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Immigration skills charge increases cost of sponsorship

28 February 2017

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has published further information on the implementation of its new Immigration Skills Charge on 6 April 2017.

The new charge was originally proposed following the Migration Advisory Committee’s report last year. It will be payable in full at the time a Certificate of Sponsorship is issued (in much the same way as the application fee for the certificate is administered), and it will be chargeable whether the individual to whom it applies is inside or outside the UK.

The fee will be £1000 per sponsored employee per year of sponsorship. There is a reduced fee of £364 (which is also per sponsored employee per year of sponsorship) for small and charitable sponsors, and some groups are exempt (for example intra company transfer graduate trainees, PhD level roles and graduates switching immigration tiers). A small sponsor is likely to be a business which has an annual turnover of £10.2 million or less, or one which has 50 employees or fewer.

The minimum salary rate which must be paid to ‘experienced workers’ within the Tier 2 (General) category is changing and is also set to increase. From 6 April, this will rise to £30,000 per annum. There is also a new minimum salary threshold for Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) of £41,500.

There is little doubt that these measures will substantially increase the cost of sponsoring non EEA employees.

For further guidance and assistance on business immigration matters, please contact our team.

An employment law masters’ graduate with extensive experience in employee relations and negotiations, Helen helps the employment team across areas such as legal research, drafting employment policies and tribunal preparation. She also advises businesses on immigration matters and assists them with securing sponsorship licences. Prior to joining the firm she gained experience in collective consultation and redundancy and restructuring exercises and has also worked as a legal researcher for an employment law barrister.

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Disclaimer: All legal information is correct at the time of publication but please be aware that laws may change over time. This article contains general legal information but should not be relied upon as legal advice. Please seek professional legal advice about your specific situation - contact us; we’d be delighted to help.
Helen Howes LLM
Senior associate, solicitor
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