UK: Clarification on Immigration Skills Charge

On Friday 24th March, we received clarification from the Home Office that the Immigration Skills Charge only applies if the migrant is submitting their first application for Tier 2 leave after 6th April 2017. If they are applying to extend their leave or change employment but were first granted their Tier 2 leave before this date then the charge is not applicable.

As highlighted in our previous article, employers must pay £1,000 per Tier 2 migrant sponsored per year, with a reduced rate of £364 per migrant per year for small and charitable sponsors. The skills charge is not applicable for the worker’s dependants.

The skills charge applies to a sponsor of a Tier 2 worker assigned a Certificate of Sponsorship in the ‘General’ or ‘Intra-company Transfer’ route and who will be applying from:

  • Outside the UK for a visa
  • Inside the UK to switch to this visa from another

The skills charge does not apply if you are sponsoring:

  • A non-EEA national who was sponsored in Tier 2 before 6th April 2017 and is applying from inside the UK to extend their Tier 2 stay with either the same sponsor or a different sponsor
  • 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

We hope that this provides some clarification, but should you require further advice on whether the immigration skills charge applies to you please email us at


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