Immigration Support Scheme
The Immigration Costs Support Scheme has been put in place to provide support to help its international staff who are required to apply and pay for visas, to enable them to work, or continue to work, at Warwick. The link provides information on the latest UK visa fees charged by UKVI. UK visa fees - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
The aim of the scheme is to reduce some of the financial burdens associated with obtaining these visas for our employees and their family to come to and remain in the UK by providing financial support.
Since 1 January 2021, European nationals have required a visa to work in the UK. They join other staff from outside of Europe (who are not already settled in the UK) who need a visa to enter to the UK or continue to work.
The Scheme has been modified from April 2022 to only reimburse staff who are required to apply for Skilled Worker and Global Talent Visas and their dependants visa costs, up to the capped amount.
The Scheme has been further modified from September 2022 to allow for second or further reimbursement of visa costs where an employee has received a fixed term contract extension of 12 months or more. Employees who are the main visa holder can now claim for reimbursement of their second or further visa costs up to a capped amount of £2,172. Only the main visa holder is able to apply for reimbursement for second or further visa costs and not their dependants. See sections 7 and 8 below for further details.
The Scheme was modified again in October 2022 to include the High Potential Visa within the scope of visas that qualify for support.
- The scheme applies to all international staff (both non-European and European nationals) who may have to pay for a Skilled Worker, Global Talent visa or High Potential Visa to work at Warwick.
- The scheme allows staff to make a first claim for reimbursement of visa, Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) and other visa related costs for them and their family members up to a capped amount. The maximum cost to the University will be £5,000 including Employer’s NI. This will mean the actual amount paid to the individual will be less than £5,000 if tax or other disbursements are required to be deducted. For those travelling from outside of the UK, tax exemptions may apply if the HMRC criteria is met.
- The scheme is intended to cover many of the costs that may be incurred but is not a commitment to meeting all visa costs.
- If the person is new starter and entitled to claim relocation expensesthey may be able to include the cost of the visa fees and IHS surcharge fees for them and their family with the relocation claim. However, where these exceed the relocation claim limit, the Immigration Support Scheme will be additional to the amount of relocation assistance being offered.
- For those not eligible for relocation assistance, they will be entitled to apply for reimbursement of visa related immigration costs through this scheme.
- The amount to be reimbursed will be paid through the University payroll in the next available pay run once approved and processed.
- Second or further claims for reimbursement of visa, Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) and other visa related costs can be made by employees only where they have been granted a fixed term contract extension of 12 months or more and are required to pay for a visa extension to continue in the role. The employee must be the main visa holder and dependants will be unable to be reimbursed for any second or further visa extension costs. The maximum reimbursement to an individual for a second of further claim will be £2,172 and this payment will be subject to tax.
- Departments are required to fund the further claims from their existing budgets, however if a claim can be reimbursed via a funding grant, then an ‘R’ code should be provided on the form. Departments should check that reimbursement is in line with the grant funding rules where applicable.
- The employee will need to pay back some of the amount reimbursed if they resign, either before the end of their fixed term contract or within three years of the amount reimbursed, whichever is the shorter period. The employee will be required to pay back a proportion of the monies paid on a pro-rata basis based on the number of days employed compared to the number of days in the person’s contract. This is calculated by the Payroll team.
- If an employee has resigned from their job, any claim submitted for reimbursement will not be processed.
- The scheme is not contractual and the University reserves the right to amend or withdraw the scheme.
- The original scheme was implemented in January 2021 and modified in April and September and October 2022.
What is not covered by the scheme
- The scheme does not provide support for visa costs other than Skilled Worker, Global Talent visas and High Potential Visas.
- Costs paid for priority or fast track visa services will not normally be reimbursed.
- Costs of flights to the UK are not covered by this scheme. Flights can be claimed as an allowed cost under the relocation scheme if eligible.
- Claims for dependants visa costs are not covered for second/further claims under the scheme. Second and further claims are for the employed main visa holders only and where they have received a fixed term contract extension of 12 months or more.
- Employees granted fixed term contract extensions of less than 12 months will not be able to claim for reimbursement of second or further visa fees under this scheme.
- The scheme does not provide support for the costs of applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain, (also known as Settlement) or the costs of applying for British Citizenship for employees or their dependants. Departments are unable to reimburse these fees separately at their own discretion.
- The scheme cannot be used to retrospectively claim for visa costs that may have been paid before the launch of the scheme in January 2021 or for second or further scheme costs that were paid before the scheme changes made in September 2022.
- The scheme is not applicable to students, volunteers, contractors or agency staff and is only applicable to all salaried employees of the University.
How to claim
Please complete the ISS Claim Form and send to your Department for approval. The form should then be sent to the HR Immigration team who will check the visa fees submitted and forward to the Payroll Expenses team for this to be paid.
Other forms of support
The Immigration Health Surcharge Loan scheme is another form of support for immigration related costs. Staff can make use of the loan scheme alongside Immigration Support Scheme.