Immigration Skills Charge to come into effect 6 April 2017

If you are the holder of a Tier 2 sponsor licence it is important to note that the Immigration Skills Charge is due to come into effect from 6 April 2017.

Announced back in April 2016, the Immigration Skills Charge is an additional fee that will be charged to employers each time they sponsor a worker from outside the EEA. The funds collected from this charge will be used by the Department for Education to address skills gaps in the UK work force, with the Government’s aim to ultimately encourage UK employers to source the skilled workers they need from the resident labour market.

The charge will be £1,000 per year for each sponsored worker. A reduced fee of £364 will apply to small companies and charities. You will be considered to be a small company if your annual turnover is £10.2 million or less and you have 50 employees or fewer.

The Home Office has announced the fee will be payable upfront for the total period of time the sponsored worker intends to be in the UK. The fee will have to be paid at the same time as assigning the certificate of sponsorship (although the mechanism for doing this is yet to be confirmed).

The skills charge will apply to the Tier 2 General and Tier 2 Intra-company categories, although there are some exceptions to this.

It will not apply to Tier 2 extension applications where the original certificate of sponsorship was issued before 6 April 2017. It will also not apply to Tier 4 student visa holders switching in-country to Tier 2 General, Tier 2 Graduate Trainees, or for occupations skilled to PhD level. It will also not apply to accompanying family members.

This unfortunately means an increase to the cost of UK employers bringing skilled labour into the UK from outside the EEA, on top of visa application fees and the Immigration Health Surcharge.

For further information, please contact:

Alison Hutton, Director
T: 020 7063 4682