Immigration Update - The Home Office announces new Immigration Skills Charge exemption from January 2023

Published: January 9th, 2023

7 min read

Sponsors of skilled workers applying under the Skilled Worker and Global Business Mobility Senior or Specialist Worker routes are required to pay an additional fee for the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) every time they assign a new Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to a worker, with some limited exceptions.

Given that from 1 January 2021, all UK employers must have a sponsorship license to employ migrant workers under certain work visa routes, the ISC has become payable by a large number of businesses.

For medium to large-sized sponsors, the ISC is £1,000 per sponsored employee per year. For each additional 6 months the worker is sponsored, an additional £500 in ISC is payable.

From 1 January 2023 sponsors of EU nationals who are transferred from a business based in the EU to the UK for less than 3 years under the Global Business Mobility Senior or Specialist Worker route are exempt from paying the Immigration Skills Charge if all the following apply:

  • The worker is a national of an EU country or a Latvian non-citizen (this does not apply to nationals of Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland);

  • The worker is being assigned to the sponsoring UK business by an EU-based business within the same sponsor group (the companies are linked by common ownership and have been notified as such to the Home Office); and

  • The CoS is assigned on or after 1 January 2023;

  • The assignment is for no more than 3 years, as confirmed by the CoS start and end dates.

If you have any questions relating to sponsoring workers and applying for work visas, please contact our Business Immigration team at

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