Cost and payment of applications

Cost of applications

The following table shows the cost of Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship and leave to remain applications for both the main applicant and dependants. Please note that those applying for a Tier 2 visa, and their dependants, will have to pay the NHS Surcharge in addition to the relevant visa application fees when submitting their visa application(s).

Certificate of Sponsorship (not required for dependant applications) £199
Tier 2 (General) leave to remain application - main applicant £704
Tier 2 (General) visa application - main applicant, national of Turkey or FYR Macedonia £649
Tier 2 dependant application - partner, spouse, child under 18 as dependant of main applicant £704
Tier 2 (General) over 3 years leave to remain application - main applicant £1,408
 Tier 2 (General) over 3 years leave to remain application - main applicant, national of Turkey or FYR Macedonia £1,353
 Tier 2 dependant application over 3 years - partner, spouse, child under 18 as dependant of main applicant £1,408

Nationals of the following countries are exempt from Certificate of Sponsorship fees, but are required to pay visa application fees (at a reduced rate):

FYR Macedonia Turkey

Departments/ Colleges pay for all Certificate of Sponsorship applications. Departments/ Colleges are not normally responsible for entry clearance/ visa application fees or dependants application fees.

Methods of payment

Certificates of Sponsorship are paid for on the Staff Immigration Team's credit card and cross-charge departments.

Departments are asked to provide the cost centre, natural account, activity, source of funds and organisation code (note that this must be a general ledger code - project codes are not acceptable) to cross-charge the application fee to, e.g. AX0000/85210/00/00000/10. The cost of any Certificates of Sponsorship will be charged to this account on a monthly basis.

We are unable to cross-charge application fees to colleges. Therefore, colleges must provide a cheque made payable to the University of Oxford with all Certificate of Sponsorship applications.

Visa fees and NHS Surcharges are not paid by the Staff Immigration Team, applicants are responsible for these fees when submitting their visa applications.

Immigration Skills Charge (ISC)

What is the ISC?

The government introduced an Immigration Skills Charge (ISC), with effect from 6 April 2017. The ISC is levied on employers who sponsor applicants under Tier 2 to take up certain roles, but few University roles are affected. Please note the ISC does not apply to Research and Lecturer roles.

What are the exemptions from the ISC?

The ISC does NOT apply to:

  • Research (SOC code 2119) and Lecturer (SOC code 2311) roles, which fall under the ‘PhD level’ SOC codes;
  • Overseas applicants coming for less than 6 months;
  • Applicants switching from a Tier 4 student visa into Tier 2 from within the UK;
  • Existing Tier 2 visa holders, whose Tier 2 CoS were issued before 6 April 2017, who are applying to extend their visa, or for a new Tier 2 visa with a new employer/ sponsor;
  • Tier 2 CoS being issued for Croatian nationals.

Which types of roles within the collegiate University will be affected?

Roles which do not fall under the ‘PhD level’ SOC codes will be affected by the ISC, however, these make up a minority of the roles sponsored by the University under Tier 2, currently approx. 40 out of around 900. These include various IT positions, Research Managers, Statisticians, PR professionals, and other support roles. These are the roles which must be advertised on Universal JobMatch (JobCentre Plus as it was previously) under the Tier 2 advertising rules.

If you are advertising a position which is not a Research or Lecturer role, and expect to have candidates who may require a Tier 2 visa, you should contact SIT for confirmation of whether the ISC will apply.

How much is the ISC?

The ISC is a charge of £364 per year based on the length of the Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)  paid upfront, along with the CoS fee, when issuing the CoS. The ISC is normally £1,000 per year, however, the lower charge of £364 per year applies as the University has charitable status.

The ISC amount payable is as follows:

12 months or less £364 36 to 42 months £1,274
12 to 18 months £546 42 to 48 months £1,456
18 to 24 months £728 48 to 54 months £1,638
24 to 30 months £910 54 to 60 months (5 years) £1,820
30 to 36 months (3 years) £1,092    

For example: A Tier 2 CoS for a 2½ year role would result in an ISC fee of £910 in addition to the £199 CoS fee, with a total of £1,109 to be paid by SIT when the CoS is issued and cross-charged back to the sponsoring department, or college cheque.

How will the ISC be paid?

In cases which are not exempt, the ISC will be paid by SIT along with the CoS fee when issuing the Tier 2 CoS. The ISC fee will then be cross-charged back to departments, along with the CoS fee. Colleges will need to provide a cheque covering both the Tier 2 CoS fee and ISC. Please note this charge is an employer cost and must not be passed on to the Tier 2 worker. Our CoS application forms have been updated to highlight roles where the ISC applies, and the amount which will be charged.

Will the ISC be refunded in any circumstances?

The ISC will be refunded in full where:

  • the Tier 2 visa application is refused or withdrawn;
  • a visa is granted but the visa holder does not take up the role;
  • no visa application is made.

A partial refund in respect of all whole unused 6 month periods will be paid where:

  • the Tier 2 visa is granted for less than the period requested on the CoS;
  • the visa holder after their first year, voluntarily changes to another sponsor;
  • the visa holder, after their first year, leaves their post early, due to ill health, redundancy, or being dismissed, for example.

Home Office decisions on refunds are made within 90 days after the above events are reported. Refunded ISC fees will then be credited back to the sponsoring department from SIT by Finance in the following monthly credit card reconciliation. Colleges will be refunded by BACS.

NHS Surcharge

What is the NHS Surcharge and how much is it?

The UK government introduced an immigration health surcharge, also referred to as the NHS Surcharge, of £200 per year on 6 April 2015. On 8 January 2019 this was increased to £400 per year.

The NHS Surcharge is a charge of £400 per year for each year of the length of the visa and must be paid in full when the visa application is being submitted, in addition to the relevant visa application fee. Having paid the NHS Surcharge the visa holder will be entitled to receive free health services under the National Health Service (NHS).

If the visa period includes part of a year that is 6 months or less, half the annual amount (£200) will be payable for that part year. If the period includes part of a year that is more than 6 months the full annual amount (£400) is payable for that part year.

The NHS Surcharge does not apply where a visa to enter the UK (application submitted overseas) is issued for less than six months duration, however, where a visa to remain in the UK (application submitted in the UK) is issued for less than six months duration the surcharge does apply.

Who has to pay the NHS Surcharge?

Applicants from outside the EEA must pay the NHS Surcharge whether they are applying for a visa from within the UK, or from overseas. The NHS Surcharge must also be paid for each dependant applying. The increased £400 NHS Surcharge will not be applied retrospectively to those who applied for their visa before 8 January 2019, however, it will apply when they go to extend their visa or apply under another category.

The NHS Surcharge does not apply to the Visitor visa categories (such as Business Visitor, General Visitor (tourist), and Academic Visitor - even if over 6 months) nor Tier 5 visits of less than six months. This means that Visitor visa holders, and Tier 5 visa holders coming for less than six months, will be charged for any NHS treatment they receive (at a rate of 150% of the cost of treatment) and should therefore ensure that they have adequate travel and health insurance.

How is the NHS Surcharge paid?

The NHS Surcharge must be paid as part of the visa application and is charged as a separate sum additional to the relevant visa application fee. The NHS Surcharge is mandatory for those that have to pay it, hence, even if they have, or take out, private medical insurance they will still have to pay the surcharge.

The NHS Surcharge to be paid is calculated based on the length of visa being applied for. In a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) application the number of years is specified, but in a Tier 2 or Tier 5 application the 'Start date' and 'End date' found in the 'Work dates' section on the second page of the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) details must be listed.

Dependant visas should be issued for the same length of time as the main applicant's visa. Where the period applied for is shorter than the maximum period permitted under the visa category in question, an NHS Surcharge for the maximum period may be charged for Dependants. In this circumstance a partial refund should automatically be paid of the charge for the additional years over the main applicant's visa length. For example, an application for 2 years under the Tier 2 'up to 3 years' category would attract an NHS Surcharge of £800 for the main applicant, however, Dependants may be charged £1,200 (£400 x 3 years) with the extra £400 refunded after the applications have been decided.

If a visa application is refused or rejected the NHS Surcharge will be automatically refunded, however, there is no refund if the applicant obtains a visa and then decides not to come to the UK, if they leave the UK earlier than the end of their visa, or if their visa is curtailed by the Home Office; nor is there any refund if they do not use the National Health Service.

Is there further information about the NHS Surcharge?

For further information please see Home Office guidance in relation to Paying for UK healthcare as part of your immigration application. Please note, however, when applying for a visa from outside the UK the NHS Surcharge is paid as one of the steps of the online application so payment should not be made through this Home Office website.