How I Was Duped With Work COS in the UK
Africa CoS - UK Home Office News

How I Was Duped With Work COS in the UK

Things have fallen apart for me, with two kids and a pregnant wife, who has become a workaholic to keep us under a roof in the UK. This was not the life I promised my family when I brought them along for my postgraduate studies here. I have a bigger problem that only God can save me.

A Nigerian family I trusted duped me without minding that the UK government would roast us alive. Everything started when I had difficulties making payments for my school fees. I work as a security guard, but the 20 hours stipulated for international students have not been in my favor. 

Some weeks I work barely six hours to care for the kids, while my wife spends eight hours daily as a Health Care Worker. We tried to switch to a Tier-2 visa since we could not handle the school debt. Last week, I was taken off the school portal and given a deadline to complete my tuition fee.

The first week we came to the UK, we ran into Adekunle and his family after a Sunday service. They took us home, and we had our first good meals after feeding on anything to survive. So we went home with food and money that kickstarted our life in the country. After that, they invite us to their homes some weekends, especially when Ijeoma decides not to work. 

With her extra hours at work and the little I earn, our expenses at the end of the month swallow almost everything. No one told me that the amount we calculated we would make monthly and converted into naira was a mirage. I remembered how we celebrated with my in-laws when we did this calculation and saw ourselves as millionaires in Nigeria. But, unfortunately, the UK system snarled at us with its expenses and left us with little to save.

When we hit the wall, Adekunle advised us to sell our only property in Enugu for a work Certificate of Sponsorship (COS). He promised to help us with a work COS if we could pay for it. We sold two buildings to fund our coming to the UK, while my wife left her bank job for this suffering as a care worker. 

Every night she returns home, she collapses on the bed and sleeps off because of work stress. My beautiful family was having cracks because of accumulated frustration and lack of communication. We decided to sell the house to survive the UK hardship. Sadly, you are not supposed to buy a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS). What was issued free of charge, I bought for NGN5,000,000. 

Adekunle was smart to transact this business in Nigeria. We paid into a strange Nigeria account number to avoid any trace of our woes. Days turned into weeks, and we didn’t see or hear from the Adekunles again. They started dodging us and blocked our numbers. Finally, we heard the news in the church that they had relocated to Canada.

My wife fainted and was hospitalized for shock. I grew numb and couldn’t cry for days. We could be banned for ten years if we use the fake COS sent to us after several pleas from our pastor. I have lost everything we worked hard to achieve in Nigeria because of the UK relocation. We cannot even return because we would head to the village from the airport if we get deported. It would break my father.

Luck shined upon us when friends in Nigeria rallied around and sorted out my tuition fees. But, unfortunately, not everyone was lucky like me. For instance, a friend’s application was refused and banned for ten years because of a fake COS. She had met someone on Facebook who claimed to work with the Manchester Royal Infirmary as a Nigeria agent. This agent with a non-existence office in Abuja made applications for entry clearance for her and didn’t tell her things didn’t work out for them.

The agent told her that her application was withdrawn from the embassy without reason. In the confusion, she decided to make another application on her own and got a ban from the British High Commission. It would shock you to learn about the number of COS frauds perpetrated by some Nigerians on fellow Nigerians. So whether you live in the country or planning to come with a Certificate of Sponsorship to work in the UK as a care worker, do your homework.

Here is what people need to learn, especially Nigerians whose work depends on getting a Certificate of Sponsorship; if you get dismissed by your employer, it might be difficult to get another sponsor, especially if you commit a crime.

The government could curtail your visa and deport you home, which is never a happing ending. After the incident, we got a lawyer who schooled us about the UK and its many rules. We were told never to write a statement when an allegation is made against us or during an incident at work. The first action is to contact our lawyer, who can save us from more intentional problems.

 While we cannot find Adekunle, we have moved on with our lives, believing that one day, he will pay for his sins when we finally see him.

Does a Certificate of Sponsorship Guarantee a Visa?


A Certificate of Sponsorship can only be used once and expires if not used within three months when assigned. Also, it does not guarantee that a visa will be granted.-Ernest Emeka

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