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This is the biggest rise we have seen in recent years and therefore, we would encourage those looking to submit a visa application to do so imminently if they are in a position to do so.
Work visa applications made outside of the UK will see an increase of 15% across the board, with in-country applications to switch or extend a work visa to rise by between 5% and 15%. Sponsor licence application fees are to remain the same. However, employers will face increased costs in relation to Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) as the fees are to rise by 19% to 20%, with a CoS for a Skilled Worker increasing from £199 to £239. If employers also cover the cost of visa application fees then their costs will continue to rise, with a three year Skilled Worker out of country visa application rising from £625 to £719 and in-country application for the same length of time on the same route rising from £719 to £827.
For example, a UK employer looking to sponsor an individual who is outside of the UK as a Skilled Worker for a total of three years, will from 4th October, be required to pay £958 for the visa application fee and the Certificate of Sponsorship alone. This is up from the current cost of £824. This doesn’t take into consideration the Immigration Skills Charge that employers must also pay, which at this stage is not set to rise in line with the rest of the immigration fees.
Some additional notable increases include:
A full table of revised fees can be found here.
The Immigration Health Surcharge is also set to increase from £624 per year to £1,035 per year however this remains subject to Parliamentary approval, and we do not expect to see this rise to come into force on 4th October this year. Another anomaly is the cost of an Electronic Travel Authorisation which will not come into force until 25th October 2023, when applications open. The fee for this will be £10.
Employers meeting these costs may wish to consider entering appropriate clawback provisions with their staff, to cater for the possibility of them leaving their employment earlier than planned.
If you have any questions regarding the increase in fees or your business is looking to beat the rise in costs or consider the financial support you wish to offer to visa applicants, please get in touch with our immigration team who would be happy to discuss your options with you.
19 September 2023