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November 11, 2023

How much does it cost to get self-sponsored visa in UK?

Visiting or settling in the United Kingdom can be an exciting prospect for individuals seeking new opportunities and experiences. If you’re considering a self-sponsored visa for the UK, it’s important to understand the costs involved. This article will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the expenses associated with obtaining a self-sponsored visa in the UK.

The UK offers various types of self-sponsored visas that cater to individuals with entrepreneurial, investment, or exceptional talent backgrounds. These visas allow you to live, work, and contribute to the UK’s economy while pursuing your personal and professional goals.

How much does it cost to get self-sponsored visa in UK

Understanding Self-Sponsored Visas

Self-sponsored visas, also known as Tier 1 visas, are designed for individuals who wish to enter or remain in the UK without the need for sponsorship from an employer. These visas offer flexibility and independence, enabling you to establish businesses, invest in UK enterprises, or showcase exceptional talent in specific fields.

Self-sponsored visas offer individuals the opportunity to establish and develop their own ventures in the UK. The UK self sponsorship visa, such as the Start-up Visa, allows aspiring entrepreneurs to create and operate their own companies in the UK. This visa category is particularly suitable for individuals who have innovative business ideas and wish to start a UK business. 

It enables them to live and work in the UK while building their company. The endorsement validates the applicant’s business idea and its potential for success. It is worth noting that self-sponsored visa applicants typically need to show sufficient funds to support themselves and their businesses in the UK.

Different Types of Self-Sponsored Visas in the UK

  1. Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa

The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa is suitable for individuals who want to start a new business or take over an existing one in the UK. This visa requires a minimum investment threshold and certain English language and maintenance fund requirements.

  1. Tier 1 (Investor) Visa

The Tier 1 (Investor) visa is designed for high-net-worth individuals who wish to make a significant financial investment in the UK. This visa requires a substantial investment in government bonds, share capital, or loan capital in UK-based companies.

  1. Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa

The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa is for individuals who have been endorsed as exceptional leaders or emerging talents in specific fields, such as science, humanities, engineering, medicine, digital technology, and the arts.

Application Process for Self-Sponsored Visas

Obtaining a self-sponsored visa involves a detailed application process. To successfully apply for a self-sponsored visa, you must meet specific eligibility criteria and provide necessary documents. Here are the key steps involved:

  1. Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for self-sponsored visas vary depending on the visa category. Generally, you will need to demonstrate your ability to meet the financial requirements, provide evidence of English language proficiency, and fulfill any specific requirements related to your chosen visa category.

  1. UK self-sponsorship visa

When applying for a self-sponsored visa, you will need to submit various documents, including but not limited to:

  • Valid passport
  • Evidence of funds
  • Business plan (for entrepreneur visas)
  • Endorsement letter (for exceptional talent visas)
  • English language test results
  • Tuberculosis test results (if applicable)
  1. Fees and Costs

Obtaining a self-sponsored visa in the UK incurs several expenses. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of the associated fees and costs to plan your budget accordingly.


Cost Breakdown of Self-Sponsored Visas

To estimate the cost of a self-sponsored visa, you need to consider various elements:

  1. Application Fees

The application fees for self-sponsored visas depend on the visa category and the duration of your stay. As of the time of writing, the fees range from several hundred to several thousand pounds. It’s important to check the most up-to-date fee structure on the official UK government website.

  1. Immigration Health Surcharge

When applying for a self-sponsored visa, you are required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). The IHS grants you access to the National Health Service (NHS) during your stay in the UK. The surcharge amount varies based on the length of your visa and whether you are bringing dependents.

  1. Maintenance Funds

To demonstrate your ability to support yourself during your stay in the UK, you will need to show evidence of maintenance funds. The specific amount required depends on the visa category and whether you have dependents accompanying you.

  1. Legal Fees

Engaging the services of an immigration lawyer or solicitor can help ensure a smooth visa application process. However, it’s important to note that legal fees are an additional expense that should be considered.

  1. Additional Costs

Aside from the primary expenses mentioned above, you may also need to account for other costs such as translation and certification of documents, courier services, and travel expenses associated with attending appointments or interviews.

Factors Influencing the Cost of Self-Sponsored Visas

Several factors can influence the overall cost of obtaining a self-sponsored visa in the UK. Understanding these factors can help you plan your finances effectively:

  1. Visa Category

Each self-sponsored visa category has its own specific requirements and associated costs. The visa category you choose will determine the fees, maintenance funds, and investment thresholds, if applicable.

  1. Duration of Visa

The duration of your self-sponsored visa affects the cost. Longer visa durations generally incur higher application fees and maintenance fund requirements.

  1. Location

The cost of living in different parts of the UK can vary significantly. Cities like London tend to have higher living expenses compared to other regions. It’s important to consider location-based costs when planning your finances.

  1. Dependants

If you plan to bring dependents with you to the UK, additional costs for their visa applications, health surcharge, and maintenance funds will need to be factored into your budget.

Tips to Minimize Costs for Self-sponsored visa in UK

While obtaining a self-sponsored visa involves certain expenses, there are a few tips to help you minimize costs:

  • Research and compare visa categories to choose the one that best suits your requirements and budget.
  • Plan your finances in advance, considering all the associated costs and requirements.
  • Be organized and ensure you have all the necessary documents ready to avoid delays or additional expenses.
  • Utilize official government resources and guidelines to stay informed about the latest fee structures and requirements.
  • Consider consulting with an immigration lawyer or solicitor to ensure you understand all the legal aspects of the application process.

How much is a Skilled Worker Visa?

The cost of a Skilled Worker Visa varies depending on several factors. To begin the application process, the UK company wishing to sponsor an overseas worker must first apply for a sponsor licence from the Home Office. This licence allows them to sponsor individuals under the Skilled Worker Visa category. Once the sponsor licence is obtained, the employer can issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to the intended employee, which is an essential requirement for the visa application. 

The applicant must then apply for the Skilled Worker Visa, which has its own fee structure set by the Home Office. It is important to note that the cost differs for individuals applying from outside the UK and those applying while already in the country. Other UK visa routes, such as the Innovator Visa or UK self-sponsorship visa, may have their own distinct requirements and costs. It is recommended to consult the official guidelines and seek legal advice to determine the exact fees associated with each visa route depending on the specific circumstances.


Obtaining a self-sponsored visa in the UK is an investment in your future. While the costs associated with these visas can vary depending on several factors, thorough planning and understanding of the requirements can help you budget effectively. By following the application process diligently and seeking professional advice when needed, you can navigate the visa process with confidence.

FAQs – How much does it cost to get self-sponsored visa in UK?

Q: Are the costs for self-sponsored visas refundable if the application is rejected?

Generally, application fees and other associated costs are non-refundable, even if the visa application is rejected.

Q: Can I work in the UK with a self-sponsored visa? 

Yes, self-sponsored visas allow you to work in the UK. However, specific work restrictions may apply depending on the visa category.

Q: Are there any age restrictions for self-sponsored visas? 

Age restrictions vary depending on the visa category. Some visas have minimum age requirements, while others do not have any specific age restrictions.

Q: Can I switch to a different visa category after obtaining a self-sponsored visa? 

In some cases, it is possible to switch to a different visa category within the UK. However, certain conditions and requirements must be met. It is advisable to consult with an immigration lawyer or seek official guidance for accurate information.

Q: How long does it take to process a self-sponsored visa application? 

The processing time for self-sponsored visa applications can vary. It depends on factors such as the visa category, the volume of applications, and any additional checks required. It is recommended to check the current processing times on the official UK government website.

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