1. Aims

1.1 The University Strategy 2014-2020 outlines our unconditional commitment to excellence as measured by the highest national and international standards. We operate in a global environment aiming to be among the best universities in the world encouraging creativity, independence, enterprise and initiative.

1.2 We aim to provide an environment that attracts the very best staff and students from all over the world, encourages and facilitates academic endeavour, and provides a supportive atmosphere for the development and sharing of knowledge.

1.3 Guided by these values, we seek to build a University that distinguishes itself in the world-leading quality of its research, in its outstanding teaching, and in the quality and value of the students' university experience.

1.4 In support of the University Strategy, we aim to recruit and retain academic staff who are, or have the potential to become, international leaders in their disciplines.

1.5 To ensure we are able to attract and retain the very best academics internationally, we operate the recruitment and retention benefit of an interest-free loan by way of a salary advance for overseas (non-EU) staff in the circumstances detailed below.

2. Policy statement

2.1 The University is able to offer an interest-free salary advance to assist the following groups of staff:

  • Current or prospective* non-UK staff and their dependents** with payment of UK Visa fees and/or Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) costs*
  • Current non-UK staff and their dependents with payment of UK Residency application or Citizenship costs
  • *Prospective staff must have been issued with an offer of employment and had their right to work checks completed, and may apply for the salary advance on their first day of work

    **Dependents include spouse/partner and children

2.2 The University will arrange the salary advance via bank transfer once the member of staff has commenced employment.

3. Criteria to assess eligibility of application

3.1 Staff Groups

3.1.1 This policy applies to both academic and support staff however, it is acknowledged that the vast majority of overseas appointments are to academic posts at Grade 7 and above.

3.2 Contractual status

3.2.1 The salary advance is available for staff on permanent contracts and staff on fixed term contracts of 18 months or more. It is not available to individuals engaged on a casual basis paid on the fees payroll. It does not apply to those who hold an honorary contract with the University.

4. General conditions

4.1 The current or prospective member of staff must be a non-UK national on a UK Visa and/or liable for payment of the IHS or a current member of staff who is a non-UK national applying for UK Residency or Citizenship

4.2 The individual must have received an offer of employment or extension of employment from the University or in the case of UK Residency or Citizenship applications, be a current employee of the University

4.3 The salary advance will be for no other costs than those mentioned in paragraph 2.1 above

4.4 The salary advance will be up to a cap of £5,000 for each eligible staff member

4.5 If applying for UK Citizenship, the individual may apply for initial costs and then make a second application for ceremony fees if their application is successful

4.6 For UK Visa fees and IHS costs, the salary advance will be recovered throughout the duration of the contract or, where the contract is open, throughout the duration of the Visa or contract extension if the individual is already in post

4.7 For UK Residency and Citizenship applications, the salary advance will be recovered over a maximum of 18 months

4.8 The salary advance will be repaid in equal monthly instalments deducted directly from the staff member's monthly salary

4.9 If the member of staff leaves the University before the salary advance is repaid, the outstanding debt will be deducted from their salary during their notice period including their final salary

4.10 Any amount not fully repaid under 4.9 above will be charged at x% above LIBOR for each month it is outstanding. All reasonable University and third party debt collection costs will be added to the outstanding debt amount and will accrue interest as set out above

4.11 The salary advance will be paid in UK currency

5. Procedure and authorisation of applications

5.1 Individuals should apply for the fee advance on the visa-salary-advance-application [pdf] and send the completed form to their Human Resources (HR)

5.2 It is understood that most applications will be supported but if there are concerns about the support for any application, this should be discussed with the HR Partner for the department in order to ensure consistency and the application of equality of opportunity principles

5.3 If there is a dispute in the event of an application not being supported, this should be dealt with under the University's Grievance Procedure

6. Monitoring, reporting and review

6.1 The application of the salary advance policy will be monitored by Finance and HR and reported to Remuneration Committee annually

6.2 The salary advance policy will be reviewed 3 years after implementation

7. Document control

Date of issue: May 2019