UK: Skills Charge details announced

The Home Office has announced details regarding the Immigration Skills Charge that will likely apply as a tax to skilled non-EU foreign workers.  The skills charge will likely not become effective until October 2016 at the earliest.

Key Points of the Immigration Skills Charge

Relevant details include the following:

  • The skills charge will be set at GBP 1,000 or GBP 364 for small businesses and charities;
  • The skills charge will be collected by the Home Office, presumably when a Certificate of Sponsorship is assigned; and
  • An exemption will apply to PhD-level jobs and graduates switching from Tier 4 to Tier 2.


The skills levy is part of a package recommended by the government’s Migration Advisory Committee, which as a whole could result in a significant reduction of skilled non-EU migrants in the United Kingdom. The funds will be reinvested in training UK workers. 

What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

Employers should be prepared for a skills charge for foreign employees and should plan for the expense in their budgets with their administrative departments.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK