1) What You Need to Know About Immigration Skills Charge

We had reported last year of the changes that the UK government would introduce for Tier 2 visas
(Read: UK Government announces changes to Tier 2 program from April 2017).

The Govt. has announced that pending Parliamentary Approval Immigration Skills Charge will apply from 6th April 2017. india/#Tier-2-Sponsor-License” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Tier 2 certificate of sponsorship on or after 6 April 2017 (unless an exemption applies). Like the Immigration Health Surcharge this will be an annual fee.

This charge is in addition to the Visa Application Fee and Immigration Health Surcharge. The money so collected will be used by Department of Education to address skills gaps in the UK workforce.

2) How much is ‘Immigration Skills Charge’ charges in 2017

Small or charitable organisations will be required to pay skills ‘Immigration Skills Charge’ charge of £ 364 per year while medium or large organisations must pay £1,000 per year of the visa.

Illustration: A small company applying for Tier 2 General license for 3 years must pay Immigration Skills Charge of £1,092 while for medium or large sponsor must pay £ 3,000.
Similarly applying for a 5-year visa for a Tier 2 worker the small company sponsor will pay £ 1,820 while the medium or large sponsors will be paying £ 5,000

According to Home Office rules a UK business will only be deemed to be small if:
• its annual revenue/turnover is £10.2 million or less, and
• it has 50 employees or fewer.
Any sponsor that is not “small” will be required to pay £1,000 per year.

3) From when will the Immigration Skills charge apply?

Pending Parliamentary approval, the Immigration Skills Charge will apply from 6 April 2017.

4) Whom will the Immigration skills charge apply to?

The skills charge will apply to any Tier 2 General or Tier 2 ICT certificate of sponsorship assigned on or after 6 April 2017, where the Tier 2 visa applicant is applying:
• outside the UK
• inside the UK where the applicant is switching into Tier 2 from a different visa category, or
• to extend a Tier 2 visa or to change employment from one Tier 2 sponsor to another, but only where the worker first entered the Tier 2 category on or after 6 April 2017.

If the Tier 2 worker has already been sponsored before 6 April 2017 then the Employer will not need to pay the skills charge to extend a Tier 2 visa or to sponsor a Tier 2 worker from another business, if the new Tier 2 visa application is submitted inside the UK.

Other exemptions include:
• a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Graduate Trainee
• a worker to do a specified PhD level occupation
• a Tier 4 student visa holder in the UK switching to a Tier 2 (General) visa
• no skills charge for dependents.

This is beneficial to sponsors already having Tier 2 workers in country as they will not have to pay the skills charge in respect of their existing Tier 2 workers.

If you will be bringing in migrants on Tier 2 visas during the year, it may be worth to consider if it is feasible to bring forward the recruitment so that the Entry clearances can be applied for before the 6 April 2017.

Our UK Immigration experts work with Tier 2 sponsors to apply for Entry clearance application for their employees on Tier 2 General and Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer visas for advice and assistance in applying for the same. You can call on +91 22 2850 9857 or +91 98191 27002 or email info@smartmove2uk.com

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