How much does it cost to sponsor a Tier 2 migrant?

For a UK company intending to recruit a non-EU migrant, it is vital to have a full understanding of the fees associated to sponsoring a prospective Tier 2 migrant.

Sponsor Licence fee

In order to sponsor a non-EU migrant, one of the most important requirements is for the employer to hold a valid Tier 2 A rated licence.

The sponsor licence application fee is £536 for small companies (with less than 50 employees, and/or an annual turnover of £10.2 million or less, or a balance sheet of less than £5.1 million), and £1,476 for medium or large companies.

Please note that the application fee is the same whether the company applies for a Tier 2 General or Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer (ICT) sponsor licence.

Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) fee

Once the licence is granted, the employer will need to check whether the employee must satisfy Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT).

In addition, the sponsor has to assign a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to each Tier 2 migrant. A CoS is an electronic number storing the migrant’s personal information and details of the job that the candidate has been offered, such as salary and working hours. Please note that the CoS fee is £199.

Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) fee

The sponsor might need to pay an Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) fee for a Tier 2 migrant. The charge is payable in full each time the employer assigns a CoS.

The Immigration Skills fee depends on the size and type of organisation, as well as the length of employment stated in the CoS. For instance, for small or charitable sponsors, the fee is £364 per year. For large companies, the fee is £1,000 for any stated period of employment up to 12 months.

However, in some circumstances,  the sponsor does not need to pay an Immigration Skills fee depending on the immigration history of the Tier 2 migrant. ICT Tier 2 migrants are also subject to ISC.

Immigration Health Surcharge (‘IHS’) fee

A migrant will need to pay £400 in terms of Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) per year when submitting his/her application. The exact amount of the IHS fee depends on the length of ‘leave’ the Tier 2 is applying for. Please note that the migrant will need to pay half of the yearly amount if the application includes part of a year that is less than 6 months, whist pay for a whole year if the application includes more than 6 months.

Tier 2 (General) visa application fee

The UKVI application fee for a Tier 2 (General) visa varies according to the type and the length of the visa being applied for as well as where the migrant will submit the application. For example, the fee for a 3 year period application made in the UK incurs a fee of £704 (postal application) whist £610 for the same application submitted outside of the UK. There are additional fees to be paid in order to expedite the processing of an application.

Biometric information collection fee

Please note that if the applicant is applying to extend or switch in the UK, a £19.20 biometric information collection (fingerprints and a photo) fee is also required to be paid.

In addition, the migrant might need to pay a higher fee for his/her appointment depending on the selected service point. There are 6 free ‘core’ service points and 50 ‘enhanced’ service centres that cost £60 in the UK. The prospective Tier 2 migrant might also need to pay extra for out of hours or weekend appointments and extra services.

Appointment core hours cost

Core Sites 10:00-16:00 Free

Enhanced Sites 10:00-16:00 £60

Premium Lounge 10:00-16:00 £200

Appointment outside core hours cost

Core Sites £100

Enhanced Sites £125

Premium Lounge £260

On 1 July 2019, the UKVI announced that from 22 July, migrants who book an appointment at one of the 6 core sites will need to pay a scanning service fee of £45 if they do not wish to upload the supporting documents themselves.

Premium and Priority service fees

If the applicant is applying to extend or switch to Tier 2 (General) in the UK, the Home Office provides premium and priority services. Migrants can pay an extra £500 for the priority service to receive a decision within 5 working days once the biometric information is collected. Applicants can also opt for the super priority service with an additional £800 fee to receive a decision within 24 hours.

Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of the Tier 2 visa application, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075 or contact us here.

The content of this article is for general use and information only. Since each case should be prepared on its own merit and in light of the constant amendments to the Immigration Rules, it is important to note that the information provided must not be relied upon unless Migra & Co has either given written consent or has been officially engaged in relation to a specific immigration matter. As a result, Migra & Co will take no responsibility for any damage, cost or loss resulting from relying on the information contained in this article, blog and website.


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