The sponsor licence application fee depends on the size of your business or if your organisation has charitable status. The sponsor licence application fee for a business classed as a small sponsor is £536. The fee rises to £1,476 if your business falls within the definition of a large sponsor.

Small businesses & charities sponsor licence cost

The Sponsor Licence Application Fee for small businesses and charities is £536. This is a non-refundable fee, but it will provide you with a licence valid for four years.

The Home Office requires that all sponsors, regardless of size or purpose, must show they can meet the requirements of being a sponsor and fulfil the obligations of sponsoring migrants. The cost of the Sponsor Licence Application Fee is the same regardless of the size of the business or charity.

If you are a small business or charity, you must demonstrate that you have the necessary systems in place to comply with the obligations of a sponsor. You must provide evidence that you are fit and proper to act as a sponsor. This includes having appropriate policies, procedures, and training in place, as well as showing that you are able to keep accurate records of your sponsored workers.

You may also be required to provide details about any previous immigration enforcement action taken against the organisation. If your application is successful, the Home Office will issue a Sponsor Licence valid for up to four years. You will then be able to issue Certificates of Sponsorship to skilled migrant workers.

Large business sponsor licence cost

If you are a large business looking to sponsor migrants on a skilled worker visa or a temporary worker visa, then the Home Office has set the fee for a Sponsor Licence Application at £1,476. This cost covers the administration of your application and the monitoring of your compliance with the immigration rules. 

To be classed as a large business, the company must employ more than 250 employees. Companies that employ fewer than 250 employees should check the cost for small businesses and charities. 

The Sponsor Licence Application fee covers the processing of all certificates of sponsorship (COS) within a 12-month period. For every certificate of sponsorship submitted, a £199 fee is applicable. Any additional certificates of sponsorship will require payment of the additional £199 per certificate of sponsorship. 

The Sponsor Licence Application fee also includes a fee for taking part in the ‘highly skilled migrant programme’, which allows applicants with skills or experience to access an unrestricted job market. The cost for this is £464 and must be paid if the company wishes to apply for a Sponsor Licence through the ‘highly skilled migrant programme’. 

When applying for a Sponsor Licence, it is important to remember that there may be other costs associated with sponsorship, such as those required for visa applications, health surcharges and immigration skills charge. It is important to research the costs of these fees before submitting an application to ensure that you are aware of any additional costs you may need to pay in order to receive your licence.

Complete costing for Sponsor licence + Skilled worker visa application

• Home Office fees for the worker – This is the fee that must be paid to the UK Home Office in order for the worker to obtain the visa. It is currently £610 per person.

• Home Office fees for the employer – This is the fee that must be paid to the UK Home Office in order for the employer to obtain the sponsor licence. It is currently £1,476 per business or charity and £536 per charity trustee. 

• Certificate of Sponsorship cost – This is the fee that must be paid by the employer to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to the worker. It is currently £199 per CoS. 

• Immigration Skills Charge – This is a fee that must be paid by the employer for each employee sponsored on a Skilled Worker Visa. The fee amount depends on whether it is a small or large business, with small businesses paying £364 per year and large businesses paying £1,000 per year.

• Skilled Worker Visa application costs – This is the fee that must be paid to cover the processing costs for the worker’s visa application. It is currently £475 per applicant.

• Immigration Health Surcharge – This is a fee that must be paid by the worker when applying for their Skilled Worker Visa. The fee is currently £400 per year, and must be paid upfront. 

• Premium and fast-tracked services – There are additional fees that may be required if you choose to use a premium or fast-tracked service to submit your application or to process it more quickly. These fees vary depending on the specific service you choose to use. 

In addition to these costs, employers should also consider other associated costs such as legal advice and financial support to employees while they are waiting for their visas to be processed.

Home Office fees for the worker

When a worker applies for a visa, they must pay a fee to the Home Office. This fee covers the cost of processing the application, including conducting background checks and issuing the visa.

The fee for the worker’s visa application depends on their nationality and the type of visa they are applying for. For example, if a worker is from outside the European Economic Area and applying for a skilled worker visa, they will need to pay a fee of £610. This fee covers both their initial visa application and any subsequent applications to extend or switch to another type of visa. 

For those applying for the Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS), the fees are £244. If the YMS applicant is from Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea or Taiwan, they may be eligible for a reduced fee of £186. 

The fees for family member visas depend on the type of family visa and the nationality of the applicant. A full list of applicable fees can be found on the Home Office website. 

It’s important to note that these fees are just for the visa application. Other costs may also be associated with sponsorship such as a Certificate of Sponsorship fee and Immigration Health Surcharge.

Home Office fees for the employer

The Home Office requires employers to pay the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) for each Skilled Worker visa applicant. The ISC is £1,000 for small and charity sponsors and £1,500 for large sponsors. The amount is payable when the employer applies for the Sponsor Licence, and each year thereafter as long as the sponsorship is valid.

In addition to the ISC, the employer must also pay a fee to the Home Office for a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). This cost depends on the length of the visa applied for, and starts at £199 for visas up to 3 years. The cost then increases to £609 for visas up to 5 years and £1,408 for visas up to 10 years.

The employer may also need to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) if their employee requires medical treatment in the UK under the National Health Service (NHS). The fee is £400 per year for most visas, but will be lower for some people. For example, if the employee’s stay in the UK will last less than 6 months, then the IHS fee will only be half of the usual amount.

Finally, employers may opt to use a Premium or Fast-Track service from the Home Office, which will incur additional fees. A Premium service application costs £610, and a Fast-Track application costs £1,033.

Certificate of Sponsorship cost

The Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is a document issued by the UK Home Office to employers and sponsors in the UK, allowing them to sponsor non-EEA workers for entry to the UK. This document is required for non-EEA nationals who want to apply for a Tier 2 (Skilled Worker) visa. The cost of applying for a CoS is currently £199 per application.

The CoS is usually valid for three months from the date of issue, during which time the individual must submit their visa application and all supporting documents. If the individual’s visa application is successful, they will be granted leave to remain in the UK for up to five years and ten months.

The cost of the Certificate of Sponsorship is separate to the costs associated with the Skilled Worker Visa. These include the immigration health surcharge and any other relevant fees associated with the application. Employers are also responsible for paying an Immigration Skills Charge for each sponsored worker. This charge is currently set at £1000 per year, or £364 for small businesses or charities.

Immigration Skills Charge

The Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) is a fee levied by the Home Office when a company or organisation recruits a non-EEA skilled worker from outside of the UK. The purpose of the fee is to encourage employers to train existing workers and invest in UK apprenticeships, as well as making sure that skilled migrants are appropriately compensated for their work.

The cost of the ISC depends on the size of the organisation recruiting the worker. The amount for small businesses and charities is £364 per worker per year, while the amount for larger organisations is £1,000 per worker per year. There are exceptions in certain sectors, such as NHS trusts, universities, educational institutions and some charitable organisations. 

Organisations recruiting skilled workers also have to pay a ‘cap-exempt’ fee of £199 per worker per year. This covers those migrants who are exempt from the annual cap on skilled workers coming to the UK. 

When paying the ISC fee, the employer must provide details of each individual they are recruiting, including their name, job role, salary and start date. They must also submit a copy of the worker’s Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) as evidence that the worker is eligible for sponsorship.

Organisations should also keep records of their payments to ensure that they can prove that they have paid the required fees. Failure to pay these fees can result in severe penalties and may even lead to the suspension or revocation of the employer’s Sponsor Licence. 

Organisations may be able to reduce the Immigration Skills Charge if they use an approved Tier 2 sponsor or if they recruit under the Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer category. Employers should check with their immigration advisor for further information about how to apply for any applicable fee reductions.

Skilled Worker Visa application costs

Skilled worker visas allow employers to recruit foreign nationals for positions that cannot be filled by the resident workforce. Employers must pay a fee when applying for a skilled worker visa and this will depend on the size of their business and the number of people they intend to employ.

Small businesses and charities: For small businesses and charities, the visa application fee is £364 per person. If a company is applying for five or more people, then a single fee of £1,820 is payable.

Large businesses: For large businesses with a turnover of more than £25.9 million, the visa application fee is £524 per person. If a company is applying for five or more people, then a single fee of £2,620 is payable.

It is important to note that these fees are in addition to any Home Office fees charged for the worker or the employer. There may also be additional costs associated with obtaining a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).

The immigration skills charge (ISC) is another cost that employers must factor in when recruiting skilled workers from abroad. This charge is currently set at £1,000 per worker per year, and it must be paid upfront before a CoS can be obtained. The ISC is intended to contribute to training and development for UK workers. 

Finally, employers should consider whether they want to pay for premium or fast-tracked services. This can help to reduce processing times, but there will be an additional fee associated with this service.

 Premium and fast-tracked services

The UK government offers two premium services which allow you to submit your Sponsor Licence Application Fee in an expedited manner. 

The Premium Service Centre allows you to submit your application in person and receive a decision within 5 working days. This service is available to both small businesses and large businesses. It is important to note that the cost of this service includes an additional fee for making an appointment and for document checking.

The Priority Service is available for large businesses and allows them to receive a decision within 2 working days. The cost of this service includes a higher fee than the Premium Service Centre but also includes a phone call from a Home Office representative who will advise you throughout the process.

It is important to consider the cost of these premium services when submitting your Sponsor Licence Application Fee. These services are not necessary but may be beneficial if you are looking to obtain a Sponsor Licence quickly.

Immigration Health Surcharge

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is an additional fee charged to immigrants and visa holders who are making a long-term stay in the UK. The purpose of the IHS is to ensure that migrants have access to the same health care services as UK citizens. The IHS is paid when applying for a visa and must be paid in advance of receiving the visa. 

The IHS applies to migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), who are looking to stay in the UK for longer than six months. The cost of the IHS depends on your nationality and the length of your stay, but it can range from £150 for a six-month stay up to £1,800 for a five-year stay. In some cases, employers are liable to pay the IHS for their sponsored employees.

The IHS is not the same as private health insurance, although those with a valid visa may still choose to take out such a policy. It is important to note that, while the IHS covers most treatments available on the National Health Service (NHS), some exclusions may apply. Therefore, it is important to understand what is included in your policy before making any payments. 

It is important to note that the IHS must be paid even if you are only in the UK temporarily, even if it is just for a few days or weeks. For example, if you enter the UK on a visitor’s visa, you will still need to pay the IHS fee when making your application. This fee is non-refundable and is applicable whether or not you use NHS services during your stay in the UK. 

If you are an employer sponsoring an employee from outside of the EEA for a long-term stay in the UK, then you may also be liable for their IHS fees. It is important to be aware of this cost when budgeting for your sponsored worker’s stay in the UK.

How to pay the fee

The Sponsor Licence Application Fee can be paid in a variety of ways. Depending on the size of your business, you may have to pay this fee upfront before submitting your application. The options available for payment are:

1. Cheque: You can make a cheque payable to the Home Office and submit it with your application. 

2. Debit or Credit Card: You can use a debit card or credit card to pay the fee online. 

3. Bank Transfer: If you are applying as a large business, you will need to pay the fee by bank transfer.

4. Online Banking: You can also use your online banking service to pay the fee. 

5. Government Gateway ID: You can use your Government Gateway ID to pay the fee online. 

When paying by cheque or bank transfer, you should include the Home Office reference number which is provided in your application form. All payments must be in British Pounds (£). It’s important to remember that the Sponsor Licence Application Fee must be paid within 28 days of submitting your application. Failure to do so may result in your application being rejected.

 Methods of payment accepted for the Sponsor Licence Application Fee

The UK Home Office accepts payment for the Sponsor Licence Application Fee in a variety of ways. It is important to be aware of what methods are accepted and make sure to complete the payment by the deadline.

Credit and debit card payments are accepted for the Sponsor Licence Application Fee. When paying online, customers will need to enter their card information. All major credit cards are accepted, such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. Customers should also remember to check their statement to make sure that the charge has been posted correctly.

Cheques and money orders are also accepted as payment for the Sponsor Licence Application Fee. These should be made payable to “HM Revenue & Customs” and sent with a completed Fee Payment Form to the Home Office.

Customers can also pay the Sponsor Licence Application Fee by making a bank transfer directly to the Home Office’s account. This option allows customers to pay online without needing to submit their card information. The bank transfer must include a reference number in order for the payment to be properly processed.

Cash payments are not accepted for the Sponsor Licence Application Fee. If customers wish to pay with cash, they must use a cheque or money order.

Once customers have chosen their method of payment and completed the payment process, it is important to keep a copy of the receipt as proof of payment. This will be needed in case there is an issue with the payment or if the application is rejected for any reason. Customers should also remember to pay the fee before the deadline to avoid any delays or additional charges.

Comparison to other fees associated with immigration and work visas

When applying for a Sponsor Licence, it is important to consider the fees associated with other immigration and work visas that may also be applicable. In addition to the Sponsor Licence Application Fee, there are several other fees associated with the application process. These include Skilled Worker Visa application costs, Premium and fast-tracked services, Immigration Health Surcharge, Certificate of Sponsorship cost and Immigration Skills Charge. 

The Skilled Worker Visa application cost is set at £610 for an adult and £10 for any dependants aged 18 or under. This cost does not include any associated fees for using premium services. These fees can vary depending on the speed and level of service you are requesting. 

The Immigration Health Surcharge is an additional cost of £400 per year for each applicant. This fee helps to cover healthcare costs during the visa period. The Certificate of Sponsorship cost is also charged per applicant. This is a one-off fee of £199, but this cost is waived if you are a charity or small business sponsor licence holder. 

The Immigration Skills Charge is a charge of £1,000 per year for each skilled worker sponsored. It is important to note that this fee does not apply to large businesses and charities sponsoring workers. 

It is important to compare all these costs to make sure that the Sponsor Licence Application Fee is suitable for your budget. In addition to these fees, there may be other costs associated with the application such as legal advice or assistance. When comparing costs, make sure to include these additional expenses as well.

Factors that can affect the cost of the fee

When applying for a Sponsor Licence, the cost of the fee will vary depending on several factors. These factors include the size and type of your organisation, the type of application you are making, and the number of workers you are planning to hire. 

The Sponsor Licence application fee is split into two components: the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) cost, and the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC). The CoS cost will depend on the size and type of your business, with small businesses and charities paying £536 per CoS application and large businesses paying £1,476 per CoS application. The ISC is a fixed rate of £1,000 per sponsored worker for the main applicant and each of their dependants for those aged 18 or over.

In addition to the Sponsor Licence application fee, there are other costs associated with immigration and work visas. These include the Home Office fees for the worker and the employer, as well as the immigration health surcharge. You may also be required to pay a premium or fast-tracked service fee if you are applying for a Sponsor Licence in a hurry. 

Finally, there are certain circumstances under which the fee may be reduced or waived. These include if you are applying for a licence under special circumstances or if you meet certain criteria set out by the Home Office. If you think you may qualify for a fee reduction or waiver, you should contact the Home Office directly to discuss your eligibility.

Sponsor action plan

To make sure your sponsor licence application is successful and that you remain compliant, it’s important to have a plan of action.

1. Research: Before submitting an application for a sponsor licence, research your responsibilities and make sure you understand what is expected of you.

2. Preparation: Make sure that you have all the necessary documents prepared before submitting your application. This includes proof of business, your financials, any necessary tax documents, etc.

3. Consider outsourcing: If you are feeling overwhelmed by the process, consider using the services of a third-party such as a lawyer or immigration expert to help with the process.

4. Apply early: It’s important to submit your application as soon as possible to avoid delays or denials. The Home Office will also take longer to process your application if there are any discrepancies or errors in the documents you submit.

5. Follow-up: After submitting your application, follow up with the Home Office periodically to ensure that your application is being processed correctly and in a timely manner.

6. Stay compliant: Once you have obtained your sponsor licence, stay compliant with all of the Home Office’s rules and regulations to ensure that your licence remains active and valid. This includes monitoring and reporting your sponsored workers’ activities and reporting any changes in the business structure or circumstances.

By following these steps, you can ensure that you have an effective action plan for obtaining and maintaining a sponsor licence.

Premium sponsor scheme

The UKVI offers a premium sponsor scheme to employers who wish to expedite the immigration process. Employers who become a premium sponsor receive a range of benefits including dedicated customer service, priority processing of immigration applications, direct access to UKVI specialist teams and an enhanced level of compliance. 

Premium sponsor employers pay a yearly fee of £3600 and an additional fee for each worker they sponsor. This fee varies depending on the size of the business and is currently £1000 for small businesses, £2000 for medium-sized businesses and £3000 for large businesses. 

In addition, there are also several other fees associated with being a premium sponsor. These include costs for a new visa application (such as the Skilled Worker Visa), the Certificate of Sponsorship fee and the Immigration Skills Charge. It is important to factor these fees into your overall budget when considering becoming a premium sponsor. 

The cost of becoming a premium sponsor may seem high, but it could be worthwhile if you are looking to process immigration applications quickly and need extra help from UKVI’s specialist teams. It is important to do your research and weigh up the costs against the benefits before deciding whether or not to become a premium sponsor.

Deadlines for payment

Sponsor Licence Applications must be submitted and paid for at least five working days before the start of the intended sponsorship. The fee must be paid in full when submitting the application.

Failure to meet the payment deadline can result in delays and, in some cases, may lead to the refusal of your application. 

Before submitting your application, make sure that you are aware of the applicable deadlines. These deadlines vary depending on your type of application and will be displayed on the Home Office website.

Payment for a Sponsor Licence renewal must be made at least four weeks prior to the expiry date of the existing licence. Otherwise, it is possible that the Home Office could decide not to renew the licence.

It is important to keep track of these deadlines in order to ensure that your application is processed in a timely manner. Keep in mind that if you do miss a deadline, there is a chance that your application could be refused.

 Fee Reductions and Exemptions

The Sponsor Licence Application Fee is not static and may be reduced or waived in certain circumstances. The Home Office may offer a reduction or exemption to small businesses, charities, start-ups, and organisations employing vulnerable people. 

Small business sponsors and charities are entitled to a reduction of 50% on the sponsor licence fee if they employ fewer than 50 staff members. Similarly, start-ups, organisations employing vulnerable people, and organisations with a turnover of less than £1 million are also eligible for a 50% reduction. 

Organisations with more than 50 employees may also be eligible for a fee reduction. To qualify for this, the organisation must meet all of the following criteria:

• They must have an annual turnover of less than £10 million;

• They must have gross assets of less than £5 million;

• They must have less than 250 employees;

• They must provide evidence that at least 20% of their workforce are non-EEA migrants;

• They must provide evidence that they are registered with the Living Wage Foundation;

• They must demonstrate that they have a transparent pay policy. 

Organisations with more than 250 employees will not be eligible for any reductions or exemptions. 

Organisations that are accredited to the Home Office’s Sponsor Accreditation Scheme are entitled to a reduction of 50% off the total cost of the licence. This reduction applies to all sponsor licence applications, including those related to renewals, transfers, and variations. 

For organisations applying for both a skilled worker and a temporary worker Sponsor Licence, there is an additional 10% discount off the total cost. 

In addition, applicants who are applying for a skilled worker sponsor licence and also wish to sponsor a student under Tier 4 may receive a 10% discount off the total cost of both licences. 

Finally, employers can also receive a 50% reduction if they apply for a sponsor licence before their employee’s visa expires. The employer must have been the visa holder’s sponsor for at least 12 months prior to the application date. 

If your organisation meets any of the criteria above, you may be eligible for a fee reduction or exemption. It is important to contact the Home Office directly if you believe you may be eligible for a reduction or waiver.

How to request a refund or waiver

If you believe you are entitled to a refund or waiver of the Sponsor Licence application fee, you should contact the Home Office directly. To do this, you will need to provide evidence that you meet the conditions of a refund or waiver.

For instance, if you are eligible for a fee waiver due to being a small charity or a small business, you should provide documents that verify your company’s size and turnover.

You will also need to provide evidence that you meet the other criteria for a fee waiver, such as demonstrating financial hardship or showing that your application is in the public interest.

If you think your fee was incorrectly calculated, you will need to provide proof of any changes in your circumstances since the original application was made.

Once you have submitted all relevant documentation, the Home Office will consider your request and issue a decision. If approved, the fee waiver or refund will be applied to your account within 14 days.

In some cases, you may be able to request an expedited fee waiver or refund by applying through the ‘urgent case’ process. This service is available on request and will typically take around three working days.

Eligibility for fee waivers

The UK Home Office offers fee waivers for certain Sponsor Licence applications. In some cases, a full or partial fee waiver may be available if the sponsor meets certain criteria. Generally speaking, these criteria include:

– An individual’s financial resources

– Charitable organisations and other similar organisations with limited resources

– Organisations which are established for a public purpose

– For individuals in ‘genuine need’

– For those who can demonstrate a ‘compelling case’

– Where a sponsor has been assessed as ‘low risk’

If you think you may be eligible for a fee waiver, you should contact the Home Office directly to make your request. It is important to note that waivers are granted on a case by case basis and not all requests will be accepted. Additionally, the Home Office reserves the right to reject any application for a fee waiver at their discretion.

 Circumstances under which the fee may be refunded

The UK Home Office is responsible for granting Sponsor Licences, and the decision to refund the application fee will be taken by the Home Office. Depending on the circumstances, the UK Home Office may choose to refund the fee in certain situations. 

If an applicant’s Sponsor Licence application is refused for reasons beyond their control (e.g. due to administrative errors on the part of the Home Office), then they may be able to claim a refund of their fee. 

Applicants who have applied for a Tier 2 or Tier 5 Sponsorship Licence and are subsequently granted leave to remain in the UK for another purpose, can also apply for a refund of their fee. This is because the rules state that it is not necessary to have a Sponsor Licence if the applicant holds a valid visa for the same purpose. 

Another circumstance under which the fee may be refunded is if the Sponsor Licence has been cancelled or withdrawn by the Home Office. If a business or organisation is found to be in breach of their sponsorship duties and/or immigration rules, then they may be liable for repayment of their fee. 

Finally, if an applicant has applied for a Sponsor Licence and has received no response after 28 days, then they may be entitled to a full or partial refund of their fee. This is because the Home Office has committed to providing applicants with an answer within 28 days of submitting their application. 

It is important to note that any request for a refund must be made in writing and sent to the Home Office within 28 days of receiving notice of refusal or other decision from them. All requests must include details of the licence application and reference number, as well as contact information for the applicant.

How we can help

CGM App is an end-to-end immigration app, designed to make immigration and global mobility seamless. It is designed specifically for expats, sponsoring companies, and immigration consultants globally.

Visit cgmpartners.org.uk/register for more information.

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