UK Updates Immigration Skills Charge Exemptions; EU Introduces New Border Entry/Exit System

February 13, 2023

In recent European immigration updates, the UK Home Office revised the exemptions to Immigration Skills Charge, while the European Union is introducing a new automated information technology Entry/Exit System.


Further to our previous LawFlash, the UK Home Office has introduced a new exemption to the Immigration Skills Charge and taken another off the exemption list.

Under the new guidance, Global Business Mobility: Senior or Specialist Workers who are assigned a Certificate of Sponsorship on or after 1 January 2023 will not be required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge when:

  • the worker is being sponsored as a Senior or Specialist Worker to work in the United Kingdom for up to three years; and
  • the worker is an EU national or a person who has a Latvian non-citizen passport; and
  • the worker currently works at one of the sponsor’s offices in the European Union or for a linked business in the European Union.

This exemption will be welcome news for employers bringing current European employees to the United Kingdom for short-term assignments. The Immigration Skills Charge is currently £1,000 per year for large sponsors and £364 per year for small sponsors, meaning a business could potentially save up to £3,000 per migrant going forward.

The exemption for Global Business Mobility – Graduate Trainee (formerly the Intra-Company Transfer – Graduate Trainee route) has been removed from the list of exemptions and is now subject to the Immigration Skills Charge.


The European Union is scheduled to introduce a new automated information technology Entry/Exit System (EES) from the end of 2023. The system will digitally register travellers from third countries every time they cross an EU external border, replacing the current method of manually stamping passports with travel entry and exit dates and places.

The EES will also create reliable online records that can be monitored by authorities. The online record system will track refusals of entry, allow for a systematic detection of individuals who have exceeded their maximum duration of stay in the European Union, and improve detection of document and identity fraud.

The introduction of the system supports the European Union’s objective to prevent irregular migration and protect the security of European citizens. The EU Commission maintains that the system will improve the border crossing experience for bona fide travellers by removing time consuming manual checks. Automated border control checks and self-service systems will also be expanded in line with the move to the automated EES.


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