UK | Immigration Skills Charge from Jan. 2023

From January 1, UK Employers may be required to pay an ‘immigration skills charge,’ an additional fee when they sponsor a candidate applying for a Skilled Worker or Senior or Specialist Worker visa. The ISC is required for candidates applying for a visa from outside the UK to work in the UK for at least six months or inside the UK for any length of time. However, employers will not need to pay the charge for any of the worker’s dependents, such as their partner or child.

Immigration Skills Charge Exemptions

Employers do not have to pay the ISC fee if they are sponsoring someone with certain occupation codes:

  • 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)

Employers may also be exempt from the ISC fee if they sponsor a worker assigned a certificate before April 6, 2017.


The ISC fees are variable based on the size of the employer/organization and how long the worker will be employed, using the start and end dates on their sponsorship certificate.

Period Small or charitable sponsors Medium or large sponsors
First 12 months £364 £1,000
Each additional 6 months £182 £500

Employers may receive a fee refund if the worker’s visa application is refused or withdrawn or if the worker does not proceed to begin work with the employer. In addition, partial refunds are available when the worker gets less time on their visa than the employer has sponsored them for, starts working for the employer but then changes to another sponsor, or leaves their job before the end date on their certificate of sponsorship.

Erickson Insights

Employers can learn more about immigration skills charge guidance for sponsors. Erickson Immigration Group will continue to share updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.