Sponsorship Costs for Skilled Worker Visa Routes: A Comprehensive Guide for UK Companies

31 Jan 2024, 50 mins ago

With a growing trend among UK businesses for hiring overseas talent, it becomes crucial for these companies to grasp the costs associated with sponsorship of the foreign skilled workers they recruit. This blog sheds light on the various sponsorship fees and breaks down the necessary expenses that UK employers must consider.

In order to hire foreign workers, the UK company must first acquire a Sponsor Licence from the Home Office. Small businesses and charities face a fee of £536, whilst medium to large enterprises incur a higher cost of £1,476. It is essential to determine the company’s status based on turnover, assets, and employee count.

Upon obtaining the Sponsor Licence, companies issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to sponsored workers, with a fee of £239 per CoS. Assigning the correct type of CoS is crucial, as errors may lead to visa application refusals and potential risks to the sponsor licence.

A sponsoring company might have to pay an additional charge when assigning a CoS, known as “The Immigration Skills Charge”. There are exceptions for certain categories, and it is possible to get a refund in specific circumstances; however, if a company is required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge, the fee will typically range between £364 and £1,000 annually, depending on the size of the organisation and the length of the employment period for the skilled worker.

Companies can opt for priority processing services at various stages, including the sponsor licence application, with a fee of £500. This service accelerates processing times from a standard eight weeks to just ten working days.

Skilled Worker Visa application fees depend on various factors and range from £551 to £1,500 for in-country applications and from £551 to £1,420 for entry clearance applications. The application fee is contingent on whether the offered job is on the shortage occupation list and on how long the worker intends to stay in the UK.

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is currently set at £624 per year for most adults, ensuring access to the National Health Service. However, with The Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2023 coming into force on 6 February 2024, the fee will elevate to £1,035 per year, emphasising the need for careful financial planning.

The UK business world is still adapting to a post-Brexit reality, making it paramount to understand costs for hiring overseas talent through the Skilled Worker route. For such businesses, the financial commitment to sponsoring foreign workers is significant, even more so with the evolving immigration regulations in this area.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on XFacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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