University of Leeds has agreed to UCU’s requests to reimburse staff for ‘indefinite leave to remain’ applications and tier 1 visa applications. Senior management say they will reimburse staff for applications made after 8 November 2018. The university will also reimburse the cost of applying to the EU settlement scheme.
This article was edited 3 December to include the 8 November 2018 application date and the link to the university website
UCU members from outside the EU have complained of a gradual ramping up of fees and costs as working in the UK becomes less and less affordable. The reimbursements the university has agreed to make are significant improvements for international staff. We’re glad the university has listened to our concerns, but we urge them to move on all the areas we raised.
UCU called on the university to reimburse the cost of tier one visas, which they have now agreed. The university already reimburses tier two visa application costs. We have asked for clarification on whether the university reimburses tier four to tier two conversions.
UCU also called on the university senior management to reimburse the visa costs for dependents, and for the costs of the (increasing) Immigration Health Surcharge for staff and dependents. They have not yet agreed to these requests.
The savings to staff of the reimbursements agreed are significant:
- Total cost per person of online/postal Indefinite Leave to Remain applications, along with the required Life in the UK test and UK NARIC certification or English language test is currently £2,639
- Total cost per person of tier one (“exceptional talent / exceptional promise”) applications, including the cost of endorsement, is £608
- Cost of the EU settlement scheme is £65.
We’re grateful to the university executive group for listening to the concerns UCU’s international members have raised. We’ll be urging them to go further and pay the visa costs for dependents and the Immigration Health Surcharge for dependents. We’ll also be talking to them about the need for some way to claim or borrow the money in advance of the reimbursement.
Details from the university are at: http://hr.leeds.ac.uk/info/6/support_for_staff/309/immigration_reimbursement_scheme
Free immigration legal advice is available for UCU members. See ucu.org.uk/legal#immigration