Priority Change of Circumstances for Sponsors

priority change of circumstances


Under the Home Office’s Priority Change of Circumstance Service for Worker and Temporary Worker sponsors, A-rated sponsors are able to apply for faster consideration of certain types of change of circumstance requests by submitting an application via email.

Importantly, the priority service relates only to the speed of processing and offers no guarantee that the requested change will be approved.


How many priority slots are available?

Current capacity for requests is 60 slots per day.

If fully subscribed, sponsors can apply the next working day.

Working days are classed as Monday to Friday, 9am to 5.30pm. Requests submitted outside of these hours will not be considered.

Requests are processed in chronological order, unless “exceptionally compelling circumstances” apply.


Eligibility for the Priority Change of Circumstance Service

The priority service is only available to A-rated, Worker or Temporary Worker sponsor licence holders that have submitted their Changs on their SMS before emailing the priority request form.

The sponsor priority change of circumstances service is not available for changes relating to the following routes:

  • Global Business Mobility (GBM) – UK Expansion Worker
  • GBM-Service Supplier
  • GBM-Secondment Worker
  • Scale-up
  • Government Authorised Exchange
  • International Agreement
  • Seasonal Worker


Any requests for additional Certificates of Sponsorship must be for undefined CoS only, and any requests for defined CoS will be rejected without a refund.

The priority service can only be used for changes relating to:

  • Annual Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) allocation
  • Additional CoS allocation
  • Adding a new Level 1 user
  • Changing a Level 1 user
  • Replacing the Authorising Officer (AO)
  • Amending the AO
  • Replacing the Key Contact
  • Amending the Key Contact
  • Adding a representative
  • Amending organisation details, such as change of business address


The Priority Change of Circumstance Service is not available to:

  • Premium sponsors, who should instead contact their account manager
  • Requests already in progress or allocated to a caseworker
  • GBM UK Expansion worker route, GBM Service Supplier route and GBM Secondment Worker Route post-licence requests.


How long does the Priority Change of Circumstances take?

Under the fast-track service, if requests for the priority service are successful, sponsors can expect applications to be considered within 5 working days.

Cases within 7 calendar days of the published 18 week Service Standard should contact the Home Office again, noting in the subject title the date the request was submitted.

Complex requests or those requiring extra checks may take longer than 5 days.

Sponsors are also reminded to ensure they attach digital copies of all relevant documentation and information to avoid delays or issues with processing.

Note also the Home Office may request in some circumstances request original copies of the supporting documents.

You may be eligible for a refund where consideration is delayed for ‘other reasons’ such as technical difficulties at UKVI.


How much is the Priority Change of Circumstances service?

The Priority service costs £200 per request.

The authorisation code will be supplied when you have paid the fee.


How to apply for the Priority Change of Circumstance Service

To use the service, sponsors should:

  • Submit the change of circumstances request on the SMS.
  • Email, attaching a completed Worker and Temporary Worker priority request form.
  • Print the submission sheet if the change relates to replacing the AO or appointing a representative.
  • Within 5 working days, you can expect an email to your AO email address informing you of the outcome.
  • If successful, you will also receive an email with a payment link.
  • Pay the fee within 72 hours of the payment email being sent (including weekends), or the priority request will expire and you will need to apply again to be considered.


The service does not guarantee the request will be approved.


Unsuccessful requests

Requests may not be successful because the daily limit has been reached, the request was submitted outside of the core working hours or the request was not eligible for the service.

If you have not received a response, you can assume the request was not successful.


Duty to Notify Changes in Circumstances

Under the Certificate of Sponsorship, employers and the sponsored employees are under a duty to notify the UKVI of specific changes in circumstances within 10 working days.

Failure to report any changes of circumstances can result in licence downgrading, a suspended or revoked licence or a fine may be issued for failure to comply with the sponsor licence and migrant reporting duties.


Need assistance?

We are experienced advisers to sponsor licence holders. Please contact us if you have a question about the new priority service, the change of circumstances notification process in general, or any other query relating to Tier 2 visa management and certificates of sponsorship.


Sponsor licence priority change of circumstances FAQs

How long does it take to change circumstances on sponsor licence?

It will depend on the type of change; some can update immediately while others can take up to four months for the Home Office to check and approve.

Can a certificate of sponsorship be amended?

Minor changes, such as correcting typos, can be made to a CoS, but more substantive changes will require the CoS to be cancelled and a new CoS assigned.

Last updated: 13 April 2023



Founder and Managing Director Anne Morris is a fully qualified solicitor and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

She is a recognised by Legal 500and Chambers as a legal expert and delivers Board-level advice on business migration and compliance risk management as well as overseeing the firm’s development of new client propositions and delivery of cost and time efficient processing of applications.

Anne is an active public speaker, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

About DavidsonMorris

As employer solutions lawyers, DavidsonMorris offers a complete and cost-effective capability to meet employers’ needs across UK immigration and employment law, HR and global mobility.

Led by Anne Morris, one of the UK’s preeminent immigration lawyers, and with rankings in The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, we’re a multi-disciplinary team helping organisations to meet their people objectives, while reducing legal risk and nurturing workforce relations.

Legal Disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct at the time of writing, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

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