What is the Immigration Skills Charge in Tier 2 applications?

Tier 2 Sponsors are required to pay an additional charge branded as the Immigration Skills Charge for every Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) assigned to a Tier 2 skilled worker. It is important the charge is paid correctly as a failure to pay the charge could result in a refused Tier 2 application causing disruption for both employer and employee. The fee varies depending on the size of organisation and status. In some circumstances there are exemptions based on the application type. Tier 2 Sponsors can also request for a partial or full refund in some scenarios.

What is the Tier 2 Immigration Skills Charge?

On 6 April 2017, the Home Office implemented the Tier 2 Immigration Skills Charge under The Immigration Skills Charge Regulations 2017. The charge applies to sponsored Tier 2 skilled workers from outside the EEA. The charge is applicable for Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Long Term Staff routes. The charge is paid by the Tier 2 Sponsors using the Sponsorship Management System (SMS) when they assign the Certificate of Sponsorship. The exact fee due is dependant on the Tier 2 Sponsor’s organisation size, charitable status and length of sponsorship. Tier 2 Sponsors must pay a minimum of 12 months and this is non-refundable unless paid in error or if the skilled worker fails to take up the post. The charge applies only to the main applicant for the Tier 2 visa. The Immigration Skills Charge it is not payable for Tier 2 Dependants.

What happens if my Tier 2 Sponsor does not pay the Tier 2 Immigration Skills Charge?

Tier 2 Applicants must pay the Immigration Health Surcharge when they submit their application however are not required to directly pay for the Immigration Skills Charge. Their Tier 2 Sponsor would have already paid the charge when the CoS was assigned. If the Sponsor fails to pay the charge or the correct fee, then the CoS will be invalid until the correct payment is made. If there are issues with the payment, UKVI will contact the Tier 2 Sponsor and ask for the payment or top-up. A link will be provided quoting the reference number and a failure to pay the correct amount within 10 days may result in the Tier 2 application being refused. The Home Office will not refund any application fees. However, the bigger problem is for entry clearance applications as new CoS allocation has to be requested the following month causing significant delays and disruption for both worker and Sponsor.

Who is exempt from paying the Tier 2 Immigration Skills Charge?

In some circumstances, the Tier 2 Immigration Skills Charge will not apply when sponsoring skilled workers from outside the UK. Exemptions will apply for the following:

  • If your job falls under the SOC codes 2111, 2112, 2113, 2114, 2119, 2150 and 2311;
  • If your applying under the graduate trainee Tier 2 Intra-company transfer route;
  • If applying for a Tier 2 extension and the initial grant was before 6 April 2017;
  • If you are switching from a Tier 4 Student visa to a Tier 2 route or extending your leave in the same category (only if you were initially switching from Tier 4); and
  • If your visa length is less than 6 months.

There is also a Tier 2 Immigration Skills Charge calculator that can be used to calculate the amount due.

How much is the Tier 2 Immigration Skills Charge?

The fee will usually be calculated automatically by the SMS based on the size of the organisation and how long the worker will work for the Tier 2 Sponsor (the start and end date on the CoS).

For small or charitable organisations the fee for the first 12 months is £364 with an additional fee of £182 due for each additional period of 6 months.

For medium or large organisations the fee for the first 12 months is £1000 with an additional fee of £500 due for each additional period of 6 months.

Can I get a Tier 2 Immigration Skills Charge refund?

It is possible for the Tier 2 Sponsor to request for a refund in some circumstances where they are due a full or partial refund. The UKVI will issue a refund to the card that was used to pay the charge. All full or partial refunds must be submitted through the Business Helpdesk at the Home Office or via the SMS portal. Tier 2 Sponsors can claim a full refund where the fee was paid by mistake or the CoS was never used by the Tier 2 worker; i.e. the application was never submitted or it was refused/withdrawn.

A partial refund will be paid if the Tier 2 Sponsor has overpaid the charge due to a miscalculation i.e. the visa is granted for less time than the period requested on the CoS for the application. Tier 2 Sponsors may also request for a partial refund where the Sponsorship ends earlier then the time on the visa.

How our immigration solicitors can help with a Tier 2 application and Immigration Skills Charge?

Our immigration solicitors in London specialise in Tier 2 General applications and prepare applications to the highest standard. We often assist Tier 2 Sponsors with the Immigration Skills Charge. We have an impeccable track history of submitting successful visa applications for a range of different small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). The key to submitting a successful Tier 2 General application is being aware of the relevant Immigration Rules and submitting the correct supporting documents. Our immigration solicitors in London guide Applicants through the requirements and prepare detailed legal submissions in support of the application. In addition to the legal representations, our team of solicitors also provides multiple substantial reviews of the application bundle to ensure that the correct documentary evidence is submitted. We also prepare and assist with the submission of the application.

Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to submit a successful Tier 2 General application and the Immigration Skills Charge

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with an application to apply for a Tier 2 General visa and payment of the Immigration Skills Charge. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications, which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.

The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful Tier 2 General applications and the Immigration Skills Charge payment with our Immigration Solicitors in London

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your prospects of submitting a Tier 2 General application with the correct Immigration Skills Charge payment before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a Tier 2 General application and ensure that you meet all the requirements under the Immigration Rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss a Tier 2 General application and the Immigration Skills Charge.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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