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Skilled Worker Sponsorship: How Much Does It Cost To Apply For A Sponsor Licence?

A Sponsor Licence gives UK employers permission to hire migrant skilled workers from within and outside of the UK. With a valid sponsor licence, an organisation may access the global talent pool and hire competent individuals from other countries, giving them more options to meet their recruiting needs.

If you want to know how to apply for a Sponsor Licence, please read our previous blog here.

Sponsor Licence Application Fee

To apply for a Sponsor Licence, an organization needs to pay the application fee to the Home Office, how much depends on the size of the company.

- For a small organization/charity, the application fee is £536

- For a medium or large organization, the application fee is £1,476

According to the UKVI, you are classified as a small organization if you meet the following:

- have less than 50 staff

- have less than 10.2 million annual turnovers

- total assets are worth £5.1 million or less

A sponsor licence is valid for 4 years. If you wish to continue to sponsor a migrant employee, you’ll need to renew your sponsor licence, the renewal fee cost the same as the application fee (subject to your organization size). For more information about Sponsor Licence Renewal, please read our previous blog here.

Once the sponsor licence is granted, the employer is able to sponsor their migrant employees. However, there’re other costs for the employer.

How much does it cost to sponsor a migrant Skilled Worker?

Apart from the cost of Sponsor Licence, to sponsor a migrant Skilled Worker to work in your company, the employer needs to pay various fees to the UK Home Office, these include:

  • Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) fee
  • Immigration Skill Charge (ISC) (if applicable)

Certificate of Sponsorship fee

After you got your sponsor licence, you need to assign a CoS to your migrant Skilled Workers, because they need the CoS from the employer to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa, therefore they can come to the UK and work in the UK legally.

- The CoS fee is £199 for one employee.

- The CoS fee need to be paid through SMS.

If the employer wants to have priority service to get a CoS granted faster, the additional priority service fee is £200.

For more information about CoS, please read our previous blog here.

Immigration Skill Charge (ISC)

When you assign a CoS to your employee, you’ll also need to pay the Immigration Skill Charge (ISC). The amount of ISC you need to pay depends on:

  • - the size of your organisation
  • - how long you’re sponsoring the migrant skilled worker, using the start and end dates on the CoS you issued to them

ISC fee

First 12 months

Each additional 6 months

Small sponsors



Medium or large sponsors




ISC exemption - Students visa switching to Skilled Worker Visa in the UK

If the migrant worker you are going to hire is currently on a student visa in the UK, and they wants to switch their student visa to Skilled Worker Visa, then you don’t need to pay the ISC fee for them. This only applies to the applicant who is switching from Student visa to Skilled Worker Visa in the UK. If your migrant worker is switching from Skilled Worker Visa to Skilled Worker visa, or switching from Dependent Visa to Skilled Worker Visa, then the ISC will still be charged for the employer.

There are also some other exemptions for ISC if the migrant worker is under certain occupations:

  • 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)

In conclusion, to sponsor someone, an organization needs to pay various fees for their sponsored employee, the amount needs to pay depending on the size of the company, whether the company already have a valid sponsor licence or not, the situation of the prospective employee, and the length of the employment.

We provide you with some examples below to give a better idea of the cost for an organization in different situations:

Example 1:

A small curry restaurant wants to hire a skilled worker (tandoori chef) from Bangladesh, they want to sponsor him for 3 years. The cost would be:

CoS fee


ISC fee

£364 x 3yrs = £1,092



Example 2:

A company wants to hire a skilled worker for 3 years, the perspective employee is currently on a Student Visa. The cost would be:

CoS fee


ISC fee

0 (ISC exempt because the employee is switching from Student visa)



Example 3:

A big construction company wants to sponsor a skilled worker for 3 years, the skilled worker is from abroad. The cost would be:

CoS fee


ISC fee

£1,000 x 3 = £3,000



How can we help?

WorkPermitCloud Limited have a team of OISC approved Immigration advisors, who are experienced in Sponsor Licence Application, CoS allocation, Visa Application, and Sponsor duties compliance. We provide professional advice throughout the process, help you to forecast the total cost based on your specific situation, correspondent with Home Office, assist you in the whole process with our one-stop solution to meet your organisation’s needs.

If you wish to require any further information about the cost please contact us at: info@workpermitcloud.co.uk









Md Lutfur Rahman FCILEx

Immigration Advisor and Commissioner of Oath

Managing Director

Work Permit Cloud Limited

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