Who is exempt from the Immigration Skills Charge?

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Are there any exemptions to the Immigration Skills Charge?

Yes, but limited. A sponsor will not be liable to pay the ISC if they are sponsoring:

  • Students switching to a Skilled Worker or Senior or Specialist Worker visa and then extend their stay on their new visa.
  • Skilled workers in roles with the following occupation codes:
    • Chemical scientists (2111)
    • Biological scientists and biochemists (2112)
    • Physical scientists (2113)
    • Social and humanities scientists (2114)
    • Natural and social science professionals not elsewhere classified (2119)
    • Research and development managers (2150)
    • Higher education teaching professionals (2311)
    • Clergy (2444)
    • Sports players (3441)
    • Sports coaches, instructors or officials (3442)
  • Workers assigned a certificate of sponsorship prior to 6 April 2017.
  • Dependants of sponsored workers seeking leave to remain in the UK.

What if you’re sponsoring someone on the Global Business Mobility Senior or Specialist Worker route?

You won’t have to pay the charge if all of the following apply to the worker you’re sponsoring:

  • They were assigned a certificate of sponsorship on or after 1 January 2023
  • They are a national of an EU country or they hold a Latvian non-citizen’s passport
  • They normally work in the EU for an EU business but have been temporarily transferred to work in the UK
  • The end date of the temporary transfer (which you’ll find on the certificate of sponsorship) is no more than 36-months after the start date of the temporary transfer.

If you need help to understand the ISC and whether it applies to your business, we can help. Get in touch with our team of expert immigration lawyers for bespoke advice.