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Human Resources

Visa Financial Support

Queen Mary University of London has a vibrant international community. Our International staff form a key part of the University.  As the cost of immigrating to the UK increases, Queen Mary wishes to provide financial assistance to our international staff coming to and working in the UK.

To assist staff in paying for the UK immigration costs Queen Mary offers two schemes:

  • A visa reimbursement scheme for staff who have applied for Skilled Worker or Global Talent Visas to work at Queen Mary.
  • An interest free loan scheme to pay for the cost of other visa routes. 

Costs not covered by the scheme

Please note that these schemes set out the immigration costs that are covered by the University.  Costs that are not expressly covered by these schemes cannot be claimed under either relocation or through expenses. 

Visa Reimbursement Scheme

The Visa Reimbursement Scheme offers full reimbursement of the visa fee and immigration health surcharge costs for the Global Talent and the Skilled Worker visas.

The scheme is available to Queen Mary employees whether employed on an open-ended or fixed term contract, and applicable to new and existing staff.

Visa Costs Covered

 The following visa and associated costs are covered by the scheme:

  • The Global Talent Visa (visa application fee and immigration health surcharge) and;
  • The Skilled Worker Visa (visa application fee and immigration health surcharge) and;
  • The biometric registration fee of £19.20, chargeable to UK based applicants.

And applies to:

  • new employees with Global Talent/Skilled Worker visas ;
  • current employees renewing (see Visa Renewal Request Section) Global Talent/Skilled Worker visas and;
  • employees switching from another visa category into the Global Talent/Skilled Worker visa route (e.g. those on a Tier 4/Student Route visa or a dependents visa).

Only Global Talent visas issued to facilitate employment at Queen Mary will be reimbursed. Global Talent visas issued prior to or for employment not directly connected to Queen Mary are not covered by this scheme.

No other visa costs – other than those described above- are covered by this scheme, including any visa costs associated to applications made in respect to dependant(s) and/or family members.

(a separate interest free loans scheme is available to assist with other related immigration cost and can be found below)

Visa Renewal Request

Where a visa renewal request is for less than 3 months (12 weeks), the visa cost will only be reimbursed where PRIOR authorisation has been given by the relevant Faculty Strategic Human Resources Partner to the relevant Line Manager.

Where a visa renewal request is for less than 3 months, employees must seek guidance from their respective Line Manager before submitting a visa reimbursement claim form.

Claim Amounts

Queen Mary will reimburse the actual cost incurred for either the Global Talent or Skilled Worker visa and the immigration health surcharge up to the maximum applicable fee, as shown in the tables below.

The maximum claimable amount will depend on the length of the visa and, for the Skilled Worker visa route, whether the application is being made within the UK or outside the UK.

If the cost incurred by the employee for their visa and immigration health surcharge is less than the figure shown in the tables below, then the University will only reimburse the cost incurred.

Maximum costs for Global Talent Visa holders:


Visa Fee

Health Surcharge

Applying for a 1 year visa

up to £716*

Up to £1,035

Applying for a 2 year visa

up to £716*

Up to £2,070

Applying for a 3 year visa

up to £716*

Up to £3,105

Applying for a 4 year visa

up to £716*

Up to £4,140

Applying for a 5 year visa

up to £716*

Up to £5,175

*UK based applicants will also be able to claim an additional £19.20 for the cost of the biometric registration fee.


Maximum costs for Skilled Worker Visa holders:

Application made:

Visa Fee

Heath Surcharge

outside the UK for a visa up to 3 years

up to £719

Up to £3,105

outside the UK for a visa of 3 or more years

up to £1,420

Up to £5,175

inside the UK for a visa up to 3 years

up to £827

Up to £3,105

inside the UK for a visa of 3 or more years

up to £1,636

Up to £5,175

The above visa fees are correct as of April 2024.

Making a Claim

Where an employee is sponsored via the Skilled Worker Route (new, renewal or switching), Human Resources will provide the employee  with a Visa Reimbursement Scheme claim form (via email) as part of the University’s sponsorship recruitment process. 

Where an employee applies for the Global Talent visa route, Human Resources will provide the employee with a Visa Reimbursement Scheme claim form (via email) on receipt of notification of the intent to apply for this route.

The employee will be required to pay for visa expenses incurred at the time of making a visa application. On commencement of employment at Queen Mary and after completion of the required right to work checks, the employee may submit a claim for reimbursement.

Claim forms must be submitted directly to Human Resources (details are included on the form), attaching the relevant receipts.   Payment will be made by BACS directly into the employee’s bank account at the earliest opportunity, on receipt of the completed claim form and associated receipts. 

Please Note: The cost of any expenses not covered by the policy will be deducted from your claim. Any cost not stated above are not covered by the scheme, this includes but is not limited to the use of premium services and UKVCAS appointment fees. 

Tax and National Insurance Implications

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.

For those new to the UK you may qualify for tax exemption. This will be confirmed to you following completion of the claim form. The tax treatment of visa reimbursement may change to take account of revised tax guidance.

Leaving Queen Mary

If you resign voluntarily from your employment with Queen Mary within 3 years of the reimbursement, you will be required to repay the University according to the following scale:

  • Resignation during first year: 100%
  • Resignation within second year: 50%

If your contract is fixed-term and the University does not renew the contract, you will not be required to repay any visa costs to the University.

Other Conditions

The University’s visa reimbursement scheme is not contractual and the University reserves the right to amend or withdraw the scheme at any time.

Where Institute/Schools wish to (locally) reimburse other visa related costs outside of those detailed in this scheme, an email request must be submitted to the Director of Human Resources providing detail and a rationale for the exceptional request. Any relevant Faculty, Institute, School or Department level management endorsement(s) should also be included with the request. Requests must be made in advance of a visa application; retrospective claims will not be considered.

Where new or existing employees have significant hardship issues related to the up-front payment of a visa cost ahead of joining Queen Mary or a reimbursement, the Line Manager can contact their respective Faculty Strategic Human Resources Partner to discuss what options may be available. Discussions will be treated in confidence, dealt with by exception and reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Visa Loan Scheme

The scheme offers an interest-free loan to support international employees with the financial impact of visa application costs that are not covered by the Visa Reimbursement Scheme.  The loan is available to help spread the impact of costs associated with the NHS surcharge and visa application costs for immediate dependents for applications made since 1 May 2018.

For the purpose of the loan, “immediate dependents” refers to the following: husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried or same sex partner, and children aged 18 or under at time of application.

How much can be borrowed?

You must only request the amount you actually need and you will be required to provide evidence of the actual amount paid to UKVI and so you should retain a copy of your payment receipts.

You can borrow up to £10,000 or a lesser amount depending on a repayment affordability assessment (see below). The loan can be made without tax and NI consequences to the employee.  It should be noted that where the total of any loans (including season ticket loans) exceeds £10,000, there will be tax implications for the individual.

Making a claim

Please complete the below loan claim form and return it to HR.  The below loan repayment calculator can be used to calculate the repayment amounts

Visa Loan Scheme Claim Form [DOC 85KB]

Loan Repayment Calculator [XLS 18KB]

How will I receive the money?

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 12 month period, as specified by you. If you have a fixed term contract which ends prior to the duration selected, Payroll will adjust the repayments to the remaining duration of your contract.

Should your employment at the University come to an end before the loan has been fully repaid, any remaining balance will be recovered from your salary payments during your notice period.

If the final balance of your loan is greater than your salary in your notice period, you will be expected to repay the total outstanding balance before your contractual end date.

Other Conditions

The University’s visa reimbursement scheme is not contractual and the University reserves the right to amend or withdraw the scheme at any time.


Find out more

Full details of the scheme are detailed in the following document: 

Visa Reimbursement Scheme 2021 [DOC 93KB]

To make a claim please complete the below claim form and return it via email to, together with copies of the relevant receipts.

Visa Reimbursement Claim Form [DOC 95KB]

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