Businesses urged to think ahead before the introduction of the Immigration Skills Charge
27 January 2017
From April 2017, the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) will significantly increase the fees payable by employers when sponsoring skilled migrants.
The ISC is introduced via the Immigration Act 2016 following a recommendation from The Migration Advisory Committee. Its aims are to encourage employers to train the resident workforce and reduce reliance on migrant workers. Although an exact commencement date has yet to be confirmed, it is anticipated to be in place from April 2017.
Employers will pay £1,000 per year, per migrant, e.g. a 3-year visa will result in a £3,000 surcharge and a 5-year visa will mean a £5,000 surcharge. A reduced charge of £364 per year, per migrant will apply to small companies and charities. The fee will be payable upfront as part of the skilled worker sponsorship process.
Organisations can mitigate the effects of the ISC as follows:
- Recruitment drives – bring any planned recruitment campaigns forward
- Tier 2 extensions – for Tier 2 visas expiring soon after April 2017, apply up to three months before the visa expiry and before April 2017 to extend without incurring the ISC
There will be exceptions, including one for Tier 4 students switching into working visas. Also, unlike the Immigration Health Surcharge, there will be no ISC for dependent family members applying with the main applicant.
If you would like to discuss the significance of the Immigration Skills Charge for your business, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the immigration team.
Home Office emails migrants for information01 February 2017
It has come to our attention that the Home Office is emailing migrants whose leave is due to expire within a few weeks and inviting them to provide the following information: