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Guideline and Procedures on Doctoral Student Travel Arrangement and Reimbursement

This document is to provide guidance and consensus of standards for doctoral students regarding the travel arrangement and reimbursement for:

• UoL Research Study Visit
• Research Conference Participation, supported by XJTLU Postgraduate Research Students’ Conference Fund

Students must seek prior approval for the visit or conference from the University before making travel arrangement. Application and approval of UoL Research Study Visit and Doctoral Students Conference Fund are subject to Arrangements for XJTLU Doctoral Student Research Study Visits to University of Liverpool and Postgraduate Research Students’ Conference Fund Policy, respectively.



For UoL research visit, you will need a “Standard Visitor or Student” type of Visa to enter the UK. According to the UK visa policy, BEFORE applying for this type of the UK visa, students in certain sensitive subject areas are required to obtain an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate (Details Here).

This will prolong the whole visa process and student should start the preparation earlier. Student can obtain a CAH3 code from UoL which can be used to check if ATAS clearance is needed or not through the application link:

If the official webpage shows that ATAS is not required, student may go ahead with visa application. Otherwise, UoL will provide an ATAS letter for this student for the purpose of applying for the ATAS certificate as the first priority.



1. It is students’ responsibility to review the visa requirement information of the country of destination and determine which required and supporting document is needed to prepare and bring to the visa interview.
The XJTLU Graduate School can provide the following document to assist your visa application:

• Student Enrolment Status and Financial Support Letter

Please email to in advance to get the documents.

2. It is also students’ responsibility to choose the right visa type. For Research-Study visit to UoL less than six months, it is suggested that the visa type should be Standard Visitor Visa. For Research-Study visit to UoL over six months, it is suggested that the visa type should be Student Visa.

3. The University is not responsible for students’ visa rejection due to insufficient documents presented or incorrect visa type applied, not will the University reimburse for any expense incurred.

4. Students are required to make visa interview appointment in the nearest visa application centre, i.e. Shanghai. If other centre is chosen, the University will only reimburse the amount equal to the normal travel expense from Suzhou to Shanghai.
Address of UK Visa Application Centre: 2/F, Jiushi Commercial Building, 213, Middle Sichuan Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai,

5. If a student applies more than one visa applications for a same visit or conference, only the visa fee and associated travel cost for one application can be claimed.



6. The only class allowed for flights is ECONOMY.

7. The student should inform XJTLU Graduate School of the flight information (flight number and exact time) once the flight tickets have been booked for UoL research-study visit. This information will be passed on to corresponding UoL department to make accommodation arrangement.

8. The student will be required to departure from Shanghai for international travel, if there is no force majeure factors indicate that can only travel from other cities. Otherwise, the student should be able to justify the reason if would like to change the departure city.



9. If travelling by rail, students can only use second class or hard seat tickets. If the duration of the rail ride is longer than 5 hours, hard sleeper ticket is allowed.


Local Transportation

10. Students should use the most economic means possible for local transportation. Public transportation, i.e. bus, underground, or city metro, should be used whenever the destination could be reached by the above means.


11. UoL will arrange accommodation for students going on a Research Study Visit to UoL.

12. Students attending research conferences should make accommodation arrangement by their own, according to the standards below:


Maximum per night


Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou

RMB 575

Other domestic cities

RMB 500


Europe, North America, Japan

USD 150

Other areas

USD 100



13. Students going on a Research Study Visit to UoL will have insurance to work on Liverpool campus covered by the University. If traveling to other areas outside of the Liverpool campus or travelling abroad for an international conference, it is highly recommended that you may purchase additional insurance to cover the period of your trip.

Travel Subsidy

14. Students going on a Research Study Visit to UoL will receive a subsidy of £100 per week from UoL and will not receive any additional travel subsidy from XJTLU.

15. Travel subsidy, including dining and telephone expenses, will be paid to students going for research conference, according the reimbursement procedures with valid invoices required. The standards are as below:


Maximum per day


All cities

RMB 200


Europe, North America, Japan

RMB 400

Other areas

RMB 300



Only reasonable expenses can be reimbursed. Over-budged and over-spent expenses cannot be claimed. The University assumes no obligation to reimburse students for expenses that are not in compliance with this guideline.

To claim for the expenses occurred from Doctoral Student Conference Fund and UoL research-study visit, the student must:

1. Complete a PhD Finance Request form with the details of the trip and the actual itemized expense. All the original receipts/invoices must be provided and attached. The total amount of the receipts/invoices submitted and the amount to be claimed on the PhD Finance Request form must be identical.

a. Only boarding pass plus itinerary or boarding pass plus formal invoice will be accepted. The Itinerary/Receipt of E-ticket for Air Transport is not acceptable.

b. The total amount to be claimed cannot exceed the estimated cost stated on the original application form.

2. Submit the following documents to XJTLU Graduate School for further scrutiny.

a. Completed PhD Finance Request form

b. Invoices* must be glued to a piece of A4 paper with like items (e.g. taxi) together (no need for the PhD students who are currently overseas.)

3. XJTLU Graduate School will claim the expenses on Finance System on behalf of student and to notify the student once the request is approved. The payment will normally be made by Finance Office within one week after approval.

* Please note that according to the latest policy released by State Taxation Administration (effective from July 1st 2017), for any Chinese VAT invoice issued to XJTLU, the correct name and VAT ID of XJTLU should be included on the invoice. Please make sure to provide the following details to the related offices before issuing the formal invoices.

• 单位名称 (name):西交利物浦大学
• 统一社会信用代码 (VAT ID) :52320000509200566U
• 地址 (address):苏州工业园区仁爱路 111 号
• 开户银行 (bank):农业银行苏州斜塘支行
• 账号 (account):1055 0701 0400 06923

(Last review date: 31 Jul 2023)

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