Exemption from the Immigration Skills Charge
The Home Office have introduced a new exemption from the Immigration Skills Charge for Senior or Specialist Workers.
Previously, sponsors looking to hire migrant workers under the Skilled Worker or Global Business Mobility – Senior or Specialist Worker visa routes would ordinarily have to pay the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) when they assign a Certificate of Sponsorship to the worker, however, this fee will be exempt in some circumstances.
The amount of the ISC varies depending on the size of the sponsor and how long the worker will work for them. For small or charitable sponsors, the first 12 months are charged at £364, with each additional 6-month period being charged at £182. For medium or large sponsors, the first 12 months are charged at £1,000, with each 6-month period being charged at £500. Please note that the full amount of the ISC must be paid in one lump sum, based on the work dates listed on the worker’s Certificate of Sponsorship.
The ISC is only payable in relation to the worker themselves, not for any dependants. Some occupations are exempt from the ISC, including some scientists, research and development managers, clergy, higher education teaching professionals, and sports players, coaches, instructors and officials.
However, since the start of 2023, EU nationals and Latvian non-citizens who are assigned to the UK from an EU business under the Global Business Mobility – Senior or Specialist Worker route for a period of less than three years are exempt from the ISC. Please note that this exemption does not apply to EEA (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein) or Swiss nationals.
This new exemption could save medium and large sponsors as much as £3,000 when bringing migrant workers to the UK from linked overseas businesses and is therefore likely to make the Global Business Mobility – Senior or Specialist Worker route a more attractive option moving forward.
We have assisted clients in obtaining sponsor licences and in adding the Global Business Mobility – Senior or Specialist Worker route to their sponsor licence. If you would like help with applying for a sponsor licence, adding routes to your licence, managing your licence or applying for visas for migrant workers, please get in touch at [email protected]