Seyfarth Synopsis:The UK government will
introduce an "Immigration Skills Charge" in April 2017
that will substantially increase the cost for companies to sponsor
Tier 2 workers in the UK.
The following alert is directed to organizations with a
presence in the UK or who anticipate the need to place talent at a
UK work site.
Seyfarth Shaw's Global Mobility Practice hosts attorneys
licensed to practice in the UK, Canada, Ireland and Germany. The
group has the capability to assist clients with obtaining work and
residence visas for over 70 jurisdictions around the world.If we can assist you in placing talent, please
call your Seyfarth attorney. We will be happy to help you.
UK Immigration: Introduction of Skills Charge
The Home Office confirmed that the "Immigration Skills
Charge" will come into force, subject to parliamentary
approval, on April 6, 2017. The additional charge will
significantly increase the cost for companies to sponsor
non-European Economic Area ("EEA") nationals to work in
the UK under Tier 2, which is the work permit route.
How will the Skills Charge work?
The Skills Charge is a fee payable by employers for each
certificate of sponsorship assigned on or after April 6, 2017. It
will apply to Tier 2 migrants who apply from outside the UK or
those inside the UK who submit extension or change of employer
applications. The Skills Charge will apply to both the Tier 2
Intra-Company Transfer ("ICT") and Tier 2 General
categories (subject to the exceptions below).
The fee will be £1,000 GBP per year per migrant, with a
reduced fee of £364 for small or charitable organizations.
The fee must be paid in advance for the full duration of the
certificate of sponsorship.
The Skills Charge will not apply to the following:
Tier 2 ICT or General migrants whose
certificate of sponsorship is issued before April 6, 2017 applying
to extend his or her Tier 2 visa or change sponsors in the UK;
Tier 2 ICT Graduate Trainees;
Tier 2 workers in a specified Ph.D.
Tier 4 students changing status to
Tier 2 General; and,
Family members of Tier 2
The Department of Education will use the funds collected from
the Skills Charge to implement training programs and subsidize
apprenticeships with the aim of upskilling the local labor
How will the Skills Charge affect employers?
The cost of sponsoring non-EEA nationals to work in the UK has
increased substantially in recent years. In April 2015, the
government introduced the "health surcharge" for Tier 2
General migrants and family members (£200 per person per
year), which is likely to be extended to Tier 2 ICTs and their
family members in 2017. Through these policies of increasing costs,
the government is effectively restricting the number of non-EEA
nationals working in the UK through financial means.
Employers must factor in the additional costs of the Skills
Charge for all certificates of sponsorship assigned on or after
April 6, 2017. Employers should consider whether it is possible to
proceed with applications now to avoid the additional costs of the
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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