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14 April 2023

Senior or specialist workers made exempt from UK immigration surcharge

The exemption applies to EU nationals arriving in the UK with a Senior or Specialist worker visa.
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Senior or specialist workers made exempt from UK immigration surcharge

Senior or specialist workers from the EU have been made exempt from UK immigration surcharge. 

Starting at the beginning of 2023, the new exemption will be in place for all holders and applicants of the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa. 

Businesses now have the opportunity to save on the immigration surcharge (ISC) due to the new exemption. It also lowers the expenses associated with sponsoring senior managers or specialist employees.

What is the UK Immigration Surcharge?

Sponsors usually pay the charge, who also employ the worker. However, they will be exempt from paying the ISC if certain conditions are met:

  • The Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) was assigned on or after January 1, 2023
  • The worker is a national of an EU country (with the exception of Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Norway, or a Latvian non-citizen)
  • The worker was assigned to the UK by a business established in the EU
  • The end date of the assignment specified on the CoS is within 36 months of the start date

What is the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?

The Senior or Specialist Worker Visa is designed for senior staff members who want to temporarily extend their business to the UK. It replaced the Intra-Company Transfer route, which ceased to operate on 11 April 2022.

You need to be sponsored to be eligible for the visa. Additionally, the sponsor needs to be registered with the UK Home Office to sponsor you.

The initial requirements for the visa include:

  • Be currently working for a business linked to their UK sponsor by common ownership
  • Have worked outside the UK for the linked business for a cumulative period of at least 12 months
  • Have a salary of at least £45,800 per year

More information about the
Senior or Specialist Worker Visa

Contact us for our expert legal advice

Woodcock Law is highly experienced in assisting with visa and sponsor licence applications.

Contact us if you need any assistance on 0800 049 2471 or email

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