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Industry Insights

How the New UK Skilled Worker Sponsorship System Works

18 February 2021
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This year, changes have been made to the UK’s sponsorship system, the tier 2 (General) visa has been replaced by a skilled worker visa. If you’re an employer and are wondering what the new rules and costs are for sponsoring an employee from overseas, including EU nationals, here’s our sponsorship guide. 

What’s the process?

Here’s a summary of how to sponsor a skilled worker in 2021: 

  • Companies that wish to sponsor workers need to obtain a sponsor licence. To do this, they need to make an application to the Home Office.  
  • Once a sponsor licence has been obtained, the next step is to issue a CoS (Certificate of Sponsorship) to individuals they wish to sponsor. 
  • The sponsoring organisation must pay the immigration skills charge at the time of assigning a CoS.  
  • Individuals applying for sponsorship will have 3 months to apply for a visa once they have been issued a CoS.  
  • There will also be a visa application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge to pay which apply to the individual being sponsored, however, if an organisation agrees to cover the cost of the visa application then they will be expected to pay these too. 

Summary of costs 

Here’s a concise summary of the costs you’ll need to consider, whether you’re a small or larger business. Note:  

You’re usually a small sponsor if two of the following apply: 

  • your annual turnover is £10.2 million or less 
  • your total assets are worth £5.1 million or less 
  • you have 50 employees or fewer 
  Small Sponsor Medium or Large Sponsor 
Sponsor Licence £536 £1,476 
Certificate of Sponsorship, (CoS) £199 £199 
Immigration Skills Charge, (per year) £364 £1,000 
Visa Application Fee £610-£1,408 £610-£1,408 
Immigration Health Surcharge £624 £624 

If you have any more questions regarding these changes, we'd be happy to chat. If you’d like to speak with a member of our Microsoft Dynamics recruitment team, get in touch with us on +44 (0)1483 233 000. Alternatively, visit our contact page and get in touch.

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