costs involved of applying for a new sponsorship BRP/visa each time employment changes due to a change in rotation.
I am currently sponsored by a different HEE region. Do I need a new CoS to join Yorkshire and the Humber?
If you are currently sponsored by Health Education England and you are changing programme or geography, then depending on the expiry date of your current visa you may not need a new CoS. If your visa is due to expire, then you will need to apply for an extension. If you are changing programme/geography, but your visa remains valid, you do not need to apply for a new CoS but must submit a monitoring form so we can update our records with UKVI.
If you are not currently sponsored by Health Education England, for example you are in a Trust Grade post which is sponsored by the Trust, you will need a CoS. It is not possible to train on a CoS issued by a different employer, because the job role will be different.
How long can I be sponsored for?
A CoS can only be issued for the length of your training contract and only for a maximum of 5 years at a time. You will need to apply to extend your visa when it is due to expire. It cannot be extended beyond your training contract date.
What is the role of Health Education England and the employer?
Health Education England is the sponsor for medical and dental trainees in the UK. The Trust is the employing organisation.
For full details, please refer to the Standard Operating Procedure.
What are the terms and conditions of Health Education England sponsorship?
Every trainee applying for Health Education England sponsorship is required to accept and agree to the following declarations before applying:
- Completing the relevant fields in the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) application form and the information provided being accurate to the best of my knowledge.
- Health Education England (HEE) discussing my immigration status and application details with the Home Office, Lead Employer (if applicable), HEE Local Team and local employer.
- HEE forwarding a copy of my CoS containing my personal details, as outlined in the application form, to the email address provided, which may include a copy sent to the relevant Lead Employer or HEE Local team
- Notifying the National HEE Overseas Sponsorship Team and local HEE office if I have not started in post on the Work Start Date issued on my CoS and the reasons why.
- Notifying the National HEE Overseas Sponsorship Team and local HEE office of any change in circumstances listed on the ‘Reporting Form’, which include:
- Your Start date is delayed from the date entered on the CoS
- Your immigration status changes
- Your training ends earlier than expected
- Your Inter Deanery Transfer (IDT) application is approved
- You are changing your hours i.e. Less Than Full Time (LTFT) application is approved
- Out Of Programme (OOP) application is approved
- You are planning to go on maternity or adoption leave
- You have had a period of long-term sickness (1 month or longer)
- You are taking a period of authorised unpaid leave
- You have changed your speciality
- You are resigning from training
- Notifying my local HEE office of any change of my personal contact details and/or personal circumstances that may affect my training programme arrangements. I am aware that they will then update the Trainee Information System (TIS) which the National Overseas Sponsorship Team can access.
- Ensuring my employer is able to review the original copy of my Biometric Resident Permit (BRP) and/or passport/visa
Are there any alternatives to applying for a Tier 2 or Skilled Worker visa?
Non-UK/-non-EEA doctors should visit the Home Office website for information on other types of visas that will allow you to work as a doctor or dentist in Training in the UK for the duration of your training programme.
Health Education England can only act as a sponsor for medical and dental trainees in the UK.
Where can I get further information on Tier 2, Skilled Worker, and other visas?
The Home Office website is the best place to obtain information.
How do I contact the Yorkshire and Humber local team in Health Education England?
You can contact the Health Education England Local Sponsorship Team via email at: email@example.com. The team will endeavour to respond within five working days.
How do I contact the Home Office?
The Home Office can be contacted via the Home Office website
You can also contact the Home Office UK Visas and Immigration Contact Centre via telephone on 0300 790 6268. Employers should contact the Home Office on 0300 123 4699.
What is a Certificate of Sponsorship?
Before a trainee can apply to the Home Office for permission to enter/remain in the UK, Health Education England must assign a unique Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to each doctor.
The CoS confirms to the Home Office the doctor has been appointed to a training programme and that HEE will be their sponsor.
The CoS is a 'virtual document' similar to a database record, has a unique reference number and contains information about the Postgraduate Doctor in training and the programme they have been appointed to.
The CoS number should be used to complete and support the Postgraduate Doctor in training’s Home Office visa application.
Please read Home Office guidance regarding making an application carefully before applying to ensure you meet all the requirements.
Important: A CoS is only valid if:
- it was assigned no more than three months before the date of Home Office application;
- it has not been withdrawn or cancelled by Health Education England or the Home Office.
IMPORTANT: A COS cannot be used more than once. If an application is refused by the Home Office, a new COS will be required.
Do I have to apply for a CoS from Health Education England AND then apply for a visa?
Once your application for a CoS has been reviewed and accepted by HEE, you will be issued with a CoS number. You must then apply to the Home Office using the information provided in your CoS to obtain your visa.
How do doctors and dentists apply for a CoS?
The sponsorship application process webpage provides details of how to apply for a CoS.
Failure to provide any of the information or documents required by the deadline will result in a delay to the CoS being issued and may have an impact on a Postgraduate Doctor in training’s start date, which could result in a Postgraduate Doctor in training being unable to commence the training programme.
Who pays for the CoS and how?
Health Education England funds the CoS, however the Postgraduate Doctor in training will be responsible for funding all other aspects of their visa application.
What details/documents does Health Education England (HEE) require in order to assign a CoS?
In order to be considered for a COS, every applicant must provide the following information in addition to completing all of the mandatory sections of the online application form.
- A scanned copy of the Conditions of Sponsorship Applicant Declaration form.
- A scanned copy of passport (including all relevant pages).
- A scanned copy of your current visa (including the front and back of your Visa).
- A copy of payslip/relevant proof of National Insurance Number.
- A copy of your medical degree certificate.
- Evidence of General Medical Council (GMC) registration (if applicable).
- The offer letter or Oriel email for your post
How long will the process take and what are the next steps once I have submitted my application for sponsorship?
Once your application has been submitted, it will be checked by the HEE Overseas Sponsorship team.
If there are any discrepancies (e.g. missing documentation, queries regarding dates, etc), your application will be rejected and you will be asked to resolve the issues.
Please note that the HEE OST process applications as quickly as possible; however during peak recruitment times, there can be delays and we ask that you are patient during this period.
What happens if a doctor or dentist provides invalid documents or misses Health Education England’s deadline dates to respond?
As per the SOP guidance, Health Education England will only sponsor:
- Non-UK/Non-EEA citizens who have been appointed to a recognised Medical or Dental Training programme.
- Postgraduate doctors in training who have been recruited in accordance with the Home Office regulations on sponsorship.
- Postgraduate doctors in training who supply information and records to enable the application and on-going monitoring requirements for a CoS.
If any deadline is missed, HEE cannot guarantee a speedy issue of the CoS and if there is a delay in issuing a CoS it is likely this will have an impact on the Postgraduate doctor in training’s start date or the offer of a training post may need to be withdrawn (if the candidate is not eligible to commence training through another immigration route).
What happens if an extension to a visa is required?
Postgraduate doctors in training may need an extension to their visa if they require additional training time due to sick leave, maternity leave, remedial training or if they change training programme.
The Postgraduate doctor in training must contact the Sponsorship Team in Yorkshire and the Humber to notify them about changes.
Near the end of the doctor’s current visa expiring (we recommend approximately 4 months), the doctor should email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will verify, on your behalf, that your training end date has changed and send a request to colleagues at the HEE Overseas Sponsorship Team. You will then be sent details of how to submit a sponsorship extension request.
What should I do if I decide I no longer want/need a CoS?
What is HEE's Sponsor License rating and number?
- HEE is an A rated sponsor.
- Your HEE Sponsor number can be found at the top of the CoS which has been issued to you.
- HEE is a public body, not a limited company
Skilled Worker and Graduate Route – Guidance for Foundation Trainees commencing in post from August 2022
From 2022 HEE will only be able to offer the Skilled Worker route to Foundation trainees and no longer able to offer the Student (previously known as Tier 4) visa. Foundation trainees will require a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for your Skilled Worker visa application.
We would also like to make you aware that you may be eligible for the new Graduate Route offered by the Home Office. More information can be found here. If you are considering applying for this route, then you will not need HEE to sponsor you and the below information will not apply. We would however appreciate if you could inform us if you intended to use the Graduate route so we can update our records that sponsorship is not required.
If you do not require a sponsorship for any other reason, please inform the HEE National Overseas Sponsorship team at email@example.com.
Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) application
If you are waiting for the upgrade deadline, please do not submit your online application form until you are certain of the post you are accepting.
How to make an application
The HEE National Overseas Sponsorship team will contact you with details on how to register for an online Overseas Sponsorship Portal account, once you have received your offer.
To register, you will need your Username, Password and Applicant ID number, which will be sent to you by email by the HEE National Overseas Sponsorship Team.
You do not need to inform the HEE National Overseas Sponsorship Team when you have registered as they will be notified automatically.
***PLEASE DO NOT USE INTERNET EXPLORER TO ACCESS THE PORTAL. We would advise using alternative browsers such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Firefox***
Once registered, please see the ‘Portal Applicant Guidance’.
You will be asked to complete personal, educational, passport, visa and programme details and upload copies of the required documents before agreeing to the Terms and Conditions of sponsorship and submitting your application. The documents include:
- Primary Medical Qualification certificate - HEE appreciates that you may not have been issued with your medical degree certificate at the time we need to issue your CoS. We will therefore issue a CoS on the basis that a copy is uploaded as soon as it is received. Please enter the details, but you do not need to upload a copy
- Evidence of GMC - This can be done via confirmation obtained from the following link https://www.gmc-uk.org/registration-and-licensing/the-medical-register. Where GMC is not yet received, please GMC number blank and you are not required to upload evidence.
- Passport photo page - This page is needed to verify your identity and validity of the passport; both the picture and the passport expiry date must therefore be visible in one document. If the expiry date/extension is on another page, you must upload a document with both the photo page and expiry page into one document.
- Current visa/BRP (if applicable) – this should include both the front and back of your BRP in one document
- Evidence of your UK National Insurance Number (if applicable) - NI card, payslip, P45, P46, P60, P11, P14, P35, current BRP
- NEW Skilled worker visa (obtained via HEE sponsorship) - This needs to be uploaded to the portal as soon as you receive it but no later than 1 month after your start date. You will also need to update your personal details page with your visa expiry date
Help with making your application
The Overseas Sponsorship Team has developed a useful set a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about all aspects of the application process. We strongly advise to read these before completing your visa application. It is advised that you consult these FAQs before sending any queries to the Overseas Sponsorship Team as they are updated frequently. https://medical.hee.nhs.uk/medical-training-recruitment/medical-specialty-training/overseas-applicants/overseas-sponsorship-guidance/while-sponsored-with-hee
Receiving a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)
Once the application has been processed and all relevant criteria have been reviewed, a CoS will be issued (no earlier than 3 months before a start date) and uploaded on to the Portal for you to view and download. You will also receive an email notification to inform you when this has been completed. Following receipt of your CoS you will be able to apply for your Skilled Worker visa with the Home Office.
Health and Care Visa
HEE will confirm on the CoS, under the ‘Job Summary’ section, that the role meets the requirements of the Health and Care Visa. When making your application to the Home Office, please ensure you choose the ‘Health and Care’ visa route
HEE cannot offer to certify your maintenance on the CoS and therefore you must ensure that you meet the requirements set out in the application guidelines. We strongly advise that you read the full guidance that can be found here, it is also your responsibility to check any changes to these requirements as they may be updated with the new Skilled Worker route.
Criminal Records Certificate
The Home Office requires those applying to come to the UK under Skilled Worker to work in certain occupations (including doctors and dentists in training), and their adult dependents, to produce a criminal record certificate from any country in which they have been resident for 12 months or more, consecutively or cumulatively, in the previous 10 years, aged 18 or over.
If you are successful in being appointed to a training programme in the UK and require Skilled Worker sponsorship, you will be required to provide the criminal record certificate to the Home Office when you make your visa application. As it can take some time to obtain a criminal record certificate, it may be helpful for you to begin the process of seeking certificates, if required, at the earliest opportunity. Please note that this is for entry clearance applications only so it will only be applicable if you are applying outside the UK. All applicants will need to satisfy any DBS checks carried out by their employing Trust.
Details of how to obtain such a check from the relevant authorities abroad are available on the Home Office website at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/criminal-records-checks-for-overseas-applicants
If the country concerned is not listed, please contact the relevant embassy or consulate for further details. Contact details can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/foreign-embassies-in-the-uk
Please Ensure: that you are aware of the criteria required by the Home Office for you to be eligible to apply for a Skilled Worker visa. Information can be found on the Home Office Website: https://www.gov.uk/skilled-worker-visa
We would like to provide you with information in relation to the timescales for issuing your CoS:
- The earliest your CoS will be issued is 3 months prior to your start date, however, during the busiest peaks in May, June and early July you could receive your CoS at any point throughout this period.
- You will receive an email to notify you that your CoS is ready to view and download from the Portal so that you can make your application to the Home Office
- The HEE National Overseas Sponsorship team will process applications based on the below order:
- Expiry dates of current BRP’s
- Out of country applications
- New applicants to HEE (change of employer)
- Tier 4/Student applicants switching to Skilled Worker
- Extensions of Tier 2/Skilled Worker of those already sponsored by HEE
HEE will, of course, try to process all CoS as soon as possible so that you can make a timely application to the Home Office. We would however, appreciate if you contact the Sponsorship Team by email for urgent queries only that are so that the team can process applications as quickly as possible
When should a doctor/dentist apply to the Home Office for a new visa to commence/continue their training programme?
It is recommended that you apply for your new visa as soon as you receive the CoS. This must be done so within three months of the CoS being assigned to you. Without a CoS number, you cannot apply to the Home Office for your visa.
Current guidance states that it can take up to 8 weeks to receive your biometric residence permit for postal applications. For further information, please check the Home Office website
IMPORTANT: before using your CoS and applying to the Home Office, you should ensure that you meet all of the Home Office requirements. Please refer to the Home Office website for guidance and application requirements.
Where can I find the Home Office visa application form?
The application is made online.
You should make your visa application under the Health and Care visa route. The Health and Care visa is a type of Skilled Worker visa and are not 2 different types of visas.
HEE will confirm your eligibility for this on your CoS issued to you. You will find this in the Summary of job description field of the CoS.
The requirements for Health and Care visa can be found on the Home Office website.
Under the SOC Code for Medical Practitioners, you can and should make your visa application under the Shortage Occupation list.
More information about making your Skilled Worker application can be found on the Home Office website.
Can the Health Education England Local Sponsorship team help doctors complete the Home Office application form?
Health Education England are the sponsor and it is not possible for HEE staff to advise on applications for a visa application.
Immigration rules are subject to change and it is your responsibility to review all Home Office information when making your application
You are advised to regularly visit the Home Office website to check the latest guidance and rules.
Does HEE offer maintenance?
HEE cannot offer to certify maintenance on the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). If you are successful in being appointed to a training programme in the UK, and require Skilled Worker sponsorship, you will be required to provide evidence of maintenance (funds) to the Home Office when you make your visa application.
If you are already on a Tier 2 visa/Skilled Worker visa (whether extending or changing employment), you do not need to prove maintenance.
Full guidance can be found on the Home Office website.
Do I need to apply for a new visa for dependents?
If you are issued with a new CoS (and require a new visa), and you have dependents on your current visa, they will need be transferred to your new visa.
For more information visit the UKVI website.
What are the visa application fees?
When you apply for the Health and Care visa, you will be pay the reduced application fees.
All visa application fees can be found on the UK visa fees page on Home Office website.
The visa fee reduction will also apply to your partners and dependants of Health and Care visa. Your partners and dependants should therefore also tick this box. In addition to the reduced visa fee, when applying for the Health and Care Visa yourself and your family will be exempt from having to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge.
What is the Criminal Records Certificate?
The Home Office requires those applying to come to the UK as a Skilled Worker doctor or dentist in training, and their adult dependants, aged 18 or over, to produce a criminal record certificate from any country in which they have been present for 12 months or more, consecutively or cumulatively, in the previous 10 years.
If you are successful in being appointed to a training programme in the UK, and require Skilled Worker sponsorship, you will be required to provide the criminal record certificate to the Home Office when you make your visa application. As it can take some time to obtain a criminal record certificate, you should begin the process of seeking certificates, if required, at the earliest opportunity. Please note, that this is for entry clearance applications only, so will only be applicable if you are applying from outside the UK. You do not require a Criminal Record if you already have UK entry clearance.
Details of how to obtain such a check from the relevant authorities abroad is available on the Home Office website.
If the country concerned is not listed, please contact the relevant embassy or consulate for further details.
What are the next steps once the Home Office approves/issues a visa?
Once you receive your Visa, you will need to ensure that all the details are correct.
If you find a problem with your Visa when it arrives you must report it within 10 days of receipt, otherwise you may have to apply and pay for a replacement. You can report problems with your Visa on the Home Office website.
Once you have your correct Visa, you should upload a copy of this to the Overseas Sponsorship Portal as soon as this has been received. You will also need to provide the original copy to your employer and the Yorkshire and Humber Sponsorship team.
What happens if the Home Office refuses a visa application?
If your application to the Home Office is refused, you may be able to re-apply.
You will be aware that you have not needed to pay for the original Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) issued to you. However, if you make an error on your Skilled Worker application resulting in the Home Office refusing your application and a second CoS is needed, you will need to reimburse HEE for the cost of this second CoS before it is issued to you. You will need to contact the HEE National Overseas Sponsorship Team via email firstname.lastname@example.org with your refusal letter.
Details will be sent to you of how to make the £199 payment for a replacement CoS.
Will I get a refund if my visa application is refused?
No, the fee is paid directly to the Home Office and cannot be refunded. Please see the Home Office website for visa costs.
Can I start my new post while a decision is pending?
Your current immigration status will decide of you are able to commence your new post while a decision is pending. For further information, please see the HEE National Overseas Sponsorship team website.
Please also refer to the current immigration guidance on the UKVI website due to starting with or without your new Visa.
I'm an employer. A Trainee's visa has expired and they are continuing employment with our Trust, what should we do?
If you are currently employing a trainee and their visa expires part-way through the rotation with you, they can continue to work as long as they can provide you with evidence that they have submitted an application for further leave to remain.
Employers/Trusts will complete an online check, Employer Checking Service (ECS), with the Home Office to confirm that you have made your application. This provides them with a statutory excuse to enable them to employ you while your application is being considered by the Home Office.
It is the Postgraduate doctor in training’s responsibility to update their employer/Trust when their new visa has been received.
Are there any on-going responsibilities of the trainee, employer and/or HEE?
Yes; all members have key responsibilities to uphold in managing the sponsorship process. As an example these include (but are not restricted to):
- the Postgraduate doctor in training must adhere to the HEE terms of sponsorship and the conditions of their Home Office visa;
- Employers must continue to meet employment legislation and utilise a robust reporting processes to share information with HEE;
- HEE and employers must have systems in place to meet the SOP and report information to HEE
The detailed arrangements are included in the Employer/HEE responsibilities section of our website.
Who should be notified of a trainee's change of home/postal address?
For an address change, Postgraduate doctors in training need to report any change to both the Home Office and the Yorkshire and Humber Sponsorship Team.
What information/activity should be reported to Health Education England (HEE)?
The sponsored Postgraduate doctor in training, employer, and programme support team MUST contact HEE to immediately report any of the following activity/changes:
- Home Office visa application has been refused
- start date is/will be delayed (e.g. visa issues, missed flight to UK etc.)
- if the Postgraduate doctor in training did not enrol/ turn up for their first day of work as expected
- has their training programme withdrawn (e.g. is dismissed)
- withdraws/resigns from the training programme (post appointment)
- completes the training programme earlier than expected
- changes their sponsorship/immigration category
- the length of their programme changes (e.g. extensions / remedial training required)
- is deferring/taking leave from the programme (statutory/maternity leave only)
- takes more than 10 consecutive days leave without permission OR misses x10 ‘expected contacts’**
- any substantial period of statutory leave (i.e over 14 days such as long term sick or maternity/paternity). NB Annual leave and authorised study leave does not need to be reported.
- any unpaid leave. (Please note, any trainee who is on a Tier 2 or Skilled Worker visa are only permitted to take 4 weeks unpaid leave per calendar year. This applies whether the trainee is absent over a single period or more than one period over any calendar year from the 1st January to the 31st December. The 4 weeks is worked out according to the sponsored worker’s normal working pattern. For example, if the worker normally works 5 days per week, this would be 20 working days (5 (days) x 4 (weeks)). If they normally work 3 days per week, this would be 12 working days (3 (days) x 4 (weeks))).
- Other (e.g. name change, visa application refused but later overturned via appeal, requests to work less than full time, a suspected breach of visa conditions or any other information relevant to sponsorship).
** Expected contacts include any instance where the sponsored medical or dental Postgraduate doctor in training is expected to attend a rotation, lecture, tutorial, seminar or scheduled meeting in relation to their Training Programme. If the sponsored Postgraduate doctor in training misses an expected contact due to covering service delivery needs, it should not be counted as a missed contact.
To report changes Postgraduate doctors in training and Trusts/Employers must access the online form to notify the HEE Overseas Sponsorship Team within the time limits specified above.
All changes should be reported to HEE within five working days of the event occurring.
Will a sponsored trainee's visa be automatically revoked if the terms and conditions are breached and/or activity is reported to HEE?
No, HEE will initially liaise with the employer to discuss the activity on a case by case basis. HEE are required to report relevant the activity to the Home Office.
How will HEE use and manage sponsored Postgraduate doctors in training information/activity?
HEE operates in accordance with Data Protection and Confidentiality legislation and policy.
Are HEE permitted to withdraw sponsorship?
Yes, when deemed appropriate.
Some examples of when sponsorship may be withdrawn is if a Postgraduate doctor in training completes the programme early and no longer requires sponsorship, or if the Postgraduate doctor in training fails to provide a copy of a required document upon request.
What do I do if I wish to resign my post?
Please contact the HEE Local Office immediately email@example.com and your employer. It is HEE’s duty to inform the Home Office of any sponsored Postgraduate doctors in training that have terminated their contract.
Can I apply for an Inter-Deanery Transfer (IDT)?
If you are sponsored by HEE and wish to transfer within HEE, you can apply. In most circumstances will not require another CoS or visa.
Please refer to the IDT website for further information on eligibility requirements.
Can I go 'Out of Programme' if I am sponsored by HEE?
It is possible in some, limited, circumstances for trainees to take the opportunity to go 'Out of Programme' (OOP). Before making any commitments, and as part of the OOP application process, Postgraduate Doctors in Training should look at the OOP Guidance document below to familiarise themselves with the impact this would have on their sponsorship.
Can I train Less Than Full Time (LTFT)?
Yes, provided you meet the eligibility criteria you can apply for LTFT. Further information on how to apply for LTFT training can be found on the HEE website.
All sponsored Postgraduate Doctors in Training, regardless of whether they hold a Tier 2 visa or Skilled Worker visa, will need to meet the minimum salary requirements of £20,480 per annum when calculated as a percentage of the going rate. To do this the ‘going rate’ is based on the basic salary as outlined in the NHS Medical and Dental (M&D) pay scales.
Please note, whilst a sponsored Postgraduate Doctor in Training may be able to reduce their hours to meet sponsorship requirements, LTFT hours will need to be approved by their local HEE Office and/or Trust.
Who do I need to contact if my request to train Less than Full Time (LTFT) is approved?
If you are approved for LTFT training, please ensure to complete the required reporting form to inform the HEE National Overseas Sponsorship team and Yorkshire and the Humber Sponsorship team.