Cost and payment of applications

Summary of costs

The following table provides a summary of the costs associated with Tier 2 in-country applications incurred by the employing department/college and the applicant.

The cost per applicant, is payable for the main applicant and each dependant (main applicant's partner, spouse or dependant child under 18) when submitting the visa application online.

The reimbursement of visa costs & visa loan scheme webpage, provides details on the support the Univeristy can offer to applicants on the fees.

Cost of issuing the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)
CoS (not required for dependant applications) £199  
CoS for nationals of FYR Macedonia & Turkey £0  

Immigration Skills Charge (ISC)

This applies to a limited number of roles within the University (if unsure please speak to the Staff Immigration Team)

£364 per year


APPLICANT COSTS: Incurred when submitting the visa application

Tier 2 (General): Main applicant and each dependant*

*Nationals of FYR Macedonia & Turkey receive a reduction of £55 to the cost of the fee


£704 (up to 3 year visa)


£1,408 (over 3 year visa**)
Immigration Health (NHS) Surcharge payable per year, for the duration of the visa   £400 (per year)
Biometric enrolment   £19.20
APPLICANT COSTS: Additional services
Priority Service (receive a decision within 5 working days)   £500
Super Priority Service (receive a decision the next working day)   £800
Scanning of documents (incurred only at Core Centres such as Birmingham or Croydon)   £30
Attending Enhanced Service Points (such as Reading or Warwick)   £60

**A Tier 2 leave to remain application can be granted for a duration of up to 5 years. For those granted a Tier 2 visa since April 2011 the maximum duration for which they can spend under Tier 2 is 6 years.

Payment of CoS

The Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) and Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) (where applicable) are paid using the Staff Immigration Team's credit card and cross-charged back to departments.

The CoS Application Form asks departments 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 will be charged to this account on a monthly basis.

As the Staff Immigration Team is unable to cross-charge application fees to colleges they must provide a cheque made payable to the University of Oxford with the application.

Immigration Skills Charge (ISC)

The ISC is a cost levied by the Government on Tier 2 sponsorship for certain roles, but few University roles are affected.

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.

Which types of roles within the collegiate University are affected?

Roles which do not fall under the ‘PhD level’ SOC codes will be affected by the ISC. These include various IT positions, Engineers, Research Managers, Statisticians, PR professionals, and other support roles. These are the roles which must be advertised on Findajob (Universal JobMatch as it was previously) under the Tier 2 advertising rules. If you are unsure please contact the Staff Immigration Team.

How much is the ISC?

The ISC is £364 per year based on the length of the Tier 2 CoS and is paid upfront, along with the CoS fee, when the Staff Immigration Team is issuing the CoS.

The Tier 2 CoS Application Form highlights roles where the ISC applies and calculates the amount which will be charged.

This charge is an employer cost and must not be passed on to the Tier 2 worker.

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.

Immigration Health Surcharge (NHS Surcharge)

What is the NHS Surcharge and how much is it?

The UK government introduced an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), 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).

This is mandatory for those that have to pay it, hence, even if they have, or take out, private medical insurance they 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.

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

Who has to pay the NHS Surcharge?

All non European applicant and each dependant must pay the NHS Surcharge when applying for a visa.

The NHS Surcharge does not apply to:

  • Visitor visa categories (such as Business Visitor, General Visitor (tourist), and Academic Visitor - even if over 6 months);
  • Visas to enter the UK (applications submitted overseas) which are issued for less than 6 months duration.

These visa holders 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.

Can the NHS Surcharge be refunded?

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. There is no refund, however, 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.

A refund will be made to the applicants account used to make the initial payment. If a refund is not provided within 3 months please contact the Staff Immigration Team.

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, when applying for a visa online 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.