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Guidance notes on the payment of immigration costs

Contents

1. Introduction
2. Leave to enter costs
3. Further leave to remain costs
4. Procedure for reimbursement 
5. Repayment


1. Introduction 

1.1 UCL will pay the following costs associated with meeting immigration requirements for staff working, or applying to work, for UCL. All payments will be reimbursed at the postal application rate (as opposed to the higher ‘in person’ rate where the option exists). Staff wishing to apply using the ‘in person’ method will pay the difference between the cost of postal and in person applications.

2. Leave to enter costs

Skilled Worker Route:

  • UCL will pay the costs of the Skilled Worker Route (SWR) Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for all staff. These costs will be paid by UCL Human Resources (HR).
  • Where a CoS attracts the Immigration Skills Charge because the role does not fall under a PhD level Soc code (and no other exemption applies), the cost will be paid by the department that will employ the applicant.   
  • UCL will pay the visa costs of in country applicants. These costs will be paid by HR.
  • Out of country applicants will normally pay their own visa costs.
  • Staff will pay the visa costs for any of their dependents.

Global Talent Visa:

  • UCL will pay the cost of Global Talent Visa (GTV)  applications  where these are linked to a specific role at UCL. Any such payments will be met by the relevant Faculty and will be subject to repayment on a sliding scale by the staff member should they leave UCL within 3 years of payment.

3.  Further leave to remain costs

Skilled Worker Route:

  • UCL will pay the costs of SWR Certificate of Sponsorship extensions for all staff. These costs will be paid by HR.
  • Where a CoS attracts the Immigration Skills Charge because the role does not fall under a PhD level Soc code (and no other exemption applies), the cost will be paid by the department that will employ the applicant. 
  • UCL will pay the costs of in country applicants. These costs will be paid by HR.
  • Out of country applicants will normally pay their own visa costs.
  • Staff will pay the visa costs for any of their dependents who require an extension to their visa.

Global Talent Visa:

  • UCL will pay the cost of GTV extensions where these continue to be linked to a specific role at UCL. Any such payment will be met by the relevant Faculty and will be subject to repayment on a sliding scale by the staff member should they leave UCL within 3 years of payment.

The costs of Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) Naturalisation applications, the Health Surcharge and other costs relating to immigration for UCL staff and their dependents are not covered by UCL HR but may exceptionally be met by the faculty/department.

4. Procedure for reimbursement

4.1 Payments relating to SWR Certificates of Sponsorship applications made by staff working, or applying to work for UCL, will be reimbursed on the receipt of a visa reimbursement claim being submitted to HR Services using the webform.

4.2 Any immigration fees exceptionally reimbursed by Faculties / Departments will be paid through the payroll as a taxable benefit. Payments will not normally be grossed-up. These payments should be requested via HR-Services@ucl.ac.uk. In accordance with the UCL Expenses Policy, these payments must have prior approval from the Dean / PS Director, Faculty Manager or School/Professional Services Finance Director.

4.3 Any out of country visa fees incurred prior to starting employment, may be exceptionally reimbursed by Faculties / Departments. It will be paid as an expense through iExpenses (as they are not currently considered to be a benefit in kind by HMRC) if the employee:

  • is not UK domiciled and
  • has not been present in the UK for any purpose in the 2 year period prior to this arrival date; or
  • is not resident in the UK for tax purposes in either of the two UK tax years prior to their arrival date. If these conditions are not met, the payment will be made through the payroll and taxed accordingly. In accordance with the UCL Expenses Policy, these payments must have prior approval from the Dean / PS Director, Faculty Manager or School/Professional Services Finance Director.

5. Repayment

5.1 Staff members who receive payment for a GTV application, or other discretionary entitlement, who leave within 3 years of the payment being made will be expected to repay the costs based on the sliding scale in the table below.

Time since payment being made

12 months or less

12 – 24 months

24 – 36 months

Repayment amount

100%

50%

25%

 

HR Policy Team

November 2021