Reimbursement of immigration costs policy

Updated on 3 August 2022

This policy describes the University’s approach to the reimbursement of immigration costs (visa application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge) and applies to employees regardless of contractual status or grade.

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As an employer of the best talent from across the world the University is committed to assisting wherever possible with the relocation and immigration costs associated with staff taking up and continuing in their role at the University. 

The University will reimburse the costs associated with meeting immigration requirements where an employee requires a visa to live in the UK and work for the University.  

Information relating to claims for relocation expenses can be found on the relocation expenses page.

Further information

The University is legally required to employ only those with valid permission to work in the UK. There is no legislation that requires the University to pay for (or reimburse staff for) their visa application fees or the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). 

Where the University does reimburse these fees (as set out in the following policy), it must comply with relevant HMRC tax and reporting rules, which may change from time to time. The University reserves the right to modify this policy and/or the accompanying process to remain compliant.


To be eligible to claim reimbursement under this policy an individual must:

Skilled Worker (Tier 2), Global Talent

New staff appointed on or after 1 August 2022 (the implementation date of this policy)

  • be an employee of the University
  • be on a permanent contract or fixed term contract of two years or more
  • require permission from the UK government (employment visa) to allow them to live in the UK and work at the University
  • be classed as the main visa applicant
  • in order to take up your post at the University be switching from another immigration category or applying for a skilled worker or global talent visa

Staff employed prior to 1 August 2022 (the implementation date of this policy)

  • be a current employee of the University
  • be on a permanent contract or fixed term contract of two years or more
  • require permission from the UK government (employment visa) to allow them to live in the UK and work at the University
  • be classed as the main visa applicant
  • be extending or switching a current visa in relation to a contract extension which is effective on or after 1 August 2022

Temporary Worker (Tier 5) 

  • have a formal host agreement from the University as part of a government authorised exchange programme
  • have commenced the placement, or, in the case of visa extensions, be on placement as at the implementation date of this policy (1st August 2022) 
  • require permission from the UK government (employment visa) to allow them to live in the UK and work at the University
  • be classed as the main visa applicant

Any individual with a pre-existing right to work in the UK at the point of an offer of employment may not be eligible to make a claim under this policy.   Where a pre-existing right to work exists please seek advice from your School/Directorate Senior People Partner.

Visa types

Skilled Worker (Tier 2)  Initial application and extension 
Global Talent (If the visa was obtained to start/continue to work at the University)  Initial application (including endorsement and visa) and extension 
Temporary Worker (Tier 5)  If the visa was obtained to start/continue a placement at the University and has a university sponsor 
Student (Tier 4) switching to Skilled Worker/Global Talent to work at the University  Initial application 

Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)

Since April 2015 the UK Government had required that all migrants applying for or extending an employment visa pay a National Health Service (NHS) Surcharge as part of their application.  This is in addition to the visa application fee.  The NHS surcharge is payable in advance by the migrant before the visa will be granted.  The surcharge applies to both the main applicant and each dependent.  The University will only reimburse the NHS Surcharge costs for the main applicant.

Ineligible costs 

Please note, we do not reimburse costs associated with any of the following, where applicable: 

  • dependents  
  • premium/priority Service 
  • life in the UK test 
  • UK NARIC fees 
  • nationality checking service 
  • biometrics 
  • travel costs for appointments related to visa applications 
  • postage 
  • settlement/indefinite leave to remain 
  • use of a third-party service to secure visa such as an immigration layer, registered immigration advisor or any UL immigration advisory service. 

How to claim reimbursement

Reimbursement of visa costs is managed by the Senior People Partners. 

For the Senior People Partners to assess and process a claim the staff member must submit a correctly completed and signed Immigration Reimbursement Claim Form along with producing their visa, valid proof of payment and completion of the staff expenses claim form. 

Reimbursement will be made no earlier than the commencement date of employment, and only once all 'right to work' checks have been completed to the University's satisfaction. 

Reimbursements will be paid along with your salary in the month following the claim submission. The reimbursement of visa application fees and the Immigration Health Surcharge under this policy is classed as earnings by the UK tax authority (HMRC) and the University must deduct tax and national insurance contributions (NICs), where appropriate.   For those new to the UK, you may qualify for tax exemption.  

The tax treatment of visa application fee reimbursement may change to take account of revised tax guidance. 

Costs associated with reimbursement claims will be met by the employing School or Directorate, unless in the case of grant funded appointments where funding has been granted.  In these circumstances the following will apply, 

Grant funded appointments including visa costs  

Where an appointment is being funded by a research grant and the grant application and award has been made on the basis that costs associated with immigration costs will be paid by the awarding body the appropriate cost centre should be noted on the Immigration Reimbursement Claim Form

Leaving the university

Where a claim is made and subsequently paid under this policy to a member of staff or colleague on a government authorised exchange programme, the individual will be bound by the following terms: 

In the event that the claimant resigns and subsequently leaves the University's employment within the tenure of their visa, they will be liable to repay a proportionate sum to the University.  

This will be calculated based on the percentage of the visa tenure that has been served at the University. Recovery will be made directly from the individual's final salary payment (or via alternative arrangements, if necessary). 

The value to be repaid will be as follows:

Percentage of visa tenure served Value to be repaid
5% or less 100%
6% to 10%  90%
11% to 20% 80%
21% to 30% 70%
31% to 40% 60%
41% to 50% 50%
51% to 60% 40%
61% to 70% 30%
71% to 80% 20%
81% to 90% 10%
91% to 100% Nil%

There may be some instances, where the visa tenure extends beyond the tenure of the contract of employment e.g. a fixed term appointment.  

Where this is applicable and the employee resigns leaving the University's employment before the end date of their contract of employment, they will be liable to repay a proportionate sum of the costs claimed under this policy.  

The value to be repaid will be as outlined in the above table, however, rather than being based on the percentage tenure served of the visa, the repayment liability will be based on the percentage served of the contract. This will not include contract extensions. 

In cases of redundancy there will be no requirement for repayment of visa expenses already paid to the employee. 



People Support team

+44 (0)1382 386999

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