Human Resources

Immigration Fee Assistance

There are two types of support currently in place, the Interest Free Loan and Visa Fee Reimbursement.

There are two types of support currently in place, the Interest Free Loan and Visa Fee Reimbursement.

The University offers assistance for fees you incur in relation to your Tier 1, Tier 2 or UK Residency applications and associated UK legal fees.  In respect of Tier 1 and Tier 2, this includes payments for immigration healthcare surcharge fees (NHS) and National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) fees.  Please note you will only need to use NARIC if you want to demonstrate your English language ability using an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD.

Further Information regarding immigration healthcare surcharge fees (NHS)

Further Information regarding NARIC fees

Those applying for a Tier 1 or Tier 2 visa or extension can apply for a loan and then reimbursement of the fees.  Please read the details below for further information.

Pre-application

The Interest Free Loan

You can apply for a pre-application loan to cover costs for both your own and your dependants’ applications.  Loans can be taken to assist with UKVI application fees, immigration healthcare surcharges, UK legal fees (associated to immigration queries) and the cost of using the NARIC service.

Please note, if you are applying for a Tier 1 or Tier 2 visa you will also be able to apply for reimbursement of fees post-application. Please be aware that there may be tax implications on the total that is reimbursed. It is also important to know that you can claim reimbursement for the cost of standard fees only, therefore if you have taken a loan to cover the enhanced UKVI Service or the NARIC Fast Track service, these amounts will not be reimbursed. You cannot apply for a loan if you have already submitted an application through the University's Visa Fee Reimbursement procedure for the same application. For further details on Visa Fee Reimbursement, please refer to the information following the loan section.

Eligibility

You can apply for the loan if you are already employed by the University of Edinburgh or have received a formal offer of employment from the University

AND

  • you are applying for a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa.

        and you have submitted the first stage of your application and received endorsement.

OR

  • you are sponsored by the University under Tier 2 of the UK’s immigration system.

OR

  • you are applying for UK residency or citizenship.

Your Tier 1 or Tier 2 visa application could be for the initial visa, a switch from another immigration, route e.g. Tier 4, or an application for an extension to your existing visa. 

How much can I borrow?

You may apply for a loan to cover all or part of the fees you are due to pay for your visa or residency application up to £10,000.

You will be asked to specify how much you require to borrow in order to assist with UKVI fees, NHS surcharges, UK legal fees and the cost of using NARIC (including for your dependents, if applicable).  The total amount must be given in Pounds Sterling (GBP) according to the fees published by UKVI:

UKVI visa fees October 2018

UKVI visa fees March 2019

A calculator has been produced to assist you to work out how much you may need, depending on your own personal circumstances:

 

Please note you must only request the amount you actually need and the money should be used for the payment of your visa or UK residency application and associated costs as outlined above.

How will I receive the money?

If you have not yet started employment with the University a lump sum will be paid into your specified bank account. If you are already in employment, the loan will be processed by Payroll and paid as a lump sum with your monthly salary.

How is the loan repaid?

The sum borrowed will be recovered through monthly deductions from your salary over a period of between 12 and 48 months.  Please note the University will check the remaining length of your contract.  If you have requested to repay the loan over a period of time beyond your contract end date, the University will automatically reduce the repayment period to end in line with the expiry of your contract.

How do I apply?

Applications for a University loan should be made by completing one of the Interest Free Loan forms, either the UK Residency Loan form or the Tier 1 and Tier 2 Loan form, and then submitting it to your College/Professional Services HR team. Please refer to the Guidance Notes to provide more information and assist you in completing the form. Please note, if you are requesting a loan to pay for legal fees you will be required to submit a Letter of Engagement from the solicitor with your application form.

 

Post application

Reimbursement of Tier 1 and Tier 2 Visa fees

Once the application fees have been paid and employment with the University has started, Tier 1 and Tier 2 staff can make a claim for reimbursement. This includes the cost of the UKVI standard service, but not the enhanced UKVI Service fees.

Eligibility

To be eligible, you must have submitted an application for a Tier 1 or Tier 2 visa. This could be the initial visa, a switch from another immigration route e.g. Tier 4, or an application for extension to your existing visa.

What can I claim for?

You will be able to claim back Tier 1 or Tier 2 visa application fees (Biometric Redidence Permit fees are included in the cost of obtaining a visa), immigration health care (NHS) surcharges and the cost of using The National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) service.  We will reimburse your fees and those of your accompanying dependents, i.e. your spouse/partner and children aged under 18. You can claim reimbursement for the cost of standard UKVI fees and standard NARIC fees only therefore if you have paid fees to cover the enhanced UKVI Service or the NARIC Fast Track service, these amounts will not be reimbursed.  Links to the information are provided on the guidance notes.

When can I make a claim?

The UK tax authority classifies the reimbursement of visa fees as earnings so you have to be on the University’s payroll for payment to be made.

If you are about to join the University, you should submit the claim form when you take up your post, your fees will be reimbursed with your salary. You must submit your claim within three months of taking up your post with the University.

If you are already ‘on the payroll’, you can submit the claim form as soon as you can evidence payment of the fees to UKVI; once approved for payment, your fees will be reimbursed with your next monthly salary. You must submit your claim within three months of having paid your visa fee.

How do I make a claim?

You make a claim by completing the Visa Fee Reimbursement Form, which you then submit to your College/Professional Services HR team.  Further information on how to complete and submit the necessary documentation is available in the Guidance Notes.

How and when will I receive payment?

You will receive payment with your monthly salary.

You will be reimbursed in pound sterling in accordance with UKVI fees published on their website.

UKVI visa fees October 2018

UKVI visa fees March 2019

Will I have to pay tax on the reimbursement?

As the reimbursement of visa fees is classed as earnings by the UK tax authority, the University must deduct tax and national insurance contributions (NICs), where appropriate.

You will be asked to self-declare whether you were present and resident in the UK in the two years prior to arriving in the UK on your Tier 1 or Tier 2 visa.  The University will use this self-declaration to assess whether or not to deduct tax and NICs from the payment made.

Whilst the visa fee reimbursement form does explain the tax rules, the University is unable to provide individual tax advice.  Therefore if you are in any doubt about your tax status, you should contact the UK tax authority, HMRC, on 0300 200 3300.

Contacts

For further information, please contact your College/Professional Services HR team in the first instance.

College HR Contacts

Professional Services HR Contacts