What is an Immigration skills charge?
An immigration skills charge was introduced on 6th April 2017 and was amended by the Immigration Skills Charge (Amendment) Regulations 2020. The Immigration skills charge was introduced as a strategic measure to limit the hiring of oversea workers and instead to develop and train the current UK settled workers. The funds raised are expected to support the Department of Education in addressing the skills gap present within the UK domestic labour market.
Who is subject to pay the Immigration skills charge?
Unless an exception applies, a licensed sponsor holder (Certificate of Sponsorship (‘CoS’)) is subject to the Immigration skills charge. From 1st of December 2020, the Immigration skills charge applies to all applications made on the Skilled Worker or ICT routes (Replacing the Tier 2 (General ) and Tier 2 (ICT) Long term staff routes), if they are applying for a visa from outside of the UK to work within the UK for a period of 6 months or more or if they are inside the UK for any length of time.
The exceptions are as follows:
- Individuals who are on an Intra-company Graduate trainee visa route
- Individuals who are on a UK study visa and then switch to a Skilled worker or Intra-company transfer visa, thereby extending their stay via the new visa
- A charge may not also apply if the worker was assigned a certificate before 6th April 2017. See the Gov.UK-Part 2-Guidance for sponsors
- For the worker’s dependants
If sponsoring individuals fall under one of the following:
- chemical scientists (2111)
- biological scientists and biochemists (2112)
- physical scientists (2113)
- social and humanities scientists (2114)
- natural and social science professionals not elsewhere classified (2119)
- research and development managers (2150)
- higher education teaching professionals (2311)
- clergy (2444)
- sports players (3441)
- sports coaches, instructors or officials (3442)
The government has published a detailed guide on the Immigration skills charge.
How can NA solicitors help?
As the Immigration skills charge is mandatory, it is exceptionally important to get this right. We can support you in identifying which fee would be appropriate to you, advice you on your concerns, ensure that you comply with the requirements and support you in the process of settling any liabilities you may have incurred.