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Immigration Fees Short-Term Loan

Northumbria recognises the valuable contribution that all EU and international colleagues bring and is committed to encourage, and invest in, a diverse range of colleagues from across the globe to be part of Northumbria's community. The University recognises that immigration costs can be high and offers financial support to assist colleagues to meet their own and their dependents' immigration fees.

This document provides detail of the Immigration Fees Short-Term Loan Scheme which is available specifically to support staff and their dependents with immigration costs.

Please also refer to the Immigration Fees Reimbursement Policy which sets out the financial support available to new and existing EU and international colleagues for the reimbursement of their personal immigration fees.

HR Revenue & Customs (HMRC) legislation allows employers to offer loans to employees without generating an income tax or National Insurance contribution (NIC) liability providing that certain conditions are met: https://www.gov.uk/expenses-and-benefits-loans-provided-to-employees.

How the Scheme Operates

Eligible employees can apply for an interest free loan of up to £10,000, in any given tax year. Other benefits which are classed as interest free or beneficial loans, e.g. loans under Employee Short-Term Loan Scheme, and some salary sacrifice options, will be taken into account when calculating the £10,000 maximum.

Repayment options will be between 12 to 24 months with deductions made directly from net salary.

Where an employee resigns during the repayment of the loan, the outstanding balance will be deducted from their final net salary. Where the outstanding balance owed exceeds the employee's final net salary, the surplus figure owed by the employee will need to be repaid immediately following confirmation of the employee's final net salary. In the case that an employee's notice period exceeds one month and that this covers more than one repayment instalment period, the repayment terms may be re-negotiated to enable the individual to increase the monthly instalment amount originally agreed in order to reduce or eliminate any outstanding loan repayable from the individual's final net salary.

Eligibility

The Scheme is open to all new and existing EU and international employees who hold either a permanent or a fixed term contract of employment with at least one year remaining at the date of submitting an application.

Employees can apply to borrow the amount they require to cover all or part of the immigration fees they are due to pay for themselves and/or their dependents. This cannot include any fees for which they are reimbursed through the Immigration Fees Reimbursement Policy. Documentary evidence will be requested to support their application.

Where evidence is brought to light after payment of the loan that the employee has not used the loan for its intended purpose as stated on the original application, the University reserves the right to demand immediate repayment or repayment on an accelerated basis to that originally agreed.

The scheme is offered at the University's discretion.

Costs Covered and How to Apply

Example Costs Covered

Immigration fees for dependents may include some of the following:

  • Visa applications;
  • NHS surcharges;
  • Settlement/Indefinite Leave to Remain applications;
  • Permanent Residency applications; and
  • British Citizenship applications.

Additional immigration costs incurred by the employee can also be included such as postage fees; biometric processing fees; Police Registration fees; test fees; priority or premium service fees; travel costs to obtain the visa or have biometrics taken; and visas which are not under Tier 2.

How to Apply

Employees are required to complete an application which should be sent to the HR Manager (Pay & Reward). Loan applications are considered by the Director of Human Resources and the Chief Operating Officer/Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Following approval, the loan will be paid in full with either the individual's next salary payment; or the first month's salary payment after commencing employment, subject to the repayment method and duration being agreed.

Application of the Scheme

The University will disclose loans in its Annual Financial Statements as considered appropriate. The University reserves the right to withdraw and/or amend the scheme at any time.


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