Positive changes to the Immigration Skills Charge regime

13 Dec 2022, 33 mins ago

The Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) was introduced in 2017. It is a charge payable by employers who would like to sponsor foreign workers (under a Skilled Worker visa, for example) at the time when they issue Certificates of Sponsorship (COS) to such workers.

The idea behind the charge was that the UK authorities would use the money raised by the ISC to up-skill the UK’s existing workforce.

The ISC is payable at the time the COS is assigned, and it usually amounts to £1,000 for every year of the duration of the worker’s visa, if the employer is a large company, and £364 per year, if the employer is a small business. There is a number of exemptions already available to employers.

On 1 January 2023, a modification to the Immigration Skills Charge Regulations 2017 is scheduled to take effect, and 2 additional exemptions will be introduced to the existing list.

In accordance with the legislation, businesses that bring workers from the EU to the UK via certain visa pathways will no longer be subject to paying the ISC. This will apply to those entering the UK through the Scale-up route, and specific EU nationals coming to the UK under the Global Business Mobility – Senior or Specialist Worker visa, provided they fall within the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement 2020.

It should be noted that the exemption will only apply where the worker comes to the UK for less than three years.

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