If you have obtained an offer from an overseas employer for a role in a UK branch of the employer’s organisation, you may be eligible to apply for a Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer (ICT) visa.

The Tier 2 ICT visa enables multinational employers to transfer their existing employees from outside the EEA to their UK branch for training purposes or to fill a specific vacancy. Your family members may accompany you as your dependents.

There are four types of Intra-company visa: Short Term Staff, Long Term Staff, Graduate Trainee and Skills Transfer.

Short Term Staff: This visa is for employees who want to come to the UK for a period of less than 12 months and where the position cannot be filled by a settled or EEA worker. The employee must have worked for their employer overseas for at least 12 months. The maximum duration of stay on a Short Term Staff visa is 12 months;

Long Term Staff: This visa is for employees who want to come to the UK for a period of 12 months or more and where the position cannot be filled by a settled or EEA worker. The employee must have worked for their employer overseas for at least 12 months. The maximum duration of stay on a Long Term Staff visa is 5 years, or 9 years if the visa holder earns over £155,300 per annum. There is no limit if the visa holder was initially granted leave as a Tier 2 ICT migrant before 6 April 2011 or as a qualifying worker permit holder and has not been granted leave in this or any other route since the initial grant.

Graduate Trainee: This visa is for employees who have recently graduated and who are hoping to take on a graduate trainee programme for a specialist role. You will need to be a recent graduate and have had at least 3 months’ experience with your employer. The maximum duration of stay on a Graduate Trainee visa is 12 months.

Skills Transfer: This visa is designed for transferring new and graduate employees to the UK base of an overseas company for the purpose of gaining skills and knowledge or to train others in the UK. There is no minimum amount of time for which the visa holder must have been with their employer. The maximum duration of stay on a Skills Transfer visa is 6 months.

Initial Applications: entry clearance as a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) migrant

In order to qualify for a Tier 2 ICT visa for the UK, you will need to show that you have worked for your employer overseas for a certain period of time prior to the date of application. In addition, in order to qualify for a Tier 2 ICT visa you will also need to satisfy the following criteria:

  • You have obtained an offer of employment from your overseas employer who must have obtained a Tier 2 ICT Sponsor License in the UK;
  • You have been issued with a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) by that employer;
  • Your job title appears on the list of occupations skilled to NQF level 6 or above as stated in the Codes of Practice;
  • You will be paid at an appropriate salary rate and your annual gross salary is above the minimum salary threshold (The minimum salary threshold is £24,800 for Short Term Staff, Skills Transfer and Graduate Trainee; and £41,500 for Long Term Staff);
  • You have enough money to support yourself without relying on public funds.

Extension Applications: further leave to remain as a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) migrant

If you were initially granted leave in any Tier 2 ICT category and the length of your stay will not extend beyond the maximum permitted duration of stay as set out above, you may be eligible to extend your stay. In order to qualify for a Tier 2 ICT extension, you will need to satisfy the following criteria:

  • You are working for the same employer as you were at the time of your last grant of leave;
  • You have been issued with a valid Certificate of Sponsorship by that employer;
    • You will be paid at an appropriate salary rate and your annual gross salary is above the minimum salary threshold (The minimum salary threshold is £24,800 for Short Term Staff and £41,500 for Long Term Staff);
    • You have enough money to support yourself without relying on public funds.

Settlement in the UK: indefinite leave to remain as a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) migrant

If you were initially granted leave in the Tier 2 ICT category on or after 6 April 2011, then you will not be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain. If you were granted leave as a Tier 2 ICT migrant before 6 April 2010, you may be eligible for indefinite leave to remain if you satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

  • You have spent a continuous period of 5 years lawfully in the UK as a Tier 2 ICT migrant or in any combination of the relevant categories as set out in Paragraph 245GF(c) of the Immigration Rules; and
  • You have not spent more than 180 days outside the UK in any of the five consecutive 12 calendar month periods preceding the date of application and provide specified documents to evidence the reasons for the absences, which must be in connection with the employment or for a serious or compelling reason; and
  • You are not in the UK in breach of immigration laws except that any period of overstaying for a period of 28 days or less will be disregarded; and
  • You are still required for the employment in question, as certified by your employer; and
  • You are paid at or above the appropriate for the job as stated in the Codes of Practice; and
  • You have demonstrated sufficient knowledge of the English language and life in the UK.

If you were granted leave as a Tier 2 ICT migrant before 6 April 2011 and have been in the UK for 10 years then you may be eligible for indefinite leave to remain under the long residence rules.

Cooling off period

For applicants who were granted Tier 2 ICT leave on or after 6 April 2011 leave will be limited to the maximum durations stated above. Migrants must leave the UK on expiry of their leave and wait 12 months before applying to return in a Tier 2 category (including the Tier 2 General category), unless their annual gross salary is more than £155,300 or their first assignment was for less than 3 months. Migrants who last had leave as a Tier 2 ICT Short Term Staff, Graduate Trainee or Skills Transfer category may be able to apply to enter the UK in the Tier 2 ICT Long Term Staff category without waiting 12 months.

Contact our Intra-Company Transfer Lawyers London

For advice and assistance with an application for entry clearance, extension of stay or settlement as a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer migrant, please contact our business immigration barristers & lawyers in London on 0203 617 9173 or by email info@richmondchambers.com.   

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