The Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) was introduced in April 2017 as part of the series of visa changes brought in under the Immigration Act 2016. It requires employers who sponsor an employee on a Tier 2 visa (the category for “skilled workers” from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)) to pay an additional charge. This increased the cost, therefore, of these applications by including a mandatory £1,000 fee, for medium or large companies, for each sponsored employee per year of sponsorship. Furthermore, small or charitable sponsors pay a reduced amount. The charge was introduced with the aim of “incentivising employers to invest in training British staff”, according to a Department for Business, Innovation and Skills statement. Some exceptions to the charge were permitted, such as graduate trainees, certain PhD level occupations and those switching from Tier 4 student visas to a Tier 2 working visa.
This manifesto promise refers to the intended charge for medium or large company sponsors, with intentions to double the charge to £2,000 per year. However, the government has not yet introduced any legislation or announced when the charge will be increased so we’ve classified this pledge as ‘not started’.
What’s the context?
- UK visa sponsorship for employers – Gov.uk
- Government’s new Immigration Skills Charge to incentivise training of British workers – Gov.uk
- Immigration Act 2016 – Gov.uk
- Immigration Act 2016 – legislation.gov.uk
- UK Visa Tier 2 Visa £1,000 Immigration Skills Charge from 6 April 2017 – Workpermit.com