How to Determine Whether You Are a Big or Small Sponsor
If at least two of the following apply, you are typically a minor sponsor:
Your annual revenue is £10.2 million or less, the value of your total assets is £5.1 million or less, and you employ 50 people or less.
A generous sponsor is someone who:
- A Scottish charity with a registration
- A charity with a registration in England or Wales
- An ecclesiastical corporation created for charitable reasons is either an exempted charity, an exempt charity, or both.
- A registered charity in Northern Ireland; if not on the list, you must furnish HM Revenue and Customs with documentation of your charitable status for tax purposes (HMRC)
- How to Determine Whether You Are a Big or Small Sponsor
- The Cost of Sponsoring a Skilled Worker Outlined
- Understanding the Immigration Health Surcharge
- Other Fees that Concern Sponsoring a Work Visa
- If the Individual You’re Supporting Switches Employment
- Sponsor Licence Refunds
- How IAS Can Help You With Sponsoring Overseas Employees
- Frequently Asked Questions
Immigration Skills Charge
This might be considered a tax imposed on companies for hiring foreign labour.
The immigration skills charge fee for a modest or charity sponsor is £364 for the first year and £182 for each additional six-month period. Therefore, five years of sponsorship would cost £1,820.
The Cost is £1,000 for the first year and £500 for each extra six months for a medium- or large-sized sponsor. So five years of sponsorship would cost £5,000 in total.
Certificate of sponsorship
Each foreign worker you hire requires a certificate of sponsorship, which you must provide. This is not a tangible document but rather an electronic record. Each certificate includes a unique number that a worker can use to submit a visa application.
When workers receive the certificate, they have three months to apply for their visa using it. However, they cannot submit their visa application more than three months before the commencement of the work specified on the certificate.
Each certificate of sponsorship is issued for £199.
Sponsor Licence Application Fee
If you are a UK-based company and plan to hire overseas staff, you will need to apply for a UK sponsor licence.
The cost varies according to the license type you’re requesting and the nature of your organization. Sponsor licence applications are as follows:
|Type of licence||Fee for small or charitable sponsors||Fee for medium or large sponsors|
|Worker and Temporary Worker||£536||£1,476|
|Add a Worker licence to an existing Temporary Worker licence||No fee||£940|
|Add a Temporary Worker licence to an existing Worker licence||No fee||No fee|
Visa Application Fee
The visa application fee is the next Cost. Finally, these fees are associated with requesting a skilled worker visa outside the UK.
- Visa costs £625 for three years in a non-shortage profession.
- £479 for a three-year visa in a profession in demand.
- Visa fee for non-shortage occupations for more than three years: £1,235
- Visa for more than a decade in a profession in demand: £943
For instance, the actual price may change if the applicant submits their application from within the UK.
Immigration Health Surcharge
Most UK visa applications must pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). The IHS is a separate cost from regular Home Office immigration charges intended to go into a different government fund. Also referred to as the NHS surcharge, it ultimately raises the price of a UK visa by £624 per person annually, or by £470 for children, students, and Youth Mobility visas.
Who Doesn’t Have to Pay For it?
Exemptions apply to EU nationals and their family members who apply under the EEA Regulations or the EU Settlement Scheme or exercise their right to free movement. This will alter visitors to the UK beginning in 2021 when Brexit takes effect after a transition period.
Furthermore, exempt are the following:
- Dependents of a British military service member
- Visitors from the military services or diplomats who are exempt from immigration controls
- Those who are applying for a visa to the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
- Dependents of a person who is exempt from immigration restrictions and serves in another nation’s military forces
- Applications for humanitarian protection and those seeking asylum, as well as their dependents
- Citizens of the Falkland Islands who are residents of a British overseas territory
- Persons who are identified as victims of slavery or human trafficking and their dependents who are requesting discretionary leave to remain in the UK
- Household employees who have been identified as victims of human trafficking or enslavement
- People asserting that their removal from the UK would violate their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights Article 3 and their dependents
- People requesting authorization to continue living as domestic abuse victims and their dependents
What is the Cost?
The annual Cost is currently £624. This is described in the Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2020, which is available online.
What constitutes the Immigration Health Surcharge’s legal foundation?
The Immigration (Health Charge) Order 2015, a statutory document created under the authority granted by section 38 of the Immigration Act 2014, served as the legal basis for creating the IHS. All qualified applications submitted on or after April 6, 2015, were subject to the charge of £200. The fee was increased for the Order in 2018, doubling it to £400, and again in 2020, raising it to £624.
An application shall be deemed ineligible if the fee is not paid (see paragraph 34(4) of the Immigration Rules).
Who is Responsible for Paying the Immigration Health Surcharge?
Most applicants and their dependents (i.e., those applying from outside the UK) who seek permission to enter under the UK’s domestic immigration rules must pay the Immigration Health Surcharge unless the stay is for six months or less. Therefore, there is no fee for those applying for a fiancé(e) visa or a short-term visiting visa.
Even if fewer than six months of leave are requested, most applicants for restricted leave to remain (i.e., those applying from within the UK) must pay.
Indefinite Leave to Remain applicants, are exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge.
The aforementioned is simply for the worker. However, they must also pay the visa application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge for any family members travelling to the UK.
We would always advise companies to ask the person if they have relatives to come to an early understanding on who will cover what fees before moving forward with sponsorship.
The worker’s application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge may be covered by the sponsor, for instance. However, sponsors cannot legally transfer the Immigration Skill Charge to people. Therefore, the sponsor also covers the Cost of the license.
How Can I Pay for the Immigration Health Surcharge?
You will pay the Immigration Health Surcharge when your visa application is submitted. Since most immigration applications must now be submitted online, the IHS payment process has been streamlined to the point where it is now required for your application to proceed forward.
Once your application is complete, you will be directed to a page where you can pay the IHS before being returned to your application so you can complete the payment of the application fee. For this, you will need a credit or debit card; checks, bank transfers, and cash payments are only accepted by applicants from North Korea.
Optional Applicant Add-ons
In addition, there are a variety of possible administrative costs for services like expedited visa processing, the ability to keep your passport throughout the procedure, having a courier deliver it to you, the opportunity to wait in a posh lounge, etc. Since they will be applying for an e-visa, many of these won’t apply to EU citizens.
Premium and fast service
Applicants looking to speed up their recruitment process will be required to pay an additional £500 for priority services. This service is of general interest to employers who have identified candidates and want to quickly move forward with the recruitment process.
A visa holder should pay for priority or super-priority service to expedite visa processing. Usually, processing time on visa applications differs from country to country, depending on service centres and types of visa applications. However, the average application time is between six weeks and ten months.
If the Individual You’re Supporting Switches Employment
If a member of your organisation to whom you have issued a certificate of sponsorship later accepts a new position within your organisation, you must issue them a new certificate. With this, they will submit a fresh visa application.
This is only necessary if the new position has a different occupation code.
For the entirety of their visa, you must pay the immigration skills charge. In addition, you will be responsible for covering any additional time the worker is granted on their visa under the new certificate of sponsorship.
Unless the new sponsorship certificate extends the validity of your sponsored worker’s visa, you are exempt from paying the additional immigration skills fee.
Sponsor Licence Refunds
Refunds are usually issued within 90 days of the purchase date:
- If they did not use it to apply for a visa,
- The date the worker’s visa application is rejected or withdrawn, The date you assigned the certificate of sponsorship if you had previously informed UKVI that you became a small or charitable sponsor.
- The date the worker does not arrive to work for you.
The employee has the option to ask for a decision review if their application for a visa is denied. The term “administrative review” refers to this. Within 90 days following the deadline for requesting one, you will receive a refund if they do not request an administrative review. An employee who unsuccessfully applied for an administrative review will receive a reimbursement within 90 days of the dismissal.
So, how much does a company pay to sponsor a visa? The answer is it depends on the country and the terms of the agreement. However, companies generally expect to pay around $2,000 per visa.
How IAS Can Help You With Sponsoring Overseas Employees
Applying for a Sponsor Licence can be very complex and often very stressful. At IAS, our team of specialist lawyers are dedicated to helping relieve this stress.
- ensure that you have all of the appropriate documents needed for the application;
- confirm that you meet the requirements for a Sponsor Licence;
- make sure that you have adequate proof of your business;
- make sure that all the information on your application form is filled out to the highest standard and that the chances of your application being accepted are maximised.
Get in touch by calling 0333 363 8577 or making an enquiry online to speak with an immigration lawyer about your application for a Skilled Worker visa or Sponsor Licence.
Last modified on September 13th, 2023 at 12:53 pm
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Frequently Asked Questions
Costs vary on the size of your organisation and the duration that your employee will work for you.
For the first 12 months for a small charitable sponsor, it is £364. For each additional 6 months, it is £182. For the same period but a larger sponsor, it is £1,000. For each additional 6 months, it is £500.
The employer must pay for the application fee, plus the immigrations skills charge.
Yes, in short. UK companies will pay for the immigration skills charge as well as the application fee for each visa they sponsor.
For work purposes, a certified company can sponsor a skilled worker individual to come to the UK and work.
For family or visit purposes, individuals must have a sponsor in a different sense; this sponsor must be a British citizen or settled person.