Tier 2 Intra- Company Transfer Visa
Tier 2 ICT Visa specifically caters to multinational companies to transfer workers from their overseas operations to a UK branch. There must be common ownership or control of the overseas business and the UK business. In contrast with Tier 2 (General) visa, the Intra-Company Transfer Visa is a more efficient and faster route to transfer existing staff members to the United Kingdom. Namely, certain conditions required under the Tier 2 General category are not applicable for Tier 2 ICT. This reduces processing times compared to applications made by Tier 2 General visa applicants who are based outside the UK.
The worker must have a confirmed UK job and a certificate of sponsorship from their employer, who must hold a valid Tier 2 intra-company transfer sponsorship licence. The employer on the other hand, must be able to demonstrate that the salary for the role is appropriate.
The ICT category has been split into two sub-categories. The assessment criteria and a summary of each of the sub-categories is provided below.
Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa - What You Need to Know
This sub-category is for established, skilled employees to be transferred to the UK branch of their organisation if they have been working for the sponsoring organisation for at least 12 months outside the UK. You do not need to meet this requirement if your salary in the UK will be £73,900 or more per year.
Length of residence: The duration or residence under this sub-category depends on the annual salary. For workers with a salary of £120,000+ per annum, the length of stay can be up to 9 years. For those earning less than that amount, the maximum length of stay is 5 years and one month.
Appropriate salary: The minimum appropriate salary for long-term staff is: £41,500.
This route allows the transfer of recent graduate who have been employed by the sponsoring organisation as part of a graduate training programme for at least 3 months immediately before the date of the application outside the UK.
Length of residence: The duration or residence under this sub-category is 12 months.
Appropriate salary: The minimum appropriate salary for graduate trainee is: £23,000.
Cooling off periods and what it means
There is a cooling off period of twelve months before a Tier 2 ICT visa holder can apply for another Tier 2 visa. This means that a Tier 2 ICT applicant in the Short-Term Staff (now closed) or Graduate Trainee sub-categories is granted leave for no longer than 12 months – at this point they must leave the UK and will not be able to re-apply for further leave under an Intra-Company Transfer category.
A Tier 2 ICT applicant in the Long Term Staff sub-category will be granted leave up to 3 years with the possibility of extending for a further 2 years. An applicant will not be able to extend beyond 5 years and will not be able to re-apply to return to the UK under an Intra-Company Transfer category until 12 months after the last leave as an Intra-Company Transfer expired.
The cooling off period does not apply if the salary is £120,000 or more for a Tier 2 ICT visa applicant or £159,600 or more for a Tier 2 General visa applicant. In most cases you cannot switch from a Tier 2 Intra-company transfer to a Tier 2 General Visa.
Tier 2 Visa holder and New or Additional Employment
Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Workers on this visa who wish to leave their job and work for a new employer will need a new Tier 2 visa. The cooling off period as described above applies.
Workers on this visa can take part in other work and study activity while in the UK. This includes doing voluntary work, and studying outside of their working hours. Unlike the Tier 2 general visa category the Tier 2 ICT visa does not lead to indefinite leave to remain at the end of five years (please see below for further detail).
Switching Into Tier 2 ICT
Switching from inside the UK is possible only into Tier 2 ICT: Long Term Staff category. You cannot switch into other sub-categories of Tier 2 ICT from inside the UK. You can apply from inside the UK if you have, or were last granted, leave in one of the categories listed below:
- Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer: Established Staff), under the rules in place before April 6 April 2011
- Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer), under the rules in place before 6 April 2010
- Intra Company Transfer work permit holder (except multiple entry work permits)
- Representative of an Overseas Business (this includes representatives of overseas media companies)
In all cases, you must be still working for the same employer named on your previous application.
Switching from Tier 2 ICT
One of the biggest challenges that the ICT visa holders face is when they are required to return to their home country either at the end of the project or at end of maximum validity of their visa.
Some of the options available for ICT visa holders are:
- Switch to dependent visa – if their partner is eligible to apply to apply for another category of visa.
- Explore the Tier 1 category of visas – i.e. Investor, Entrepreneur or exceptional talent.
- Please see above information on switching to Tier 2 General.
You can only include leave as a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrant if the continuous period of 5 years spent lawfully in the United Kingdom includes a period of leave as:
- a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrant granted under the Rules in place before 6 April 2010, or
- a Work Permit Holder, provided that the work permit was granted because you were the subject of an Intra-Company Transfer.
If you initially applied for Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) on or after 6 April 2010, you cannot qualify for settlement.
Why use Osbourne Pinner for your immigration matter?
Our immigration experts have vast experience in dealing with Tier 2 and Tier 2 ICT applications.
Your matter will be dealt with by an Immigration Expert with 16’ years experience and proven track record of over 90% success rate.
You can contact us if you are seeking legal help from immigration lawyers in London (central London or Ealing office) in relation to your Leave to Remain as a Tier 2 and/or Tier 2 ICT Migrant and our immigration experts will provide reliable, honest and professional immigration advice and service.
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