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Work Visa UK: Cost for 2023

The UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) authorities charges visa applicants a fee to process their application. There are also additional costs depending on the type of work visa you require.

For more information on UK work visa fees, reach out to one of our friendly immigration advisers on 0333 305 9375, or contact us online today.

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How Much Do UK Work Visas Cost in 2023?

The cost of applying for a UK work visa varies from as low as a free charge to over £1,600. The amount you will pay will depend on the type of work visa you are applying for and where you are applying from.

Some common visas that allow you to work in the UK include Skilled Worker visaHealth and Care Worker visa, and Senior or Specialist Worker visa (which replaced the intra-company transfer visa).

Before applying for some of these work visas, you will need to determine the length of time you intend to spend working in the country, which will add to the visa cost.

The cost of your work visa will also depend on whether you are applying from the UK or outside the UK.

Furthermore, if you are required to pay additional costs such as immigration health surcharge (IHS), biometric work permits, and immigration skills charge, it will add to your total visa fees.

UK Work Visa Fees for 2024

Skilled Worker Visa fees

Visa typeApplying in the UK (GBP)Applying from outside the UK (GBP)
Skilled Worker – 3 years or less – applicant and each dependant719625
Skilled Worker – more than 3 years – applicant and each dependant1,4201,235
Skilled Worker (shortage occupation) – 3 years or less – applicant and each dependant479479
Skilled Worker (shortage occupation)  – more than 3 years – applicant and each dependant943943

Health and Care Visa fees

Visa typeApplying in the UK (GBP)Applying from outside the UK (GBP)
Health and care – 3 years or less – applicant and each dependant284284
Health and care – more than 3 years – applicant and each dependant551551

Other Long-term Work Visas

Visa typeApplying in the UK (GBP)Applying from outside the UK (GBP)
Senior or Specialist Worker (Global Business Mobility) – 3 years or less – applicant and each dependant719719
Senior or Specialist Worker (Global Business Mobility) – more than 3 years – applicant and each dependant1,4201,420
Scale-up Worker – applicant and each dependant822822
International Sportsperson – up to 12 months – applicant and each dependant298298
International Sportsperson – longer than 12 months – applicant and each dependant827729
Minister of Religion – applicant and each dependant827719

Business Development and Talent Visas

Visa typeApplying in the UK (GBP)Applying from outside the UK (GBP)
Global Talent – applicant and each dependant716716
Innovator – applicant and each dependant1,4861,191
Startup – applicant and each dependant508378

Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to receive assistance on your UK Work Visa.

Temporary Work Visas

Visa typeApplying in the UK (GBP)Applying from outside the UK (GBP)
Charity Worker – applicant and each dependant259259
Creative Worker – applicant and each dependant298298
Government Authorised Exchange – applicant and each dependant298298
International Agreement – applicant and each dependant298298
Religious Worker – applicant and each dependant298298
Seasonal Worker – applicant only298298
Youth Mobility Scheme –  applicant only298298
Graduate  – applicant and each dependant822822
High Potential Individual (HPI) – applicant and each dependant822822
Graduate Trainee (Global Business Mobility) – applicant and each dependant298298
UK Expansion Worker (Global Business Mobility) – applicant and each dependant298298
Secodment Worker (Global Business Mobility) –  applicant and each dependant298298
Service Supplier (Global Business Mobility)  – applicant and each dependant298298

Other Work Visa Categories

Visa typeApplying in the UK (GBP)Applying from outside the UK (GBP)
UK Ancenstry – applicant and each dependant637637
British National (Overseas) – for 2 years and 6 months – applicant and each dependant180180
British National (Overseas) – for 5 years – applicant and each dependant250250
Overseas Domestic Worker – applicant only637637
Representative of an Overseas Business – applicant and each dependant719827

Free Visas and Exempt Vignette

The following work visa routes do not attract an application fee:

  • Frontier Worker permit
  • Service Provider From Switzerland

Exempt Vignette

If you are exempt from immigration control, you will not need a visa to work in the UK. However, to avoid delays when you arrive in the country, you might choose to get an exempt vignette.

The following are eligible for an exempt vignette:

  • Overseas government ministers on official work or individuals travelling with them as part of their job
  • Diplomats or individuals working for a diplomatic mission in the UK who were outside the country when they got the job offer
  • Members of Commonwealth or overseas territories armed forces posted in or training in the UK
  • Heads of state or individuals working for heads of state when on a visit.

Immigration Health Surcharge Fees

Most UK visa applicants must pay the immigration health surcharge (IHS) fee as part of their application.

The IHS fee allows the visa holder to access the National Health Service (NHS) while in the UK without further charge. Although, a few services, such as prescriptions and eye tests, may need to be paid for.

The table below explains the immigration health surcharge per annum for UK work visas.

Visa typeApplying in the UK (GBP)Applying from outside the UK (GBP)
Health and Care Worker, Frontier Worker, and Service Provider from Switzerland1,0351,035
Youth Mobility Scheme – for 6 months or less766766
Youth Mobility Scheme – for more than 6 months766766
All other work visas – for 6 months or less – applicant and each dependant over 18766766
All other work visas – for more than 6 months – applicant and each dependant over 18624624
All other work visas – for 6 months or less – under 18 applicants and dependents235
All other work visas – for more than 6 months – under 18 applicants and dependents470470

If you are required to pay the IHS fee and you don’t, you will get an email from the UKVI asking you to make your payment. You will have 10 working days if you are inside the UK or 7 working days if you’re outside the UK to pay the fee, or your visa may be denied.

If you have any questions about your UK Work Visa, our team is happy to assist.

Sponsor Licence Fee

For most work visa routes under the points-based immigration system, UK employers must obtain a valid sponsor licence to hire workers from non-EEA countries.

The employer is expected to pay the sponsor licence application fee. The amount to be paid will depend on the type of licence needed and the kind of organisation applying.

Here is a breakdown of the sponsor licence application fee for 2023:

Type of LicenseFee for small or charitable sponsors (GBP)Fee for medium or large sponsors (GBP)
Worker5361,476
Temporary Worker536536
Worker and Temporary Worker5361,476
Add a Worker licence to an existing Temporary Worker licence940
Add a Temporary Worker licence to an existing Worker licence

Certificate of Sponsorship Fee

Approved sponsors are expected to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to each worker they hire. The sponsored worker will use this CoS to apply for their UK visa.

In other words, in addition to sponsor licence fees, employers will need to pay for each certificate of sponsorship they issue. Here is a breakdown of CoS costs in 2023.

Type of Sponsor LicenceCost Per Certificate (GBP)
International Sportsperson – where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for 12 months or less21
International Sportsperson – where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for more than 12 months199
Temporary Worker21
Worker (except International Sportsperson)199

Immigration Skills Charge

An employer will have to pay an extra charge when assigning a certificate of sponsorship to Senior or Specialist Worker or Skilled Worker visa applicants.

It is called the ‘immigration skills charge’ and is paid annually. Here’s how much it costs

PeriodSmall or Charitable Sponsors (GBP)Medium or Large Sponsors (GBP)
First 12 months3641,000
Each additional 6 months182500

Premium and Other Services

The Home Office offers UK visa applicants premium services to enable them fast track their applications.

Please note, however, that since March 2022, the UKVI has temporarily suspended the priority and super priority services for other routes due to Ukraine visa scheme applications.

Some of the premium services include

Premium ServicesApplying in the UK (GBP)Applying from outside the UK (GBP)
Priority visa service – non-settlement250
Super priority visa service800959
Premium status checks and advice – Administrative Officer (per minute)0.80
Provision of an immigration officer to deliver any premium service to a Government Department57.33
Premium status checks, advice or training – Higher Executive Officer (inside office hours) (per minute)0.97
Fast-tracked sponsor licence applications500

Other Work Visa-related Services

ServiceApplying in the UK (GBP)Applying from outside the UK (GBP)
Single-entry visa to replace a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)154
Administrative review8080

If you have any questions about your UK Work Visa, our team is happy to assist.

Supporting Yourself in the UK

Besides the UK visa application fee, you may also need to prove to the Home Office that you can support yourself financially when you arrive in the UK. You might need to have at least £1,270 available for most visa routes.

Is the UK Visa Fee Refundable?

The UK visa fee is non-refundable. However, the UKVI may refund some additional costs depending on the situation.

For example, if you pay the immigration health surcharge for more years than you should have, you will automatically receive a partial refund.

How can IAS Help

At IAS, our immigration lawyers can help you determine the cost of your UK visa application.

As each case is different, we will work directly with you and provide you with a detailed breakdown of the fees involved based on your circumstances.

For more information about how we can help you or if you’d like to speak with one of our immigration lawyers, call us on 0333 305 9375, or contact us online today.

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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