The real cost of work visa sponsorship

  • Government fees payable by sponsor: 
    • £536 – Sponsor licence fee. 
    • £500 – Priority service – sponsor licence
    • £199 – CoS assignment fee.
    • £364x5yrs = £1,820 – Immigration Skills Charge. 
  • Government fees payable by applicant:
    • £719 – Visa application fee.
    • £624×5 = £3,120 – Health surcharge (main applicant). 
    • £500 – Priority Service (for the visa).

So what is the true cost of sponsorship if you’re applying for a work visa?

There are certain costs on the sponsor side and there are certain costs on the applicant side. So on the sponsor side there is £536 for the sponsor licence fee. This is all assuming it’s a so-called small sponsor, which it would be in the vast majority of cases.

Then there’s £500 for the priority service for the sponsor licence, so that’s for getting a quick decision. Otherwise you might be waiting up to 8 weeks for a decision on the sponsor licence.

Then there’s 199 for the certificate of sponsorship assignment fee. So after you get the licence you’ve got to be able to assign the certificate to the individual who’s going to be sponsored. Then there’s the immigration skills charge. Now this is the one that puts off some sponsors.

And it’s £364 currently, times 5. So if it’s a five year visa then that’s going to be £1,820. So those are the sponsor costs that have to be borne and that’s why there’s sometimes a disincentive to British companies sponsoring people from overseas who are not British nationals as opposed to employing British nationals. Now the other point is the fees payable by the applicant. So in most cases that’s going to be £719 for the visa application fee, depending on the circumstances.

It’s going to be 624*5 for the immigration health surcharge. That’s going up significantly. It’s about to be doubled. So currently if this was five years, it would be £3,120.

And then there’s £500 for the priority service, if you want a quick decision, so within five working days. So those are the true costs of sponsorship, if you like. They’re not particularly prohibitive at the moment. But as I say, there’s certain elements in there that operate as a disincentive. I hope that’s helpful if you’re planning a sponsorship, particularly if the new entity is going to be set up that is going to be sponsoring the individual, whether that’s you or some someone else.I do often assist companies who are looking to employ someone for the first time and they’re applying for the sponsor licence to do so.  You can get me on my consultation service below. I’d be very happy to assist you. Bye for now.

📧 I am happy to help with your visa and citizenship options. I have a consultation service: