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How does the immigration skills charge work?

Posted by Davenport Solicitors Team on January 24, 2023 in Business Immigration

The immigration skills charge (ISC) is a fee that an employer may need to pay if they employ an overseas worker under their sponsor licence. Here we explore how does the immigration skills charge work?

When don’t employers need to pay the immigration skills charge?

If a worker has one of the following occupation codes, they will not need to pay the ISC:

  • 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 also don’t need to pay the ISC if they are employing someone who has switched from a student visa to a working visa.

For those on the Senior or Specialist Worker visa the ISC charge won’t be necessary if they were assigned a certificate of sponsorship after 1st January 2023, are an EU national (or hold a Latvian non-citizen passport), they usually work in the EU but have been temporarily transferred and their visa will last for no longer than 36 months. 

How much is the immigration skills charge?

The cost of the ISC is dependent on the size of the company paying it. Small companies will need to pay £364 for the first 12 months and £182 for each additional 6 months. Whereas larger companies must pay £1,000 for the first 12 months and £500 for each additional 6 months.

A small sponsoring company must have at least two of the following:

  • An annual turnover of £10.2 million or less
  • Total assets worth £5.1 million or less
  • 50 employees or less


We hope that you have found this blog post on ‘How does the immigration skills charge work?’ useful. Should you have any queries regarding the above information or if you require assistance with applying for a sponsor licence or recruiting an overseas workers, contact a member of our team here.

The material contained on this website contains general information only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice and should not be relied upon as such. While every care has been taken in the preparation of the information on this site, readers are advised to seek specific legal advice in relation to any decision or course of action.


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