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How much does it cost to UK companies to sponsor an overseas worker for a UK Skilled Worker Visa?

Sponsoring an overseas worker under Skilled worker route isn’t cheap. For any organisation who intends to sponsor an individual, it is important to understand the skilled worker visa costs they will have to pay for. This article will identify the changes and fees that an employer will have to pay for when considering hiring overseas worker. Also, this will look at the cost overseas workers will have to pay if they are applying under the Skilled Worker route.

When an organisation intends to hire overseas workers and they will have to apply for a sponsor licence, this is the application fees will have to pay by sponsor organisation and the fees are varies depending on size of organisations.

These are:

  • £536 if the organisation is a charity or defined as small business

  • £1,476 if the organisation is defined as large sponsor

The Official Guidance on sponsor licence application shows what is considered as charitable status and small business. The Companies Act 2006 are used to determine the size of the business in the Official Guidance.

“A company qualified as small if it meets 2 of the below criteria in a financial year:

  • Turnover is not more than £10.2 million

  • Balance sheet total is not more than £5.1 million (Aggregate of the amounts shown as assets in the company’s balance sheet)

  • Number of employees does not exceed 50 (taken as an average across the financial year)”

The sponsor licence is valid for four years, the organisation will have to pay the same cost to renew it if there are no future change on the fee by home Office.

Employer: Certificate of Sponsorship

This is a certificate of sponsorship or Cos that issue by approved sponsors to the overseas worker they intend to hire. The overseas worker uses the Cost to apply for their visa application. The cost of issuing each certificate is £199, and this is pay by sponsored organisations.

Employer: Immigration Skills Charge

This is an essential cost to sponsored organisation when assigning a certificate of sponsorship to someone applying for a Skilled work visa. This is called the ‘Immigration Skills Charge’. The fees are depending on the size of your organisation and how the worker will work for you. However, there are limited exemptions for certain jobs, UK Graduates switching to work visa

Small or charitable sponsors

  • £364 for first 12 months

  • £182 for each additional 6 months

Medium or large sponsors

  • £1,000 for first 12 months

  • £500 for each additional 6 months

Premium service for employers

The Home Office operates premium service to enhance level of support for organisations employing foreign workers. A fee of £25,000 per year for a medium/large organisation, or £8,000 for a small business. For more details

Overseas Worker: Visa Application Fee

The visa application fees are varied depending on following factors

  • Is the application being made inside the UK or outside the UK?

  • The time length on certificate of sponsorship where has been issued for over three years or less

  • Shortage Occupation or non-shortage occupation

Overseas Worker: Immigration Health Surcharge

This is an essential requirement for overseas works must pay for when applying for a skilled worker visa. These fees are on top of application fees and subject to all migrants who need a visa to remain in the UK. It is £624 for each year of the visa. A five-year visa will cost 5 x £624 - £ 3120 for a single applicant.

Overseas Worker: Premium service for applicant

This is an optional fee for applicant who want to have fast tracked processing of their application and will receive a decision within 10 working days

How Alstern can help?

Immigration laws and rules are constantly changing at all times. This is important to get the latest information. Our Immigration lawyers have years of experience in Sponsor licence applications for UK employers and even dealing with complex applications with a high success rate. We follow up the changes of immigration law and rules that ensure every single sponsor licence application meet the latest requirements from the Home Office. For more information, please contact us on 020 3923 9188 or email


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