How the system works

In 2008 the government established a Points Based System which is used to determine the rights of non-EEA nationals to enter and work in the UK. Under the Points Based System, non-EEA nationals must meet the eligibility requirements of the specific visa category before they are given permission to enter or remain in the UK.

For those not currently in the UK, the application and assessment is done in their country. of residence/home country. There are also rules about switching in-country from one UK visa category to another.

Non- EEA Dependents of individuals who have or are applying for permission to work in the UK may be able to apply for a dependent, spousal, or family member visa, or register for the EU Settlement Scheme and attain a status that will allow them to work where this is permitted under the rules of that particular category.

More information on the various UK immigration categories can be found on the UKVI webpages.

Tiers most commonly used

Global Talent Visa

Global Talent Visa

Internationally recognised as world leaders or potential world leading talent in the fields of science, medicine, business and the arts.  They do not need to be sponsored by the College but do need to be endorsed by a designated competent body.

There are accelerated endorsement application processes for senior academic appointments, awardees/holders of certain research fellowships, and individuals who meet the requirements of the UKRI endorsed funder scheme.

In addition to the UKVI guidance above, please review the Royal Society guidance and FAQs.

For any further guidance on this route, hiring managers and employees should contact the Compliance & Immigration team.

Tier 2 (Skilled workers)

Tier 2 (general)

Skilled workers with a job offer and a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). The College is only permitted to sponsor workers and issue a CoS when specific requirements have been met.

Tier 4 (Students)

Tier 4 (Students)

Permitted to work for up to a maximum total of 20 hours per week during term time if they are studying at degree level or above at a Higher Education Institution (HEI) or up to a maximum total of 10 hours per week during term time if they are studying below degree level at a HEI. 

They may work full time during vacation times, including the time between the end of their course and the end of their student visa. 

NB: Those studying at a publicly-funded Further Education (FE) College or on part-time study programmes are not permitted to work at all. This will be reflected on their visa/Biometric Residence Permit.

Tier 4 (Doctorate Extension Scheme)

Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme visa holders will be permitted to work full time hours, as will have completed their doctorate as key eligibility criteria for this extension.

For general queries regarding Tier 4 please contact the International Student Support team

Tier 5 (Temporary workers)

Tier 5 (Temporary workers)

There are several different categories of temporary worker under Tier 5 however the only two categories of relevance to the College are:

UK visa application fees

To support our staff and prospective staff the College is able to provide assistance with payment of the following items:

  • UK visa fees
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) costs*
  • Indefinite leave to remain/permanent residence application fees (available to current staff only)
  • Citizenship costs (available as a salary advance only and just to current staff)

* IHS costs are payable by non-EEA nationals and their dependants who individuals apply for leave to enter or remain in the UK.  The surcharge grants them free access to the NHS.  With a few limited exceptions, everyone coming to the UK on a visa of 6 months or more must register for the IHS and most must pay a fee.

This assistance may be offered as follows:

Departmental reimbursement

Departments may consider reimbursing the above-mentioned costs for staff and their dependants at their discretion.  Applicants are not able to appeal against a department’s decision to exercise discretion.  Further information for departments wishing to reimburse costs is available from the Finance website.

Salary advance

The College is able to offer an interest free loan facility to support you and your dependants with payment of the above-mentioned costs.

The College’s preferred method of payment is by bank transfer once you have commenced employment, however, if a salary advance is needed at the point that the visa fees and/or IHS is paid, this can be arranged.

Conditions of advance                                                                           

  1. You must be a non-EEA national on a UK visa and/or liable for payment of the IHS or a current member of staff who is a non-EEA, EEA or Swiss national applying for UK residency or Citizenship;
  2. You must have received an offer of employment, conditional offer of employment or extension of employment from the College or in the case of UK residency or Citizenship applications, be a current member of College staff
  3. The salary advance will be for no other costs than UK visa fees and/or IHS costs. 
  4. Please note: the IHS will be collected upfront and will correspond to the number of years of leave applied for.  Where leave applied for is not for a whole number of years, the IHS fee will increase to reflect the number of additional months.  The first additional month will not attract an extra fee, and any more that 6 additional months will attract a full year’s extra fee.  For example, a Tier 2 applicant making an application for 2.5 years will attract a fee of £1000. Please refer to the UKVI online IHS calculator
  5. If applying for UK Citizenship, you may apply for initial costs and then make a second application for ceremony fees if your application is successful
  6. The salary advance will be recovered throughout the duration of the contract (or where the contract is open ended throughout the duration of the visa), or contract extension if the individual is already in post.  For UK residency and Citizenship applications the advance will be recovered over a maximum of 24 months, unless agreed otherwise by HR, except where your contract is less than 24 months, when recovery will be over the duration of your contract
  7. If you leave College employment before the loan is repaid the outstanding debt will be deducted from their final salary;
  8. The department, division, school or institute will be required to underwrite the loan.
  9. It should be noted that where the total of any College loans (including season ticket loans) exceeds £10,000, there will be tax implications for the individual.

Procedure for advance

  1. You should email their completed form together with any other relevant information to their line manager or Departmental Operations Manager who will forward it to the Head of Department/Division/School/Institute
  2. Once approved, the Head of Department/Division/School/Institute should email the form to the HR Compliance team to confirm that the request meets the conditions for the UK visa fees and/or Immigration Health surcharge costs salary advance.
  3. Once the  HR Compliance team has confirmed that the request meets these conditions, they should email the completed request to the Payroll Office, who will forward a copy to Accounts Payable where applicable, so that payment can be made into the current or prospective member of staff’s bank account. The individual will be notified by email as soon as a payment has been sent to a bank account.