The annual round of changes to immigration fees today (6th April) has resulted in above inflation increases of around 4 per cent on average, increasing yet again the cost to employers and workers.
Whilst applications for Sponsor Licences and Certificates of Sponsorship remain static at £1476 (or £536 for a small company) and £199 respectively, the costs of a typical 5 year period of sonsorship followed by indefinite leave to remain have increased from just over £5000 in April 2014 to a massive £12,760 in 2018.
An employer sponsoring a single worker for a period of 5 years (the minimum period to qualify for indefinite leave to remain) will need to obtain a four year sponsor licence and then pay again for the renewal at the end of that period. Add in the Certificate of Sponsorship fee, the Immigration Skills Charge, the Immgration Health Surcharge and the fees for the visa and indefinite leave to remain applications and the minimum cost hits £12,760.
A small employer or charity can make a minor saving on this, with lower fees for the Sponsor Licence and Immigation Skills Charge, but will still have to find at least £7,700.
With family members the costs increase by a further £4,609 per person bringing the cost of a typical family of four to £26,587 for a large company or £21,527 for a small company.
If the worker and family decide to apply for naturalisation as a British citizens at the end of this process then this adds a further £1,330 for each adult and £1,012 for each children to the overall costs.
Meanwhile, the Home Office has released details of the costs it incurs for processing applictions. An application for indefinite leave to remain costs the Home Office just £243 and naturalisation £372 resulting in profits of £2146 and £958 respectively .
The Home Office has also announced that the Immigration Health Surcharge will increase from the current level of £200 per person per year to £400 per person per year some time in 2018 – pushing costs still higher
But as skills shortages and high employment levels continue to effect employers demand for overseas workers is set to continue.