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New fees for employing immigrants prohibitively high

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Businesses will have to pay up to 1,000 when sponsoring someone to enter the UK for work.

New government fees have been announced by the Home Office that will leave small businesses paying £300 per person sponsored, and larger companies paying £1,000.

Foreign workers will have to pay more for their work permits too, with those wanting to get on the highly skilled migrant programme paying £600, up from £400. The cost of a  long-term visa for someone working outside the UK will also increase, from £200 to £600.

Employers can expect on-the-spot fines if they do not ensure their workers are in the UK legally.

Government says the moves will help ensure only workers with skills that will benefit the economy would be allowed to work in the UK. These fee changes precede the new points-based immigration system that begins this March.

“There’s been little progress in developing better employer support, but the Government has still imposed further cost increases,” said the CBI’s deputy director-general, John Cridland. “It risks putting up a barrier to firms hiring people with the skills they need to grow and create jobs for the good of the whole economy.”