The University offers a Visa Reimbursement Scheme to new and existing employees who need a visa to live and work in the UK while working for the University of Bath. The University also offers eligible employees reimbursement of their Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee.
This scheme applies to Home Office applications submitted on or after 1 August 2022. In particular:
new employees who have joined the University after 1 August 2022 on a Skilled Worker or Global Talent Visa and who are appointed on an open-ended or fixed-term contract of employment.
existing employees on an open-ended or fixed-term contract of employment who are renewing their Skilled Worker or Global Talent Visa or applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) on or after 1 August 2022.
employees who are switching from another visa category into the Skilled Worker or Global Talent visa routes on or after 1 August 2022 and who are appointed on an open-ended or fixed-term contract of employment (e.g. Student Visa switching into Global Talent Visa).
You will be able to claim for the cost of your visa / ILR application fee (plus endorsement fee for Global Talent visas) and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee, where applicable. How much you pay will depend on the length of your visa and whether you are applying from inside the UK or outside the UK. For a list of current fees, please visit the Home Office Immigration & Nationality Fees webpage.
Example Claim – An employee is currently employed on a Skilled Worker Visa which is due to expire on 1 November 2022. They have accepted a fixed-term contract extension for another two years. As they cannot apply for this visa more than three months in advance of its expiry, they submit a visa extension application on 1 August 2022. They submit a claim for reimbursement of their visa and IHS fees once they have received confirmation that their visa application has been successful. Their claim is approved and payment reimbursed.
Please note: Visa application fees and related costs should be paid for out of grant funding where possible.
What the scheme does not cover
- Associated visa costs (e.g. priority / premium service fees, English Language Test or UK ENIC Certificate fees, biometric information fee, Life in the UK Test, postage etc)
- Visa application fees or associated costs for visa types other than the Skilled Worker Visa or Global Talent Visa
- British Citizenship / Naturalisation
- Visa application fees or associated costs for any non-employees e.g. Hourly Paid Workers
- Visa application fees or associated costs for the dependants of new or existing staff
- Unsuccessful visa / ILR / IHS application costs
- Retrospective visa / ILR / IHS application costs
- Visa / IHS application costs that do not correspond with the contract of employment duration e.g. 3-year contract but 5-year Global Talent Visa and IHS applied for
- Visa switching part way through a contract of employment where the original visa was valid for the duration of the contract e.g. switching from a Skilled Worker Visa to a Global Talent Visa
The Visa Reimbursement Scheme is only open to eligible University of Bath employees. The University offers a separate Interest-Free Loan Scheme for the dependants of new or existing employees and for employees who would like to claim for other visa related costs.
Departments are advised to plan ahead where possible to avoid short-term contracts arising giving claim to successive visa reimbursement requests.
The following guidelines should be followed when making an application for visa reimbursement:
- Applications must be made using the Visa Reimbursement Scheme Application Form, attaching scanned copies of receipts as evidence of payment.
- You will need to pay for the cost of the visa / ILR / IHS application fee at the point of making your application.
- If you are a new starter, once you have commenced employment at the University and completed a right to work check, you will be able to submit your claim form and your expenses will be reimbursed with your salary. You should try to submit your claim form within three months of your start date.
- If you are an existing employee, you will be able to submit your claim form once you have received a positive outcome from UKVI that your visa / ILR / IHS has been approved. You should try to submit your claim form within three months of your application date.
- Once employee status has been authorised, HR will send your claim form to the Payroll Team for consideration and payment.
- You will be reimbursed in pound stirling (GBP) in accordance with the Home Office Immigration & Nationality Fees website.
- Your application will be rejected if you have already given notice of resignation or you do not meet the eligibility criteria as set out in this scheme.
- It will be a condition for receiving assistance that you accept all the terms of this scheme.
Exemption from tax and National Insurance
As the reimbursement of visa / ILR / IHS fees is classed as earnings by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the University must deduct tax and National Insurance contributions. You therefore need to be on the University’s payroll in order for a reimbursement to be made.
On the Visa Reimbursement Scheme Application Form you will be asked to self-declare whether you are or have been a resident in the UK. The Payroll Team will use this self-declaration to determine whether a tax exemption is applicable.
If you are unsure of your tax status or have any queries in relation to this, you are advised to check directly with HMRC as the University will not be responsible for any tax liabilities which may be incurred.
If you leave the University
If you resign or are dismissed from your employment contract, you will be required to repay on a pro-rata basis any visa reimbursement assistance received from the University as follows:
- Less than one year from date of visa reimbursement claim – 100% of visa reimbursement claim
- More than one year but less than 2 years from date of visa reimbursement claim – 50% of visa reimbursement claim
- More than 2 years but less than 3 years from date of visa reimbursement claim – 25% of visa reimbursement claim
Please note that this scheme is non-contractual and the University reserves the right to amend or withdraw it at any point.
The University reserves the right whether or not to grant a reimbursement to an individual at its discretion.