Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Visa (ICT) is for employees whose overseas employer has offered them a role in a UK branch of the organisation by transferring them on a long-term basis or for frequent short visits.
The employer in the UK would need to apply for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence to be able to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to the overseas employees – enabling them to apply for the Tier 2 ICT visa in one of following sub-categories.
♠ Long-term staff
The Long term ICT visa is for transfers of more than 12 months into a role that can’t be filled by a UK recruit. The employee will need to have worked for the employer for at least 12 months.
♠ Short-term staff
The short term ICT visa is for transfers up to and including 12 months into a role that can’t be filled by a new UK recruit. The employee will need to have worked for the employer for at least 12 months.
♠ Graduate trainee
The Graduate trainee ICT visa is for transfers as part of a structured graduate training programme which clearly defines progression towards a managerial or specialist role. The employee will need to be a recent graduate with at least 3 months’ experience with the employer.
♠ Skills transfer
The Skills transfer ICT visa is for transfers that allow employees to gain skills and knowledge needed to perform their role overseas, or to or to impart their specialist skills or knowledge to their UK colleagues. The employee doesn’t need to have been with the employer for a set period of time.
Long Term / Short Term
Graduate Trainee / Skill Transfer
|Minimum skill||Graduate level||Graduate level|
|Minimum salary||Long Term: £41,000 (or min appropriate rate if higher)Short Term: £24,500 (or min appropriate rate if higher)||Appropriate rate for the occupation|
|Previous Experience||12 months employment with sponsor’s overseas branch||3 months employment with sponsor’s overseas branch /No employment period required for Skill Transfer|
|Maximum length of leave||Short Term: 12 months (no extensions).Long Term: initial grant for 3 years; extension period of 2 Years – Maximum 5 years.||12 months (no extensions) /6 months (no extension)|
|Switching to other categories||Permitted, but can only switch Tier 2 categories if changing employer||Not allowed|
|Returning to the UK on ICT||12 month cooling off period for Long term ICT (will have to wait for 12 months after expiry of last period of leave as an ICT)Not as short-term ICT within 12 months of expiry of last leave as an ICT.If salary increased above £40k during period of leave as short-term ICT, cannot extend but can apply out of country to return as long-term ICT.||Not allowed|
|Settling in the UK Permanently(Indefinite leave to remain)||Possible for Tier 2 ICT Long term if:♠ you have a Tier 2 (ICT) visa and have been living and working in the UK for 5 years and spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months.|
♠ your employer still needs you for your job and you get paid the relevant salary listed in the Codes of Practice.To qualify, you must have had at least one of these visas in the 5 years:♠ Tier 2 (ICT) issued before 6 April 2010
♠ Work Permit for an intra-company transferYou can have any combination of these visas during the 5 years:♠ Tier 2 (ICT)
♠ Work Permit in the business, commercial, sports or entertainment category
♠ Representative of an Overseas BusinessYou must also pass the Life in the UK Test and an English language test
Tier 2 (ICT) Points Based System Criteria
For you to make and succeed in an application under any of the above mentioned ICT categories you will need to achieve a minimum 60 points as follows:
♠ Certificate of Sponsorship – 30 points
♠ Appropriate salary as specified in the relevent immigration rules – 20 points
♠ Maintenance 10 points
To meet the maintenance requirements you must evidence that you have held £800 in your bank account for at least 3 months until the date of application. If however your employer is an A-rated sponsor, you can provide you with a letter from the sponsor confirming that they will cover you for meeting the maintenance requirements.
Spouses and Dependents
Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer visas can lead to settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK. The category also makes provision for spouses and civil or unmarried partners of the applicant as well any dependent children to migrate to the UK at the same time as the main applicant.
The application process for both Tier 2 ICT Sponsor Licence and the Tier 2 ICT visa is complex. It’s therefore advisable to get expert legal advice and representation before applying. Please contact our specialist immigration lawyers in London or Birmingham on 0203 4755 321 or 0121 285 0222 to discuss the specific needs of your organisation.