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: sponsorshipsupport.yh@hee.nhs.uk

 

 
General Information

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 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 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 BRP you may not need a new CoS. If your BRP is due to expire, then you will need to apply for an extension. If you are changing programme/geography, but your BRP 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 Educaiton 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 (depending on the amount of time you have already spent on a visa). It cannot be extended beyond your training contract date.

As per Home Office guidance, a migrant can only remain on a sponsored visa for a maximum of 6 years.

 

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 (excluding Foundation Trainees). 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:

  • 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
  • Notify HEE of any changes to contact details, to including home address (including living address, which may be relevant when residing at more than one address), email address and telephone number; and to provide HEE with evidence of a change in address e.g. utility bill.
  • Notify HEE if any of the circumstances listed on the Sponsorship Reporting Form occur
  • Ensure that my employer is able to review the original copy of my passport and visa
  • HEE forwarding a copy of the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) containing my personal details, as outlined on the application form, to the email address provided and a copy to the relevant Lead Employer or HEE Local Team

 

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 (excluding Foundation Trainees). 

 

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: sponsorshipsupport.yh@hee.nhs.uk. 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 123 2241. Employers should contact the Home Office on 0300 123 4699.

Visa Application Process (HEE)

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 trainee and the programme they have been appointed to. 

The CoS number should be used to complete and support the trainee’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 full 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 trainees start date, which could result in a trainee being unable to commence the training programme.

 

Who pays for the CoS and how?

Health Education England funds the CoS, however the trainee will be responsible for funding all other aspects of their visa appliation. 

 

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 a completed application form.

  • Agree to the Terms and conditions of sponsorship (i.e. the declaration form)
  • Complete all mandatory details on the application form.
  • Attested copies of the following required documents if these have not already been provided by the Recruitment Team
  • Passport photo page: This page is needed to verify the doctor’s identity and validity of the passport; the passport expiry date must therefore be visible. If the expiry date/extension is on another page, doctors must upload a single document with both the photo page and expiry page in one document.
  • Current visa: An attested copy of this is required which clearly shows the type of visa and expiry date. If the doctor has been issued with a Biometric Residence Permit, an attested copy of both sides of this must be included.
  • Primary Medical Degree Certificate
  • Evidence of GMC Registration
  • Current Payslip 

 

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 received, 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 returned to you 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-EEA citizens who have been appointed to a recognised Medical or Dental Training programme.
  • Trainees who have been recruited in accordance with the Home Office regulations on sponsorship.
  • Trainees 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 trainees 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?

Trainees 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 trainee 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 3 months), the doctor should ensure that their extension application documents and details are submitted to the sponsorship team.

 

What should I do if I decide I no longer want/need a CoS?

Please inform sponsorshipsupport.yh@hee.nhs.uk and sponsorship@hee.nhs.uk  as soon as possible.

 

What is HEE's Sponsor License rating and number?

HEE is an A rated sponsor. 

Our Sponsor License Number is: QN9268BN2

Home Office Regulations and Requirements

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 form can be downloaded from the Home Office website.

Health Education England advises that trainees read the form and accompanying Home Office and Health Education England guidance and information very carefully.

If the required information and documentation is not submitted, or if information is inconsistent with sponsor records, the application will be refused by the Home Office. 

 

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.

Trainees should directly contact the Home Office for advice. The web address is www.HomeOffice.homeoffice.gov.uk; telephone number for Home Office UK Visas and Immigration Contact Centre is 0300 123 2241. 

 

Does HEE offer maintenance?

As a public body we cannot offer to certify your maintenance on the Certificate of Sponsorship and therefore you must ensure that you meet the requirements set out in the application guidelines. Some of the guidance is set out below but you should read the full guidance that can be found below. 

PART 7: POINTS AVAILABLE FOR MAINTENANCE (FUNDS)

Introduction

167. You must score 10 points for maintenance by showing you have at least £945. Overdraft facilities will not count as available funds.

168. If you are unable to score 10 points for maintenance, your application will be refused, even if you have scored 50 points or more for attributes and have met all the other Tier 2 requirements.

169. You should check the cost of living in the UK and that you have enough money to support yourself and any dependants. You must have enough money to support yourself for your entire stay in the UK, as you will not have access to most public funds (benefits provided by the state).

 Points awarded for maintenance

170. You will be awarded 10 points if:

  • you currently have entry clearance, leave to enter, or leave to remain as a Tier 2 skilled worker; or

  • your A-rated (Premium), A-rated Small or Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) or A-rated sponsor certifies on the Certificate of Sponsorship that they will maintain and accommodate you up to the end of your first month of employment in the UK if required. Your sponsor may limit the amount of the undertaking, but any limit must be at least £945; or

  • you have personal savings of at least £945 which must have been held for a consecutive 90 day period ending no more than 31 days before the date of your application. Any partners or children (also known as dependants) that you want to bring to the UK with you must have money in place to support them. The Points Based System dependants’ guidance provides more information on this”.

Please note, applicants who are already on a Tier 2 visa (whether extending or changing employment) do not need to prove maintenance as per the advice on https://www.gov.uk/tier-2-general/overview

 

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 is the UKVI Health Surcharge and how do I pay it?

The Health Surcharge is payable directly to UKVI and more information can be found on their website

 

What is the Criminal Records Certificate?

From 6 April 2017, the Home Office require those applying to come to the UK to work in certain occupations (including doctors and dentists in training), and their adult dependants, 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 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 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 is 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 visa. Information can be found on the Home Office Website: https://www.gov.uk/tier-2-general/overview

Application Outcomes

What is a biometric resident permit?

A biometric resident pernit (BRP) is the visa as issued in the UK, and is proof of a trainee's right to remain in the UK.

Trainees will receive a BRP once the Home Office approves the visa application. 

 

What are the next steps once the Home Office approves/issues a visa?

If you have received your BRP, you must also provide an attested copy which has been signed and verified by medical staffing/HR in your employing organisation. Alternatively your supervisor supervisor or a consultant could confirm they have viewed the original document. Please note: if you have been issued a BRP, we require an attested copy of both sides of this.

To attest the copy, please ensure the consultant or your supervisor views the original document and signs the copy stating that it is “a true like HEE’s of the original", and includes their name, job title, GMC number and date.

You must send the attested copy of the BRP to the HEE Local Sponsorship team via email at sponsorshipsupport.yh@hee.nhs.uk

 

What happens if the Home Office refuses a visa application?

If a visa application is refused, the trainee must inform Health Education England as a matter of urgency by contacting the HEE Local Sponsorship team via email at sponsorshipsupport.yh@hee.nhs.uk.  

Health Education England will act on this information to update their records and carry out their sponsor duties.

If the trainee wishes to make a second application/reapply, they will require a new CoS. This should be requested at the time of notifying of the application refusal.

 

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?

If you are currently on a visa sponsored by HEE and you are applying for an extension, you will be able to continue working while a decision is pending on your visa, as long as you apply before your current visa expires.

If you are currently on a visa but are changing sponsors (change of employment CoS), you must ensure that your application has been approved and can provide the Home Office evidence of this before you can commence training. However, please be aware that it is a Trust decision as to whether you can start without your biometric residence permit.

 

Can a trainee start the Training Programme whilst awaiting the outcome of their visa application?

This varies on a case by case basis and is dependant on Home Office guidance and the type of visa a trainee will be applying for.

Trainees are advised to contact the HEE Local Sponsorship team directly via email at sponsorshipsupport.yh@hee.nhs.uk to discuss whether this will be possible. 

 

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.

The Training Programme and Responsibilities

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 trainee 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, the doctor will need complete the Sponsorship Reporting Form and send to the HEE Local Sponsorship Team via email at sponsorshipsupport.yh@hee.nhs.uk.

They will also need to update the new home address with the Home Office (click here). 

 

What information/activity should be reported to Health Education England (HEE)?

The sponsored trainee, employer, and programme support team MUST contact HEE to immediately report (within five working days of the event occurring) 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 trainee did not enrol/ turn up for their first day of work as expected
  • has their training programme is 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
  • has a change to the length of the programme (e.g. extended / 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’**
  • takes any period of leave (sick, annual, special, maternity/paternity or study leave)
  • 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 trainee is expected to attend a rotation, lecture, tutorial, seminar or scheduled meeting in relation to their Training Programme. If the sponsored Trainee misses an expected contact due to covering service delivery needs, it should not be counted as a missed contact. 

For absence or change of condition reporting: trainees, employers and HEE Programme Management Teams must complete the Sponsorship Reporting Form (found at the foot of this page) and send this via email to the HEE Local Sponsorship Team via email at sponsorshipsupport.yh@hee.nhs.uk.

 

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 trainees 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 trainee completes the programme early and no longer requires sponsorship, or if the trainee 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 sponsorshipsupport.yh@hee.nhs.uk and your employer. It is HEE’s duty to inform the Home Office of any sponsored recruits 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, trainees 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

The minimum salary requirements do still apply for trainees wishing to train LTFT. Details can be found in the 'Minimum Salary Requirements' document below. Trainees currently sponsored by HEE previous to April 2016 are not required to meet the increased salary thresholds and are subject to the previous thresholds.

 

Who do I need to contact if I wish to train LTFT?

If a trainee is already sponsored by Health Education England full time, and wishes to reduce their hours, this must be reported to HEE Local Sponsorship team via email at sponsorshipsupport.yh@hee.nhs.uk in the first instance. 

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