Financial Assistance to staff for immigration costs

  • Introduction

    In order to recruit and retain key international staff, faculties and directorates may provide financial assistance to staff to cover immigration costs, as follows:-

    • Faculties and directorates may meet immigration costs (but not the Immigration Health Surcharge) of staff and their dependents on initial appointment, in addition to relocation costs (which are subject to a maximum of £5,000). This would be up to a further £3,000.
    • Faculties and directorates may meet the cost of Tier 2 visa renewals and applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain for existing staff and their dependents, where their skills and expertise are judged to be essential and/or not easily replaced.
    • This policy is effective from 1 January 2018 (i.e. not retrospective).
    • This policy will be kept under regular review and may be revised/withdrawn at any time.
    • All payments are discretionary. To avoid doubt over what can be claimed, approval of the types of expenditure that will be approved must be obtained from the Human Resources Directorate before claims are submitted.

    Conditions of assistance

    • Staff download and fill in this form (Excel) which they pass to their PVC/Dean or Director to complete and pass onto Human Resources.
    • In all cases, staff applying for assistance need to confirm in writing that they are not receiving any other financial assistance with immigration costs (e.g. via a partner’s employer).
    • Under HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) rules, all payments to existing staff, those who are resident in the UK, and payments for family members/dependents are subject to taxableand national insurance deductions.
    • Staff whose immigration costs are met by the University but who leave within two years, will be required to repay a sum equivalent to the relocation grant reduced by one twenty-fourth for each completed month of service. Where practicable this sum will be automatically deducted from the recipient’s final salary payment.
    • In very exceptional circumstances the University will consider paying the taxable element of any payment for the member of staff, where that element is demonstrably burdensome and could constitute a genuine barrier to recruiting/retain that member of staff. The Director of Finance & Legal Services would need to approve such a request.
    • Claims made by existing staff outside of the University Relocation Scheme should be made through Payroll. Deductions for tax and National Insurance will be made at source and all payments/deductions will be reflected in the employee’s payslip. All claims and payments are subject to the policies concerning the financial regulation of the University. 

    Examples

    • A new employee moves to the UK for the first time to accept a job with Brookes. They are a non-EU international employee currently resident outside the UK. They have no family that will move to the UK with them and their relocation costs including visa are less than £5,000. Costs are claimed via the Relocation Policy.
    • As above, but relocation costs are £5,000 and visa costs are an additional £1,000 on top. Under new arrangement they can now claim all of these costs and there is no tax liability, as the combined costs are below the current HMRC limit for relocation expenses.
    • A new employee moves to the UK for the first time to accept a job with Brookes. They are a non-EU international employee currently resident outside the UK. Their spouse will move with them to the UK. Relocation costs are £5,000 and their visa costs are £1,300 each. The employee can claim all relocation expenses and all visa costs but the £1,300 visa expense for their spouse is subject to tax and national insurance deductions.
    • Following on from the above, this employee and their growing family have now been in the UK for five years and have successfully applied for the Indefinite Leave to Remain (for employee, spouse and child). The cost is £2,389 per person. These costs can now be claimed via the Visa Reimbursement Claim form, subject to confirmation from the employee’s PVC/Dean or Director that it is essential to retain their expertise and the Faculty/Directorate will meet the cost. The claim will be paid via Payroll and all costs are subject to tax and national insurance deductions. 

    March 2019