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Sponsoring Migrant Workers for a UK Work Visa: Approved Sponsorship and Other Charges


The UK government announced that employing newcomer EU nationals from 2021 would require the employer to become an “approved sponsor”.


The government revealed information that the UK immigration and sponsorship fees for 2020/21 will remain unchanged for the time being. These rates are high - in absolute terms and in comparison to other countries’ rates.


Some of these fees are paid by the employer, others - by the worker. Many employers opt to cover all the fees - or the worker may have to shell out thousands of pounds and simply drop the idea.


At this point, the costs of a sponsor licence are as follows:


  • £536 for charity and small entity organisations
  • £1,476 for medium or large enterprises


If the application is accepted, the sponsoring organisation gets a licence and may sponsor foreign workers for four years. The same fee is paid on renewal when the previous license expires.


Further on, an employer issues a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) to migrant workers they’re hiring. The worker provides the CoS as part of their Tier 2 visa application. The cost of issuing a certificate is £199.


Employers are also subject to the Immigration Skills Charge which is basically a tax on hiring the workforce from overseas. Small entity and charity sponsor will pay £364 for the first year and £182 for each additional half-year. All in all, the price of sponsoring a migrant worker for five years would be £1,820.


Medium or large entity sponsors will be charged £1,000 for the first year and £500 for each extra six months. The overall cost of five year sponsorship would thus be £5,000.


Visa application fees for foreign workers are are follows:


  • Up to three years, non-shortage job: £610
  • Up to three years, shortage job: £464
  • Over three years, non-shortage job: £1,220
  • Over three years, shortage job: £928


The precise fee may differ from these showings based on individual factors.


Applicants also bear the notorious Health Surcharge - £400 for each year. That is: an additional £2,000 for a five-year visa and £1,200 for three years.


We’re leaving out an array of administration fees such as quick visa processing, keeping your passport in the course of processing, courier delivery and more.


Astons is a leading global immigration advisory firm with offices in London, Beijing, Moscow, Dubai and Limassol (Republic of Cyprus) and offers residency & citizenship investment solutions worldwide including UKTurkeyVanuatuEU & the Caribbean


For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation, please contact Astons at or call +44 207 292 2977