What is a Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Visa?
The Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Visa sits within the wider Tier 2 Visa category. It is aimed at employees of multinational organisations who are being transferred to the UK. It can also be applied for by graduates who are receiving short-term training in the UK.
In order for the Tier 2 ICT Visa to be granted, there is a minimum income requirement that must be satisfied. The graduate trainee route and the long-term staff route have different income requirements.
What are the Tier 2 ICT Visa eligibility requirements?
The Tier 2 ICT Visa is aimed at non-EEA nationals who have received a job offer at the UK branch of their organisation.
There are a number of eligibility requirements that must be satisfied when applying for this visa, including having a job offer from a sponsored employer.
The main requirements are:
- The salary you have been offered must meet the stated threshold;
- You must have been issued a valid certificate of sponsorship;
- You must have enough personal savings to support yourself during your time in the UK;
- You must be able to show your travel history from the past five years;
- You must be able to prove that you’ve worked for your non-UK employer for at least 12 months;
- You must be able to provide Tuberculosis test results if from a listed country.
There are currently two types of ICT Visas: Long-Term Staff and Graduate Trainee
Long-Term Staff Tier 2 ICT Visa
This visa type is aimed at those being transferred to the UK branch of their organisation. To be eligible, you will need to have worked for your existing employer for at least 12 months. However, this requirement will be waived if your employer will be paying you upwards of £73,900 annually.
Graduate Trainee ICT Visa
This visa type is aimed specifically at graduates who are transferring onto a UK-based graduate trainee programme to take up a specialist and professional role.
Eligibility stems from having at least three months’ experience in your current role overseas. It is also essential that you are a recent graduate.
What are the rules regarding sponsorship?
In order to work in the UK, your employer must hold a Tier 2 ICT Visa sponsor licence. They will apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship on your behalf, which when obtained will form part of the supporting documentation for your visa application.
The CoS is an electronic record rather than a paper document. It contains your personal information and employment information. It features a unique reference number which must be inputted into your visa application.
What do I need to know about the minimum salary requirement?
You must be earning either the minimum salary requirement for the type of visa being applied for, or the required rate for the UK job you have been offered- whichever is higher.
The standard salary requirements are as follows:
- £23,000 per year for Graduate Trainees
- £41,500 per year for Long-Term staff
This can vary depending on the unique circumstances surrounding your application.
If your stay in the UK will be shorter than six months, or you are applying to extend your Tier 2 ICT Visa, the salary requirements will most likely be different.
What level of personal savings will I require?
For your visa to be granted, you will need to demonstrate that you have had a minimum of £945 in your bank account for the 90 days proceeding your application.
This shows to the Home Office that you can financially support yourself whilst in the UK.
However, this requirement is waived if you have a job offer from an A-rated sponsor who can cover your costs for your first month in the UK.
Will I be able to bring my family to the UK with me?
The Tier 2 ICT Visa does allow you to include family members on your application as dependents. This means they can come to the UK with you.
A ‘dependent’ is classed as one of the following:
- A child under the age of 18
- A child over 18- if already in the UK as a dependent
- Your wife, husband or partner
For your application to be granted, any dependent must have at least £630 available to them. This requirement is in place regardless of whether they are applying with you.
Dependents must record their biometric information at a visa application centre if applying from outside the UK.
Family members already living in the UK are able to switch or extend their visa to become your dependent.
If this is chosen, they must book an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) point to record their biometric details.
What supporting documents will I need for my Tier 2 ICT Visa application?
As with all other UK visa applications, the Tier 2 ICT Visa application involves the submission of a supporting evidence portfolio. Ensuring that you have all necessary paperwork in place will maximise your chances of success.
The following documents will need to be submitted to the Home Office:
- Passport or travel documentation
- Any expired passports
- Certificate of Sponsorship unique reference number
- Bank statements to show you have enough savings to support yourself
- Tuberculosis test results (if from a listed country)
The exact documents required can vary depending on your specific circumstances. All submitted documents must be original copies- it is highly unlikely that photocopies will be accepted.
If you have any documents that are not in English or Welsh, you must have them translated by an accredited translator. The original copies and the translations must both be submitted with your application.
Can you switch from a Tier 2 ICT Visa to a Tier 2 General?
In the vast majority of cases, it is not permissible to switch from a Tier 2 ICT Visa to a Tier 2 General Visa.
There are certain circumstances in which it is possible to switch from a Tier 2 ICT Visa to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa or Tier 1 Investor Visa.
If you choose to change jobs completely and work for a new and separate organisation, you can apply for a Tier 2 General Visa providing all requirements are met.
There is however a 12-month cooling off period before you can commence your application.
Only those earning £120,000 or more as a Tier 2 ICT Visa holder- or who will be earning £159,600 or more as a Tier 2 General holder are permitted to skip the cooling off period.
Will I be asked to provide details of my employment?
When you apply, you may be asked to demonstrate that you’ve worked for your current employer for the necessary period of time.
Long-term staff that earn less than £73,900 must have worked for their current employer for at least 12 months. Graduate trainees must have been employed for at least three months. However, there is no time requirement for those earning in excess of £73,900.
The following can be used to provide employment details:
- Bank or building society statements
- Electronic payslips endorsed by your sponsor and signed by a senior staff member
- Printed payslips
Do I need a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)?
You may need to provide biometric information in the form of fingerprints and a digital photograph when you apply. This information is used to create your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).
What are the Tier 2 ICT Visa processing times?
Under normal circumstances, you will receive a decision on your application within three weeks of it being received by the Home Office.
If your application is time-sensitive, there are express services available. The priority service costs an additional £500, but will reduce the processing time to just five working days.
If you opt for the super-priority service, you ought to receive a decision within one working day. This service costs £800.
If your case is notably complex, the Home Office may ask you to provide additional documents or provide information about your documents.
What am I permitted to do as a Tier 2 ICT Visa holder?
Your main obligation whilst in the UK on a Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Visa is to honour your Certificate of Sponsorship and remain in employment.
You are also permitted to:
- Participate in voluntary work;
- Bring family members to the UK;
- Study, providing that it doesn’t interfere with work;
- Get a second job, as long as it is less than 20 hours per week and is the same skill level and profession as your main job;
- Travel outside of the UK and re-enter.
Can I extend my Tier 2 ICT Visa?
If you wish to continue your time in UK-based employment, it is possible to extend your Tier 2 ICT Visa. Extensions are open to both graduate trainees and those on a long-term visa.
For your extension to be granted, you must meet the following criteria:
- Your employer must be the one that issued your Certificate of Sponsorship;
- Your salary must still be of the appropriate level;
- You must be living in the UK;
- Your job must be the same as it was when your visa was issued.
If you have dependents on your current visa, they must also be included on your extension application.
If you hold a Long-Term ICT Visa, your extension will be granted for the shortest of the following:
- 5 years;
- 9 years if you earn £120,000 or over;
- The maximum length of stay permitted in your category;
- Your Certificate of Sponsorship’s expiry date, plus 14 days.
If you are a graduate trainee, you can extend your visa for 12 months provided it was initially granted for less than 12 months.
If you did not submit your biometric details during your original Tier 2 ICT Visa application, you will need to do so when you apply for your extension. You can submit these details at a UKVCAS service point.
Does my time in the UK count towards the ILR Residency Requirements?
Before you apply for a Tier 2 ICT Visa, it must be noted that the time you spend in the UK will not count towards the period of residence needed to become eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
Your time in the UK will only count if your visa was issued before the 6th of April 2010. If it was issued after this date, your stay in the UK will not contribute towards the residency requirements.
This can lead to difficulties for holders of the Tier 2 ICT Visa who want to become permanently settled in the UK. Regardless of the duration of their stay, ILR cannot be applied for.
To overcome this issue, you would need to switch employers and apply for a Tier 2 General Visa.
The time you spend in the UK on this visa type does count towards the ILR Residency Requirements.
Tier 2 General Visa
The Tier 2 General Visa is a significant alternative to the ICT Visa, as it also enables you to take up UK-based employment.
However, you are only able to apply for posts that cannot be filled by a new recruit from the resident workforce.
It also must be noted that the eligibility requirements for this visa differ. For example, the salary threshold is totally seperate from that of the ICT Visa.
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Yes, the visa can be extended by completing and submitting the ICT extension application.
If you are a long-term staff member, your extension will be for one of the following:
- 5 years
- 9 years- for those earning over £120,000 per year
- The period of time on your CoS, plus 14 days
- The maximum time allowed in your category
Graduate trainees are permitted to extend their visa for 12 months if their original leave was for less than 12 months.
The length of time for which you can stay in the UK depends on the type of visa you hold.
- Graduate trainees: 12 months
- Long-term staff earning below £120,000: 5 years, 1 month
- Long-term staff earning above £120,000: 9 years
You can be in the UK from 14 days before the start of your sponsorship.
If you opt for the standard service, you ought to receive a decision within eight weeks of your application being submitted.
If you opt for the priority service, you ought to receive a decision within five working days. The super priority service reduces the processing time to just one working day.
Our talented legal team have immense experience in assisting with all types of Tier 2 Visa applications, and will do everything possible to maximise your chances of approval.
The services we provide include:
- Maintaining a dialogue with the Home Office throughout your application;
- Ensuring you are eligible for the visa;
- Conducting a thorough document check to ensure all necessary paperwork is in place;
- Liaising with you in person, over the phone or via Skype throughout the process;
- Completing your application form to the highest possible standard;
- Contacting your UK sponsor to ensure they can hire overseas workers;
- Obtaining your Certificate of Sponsorship from your UK sponsor;
- Preparing a Letter of Representation outlining the strengths of your application to the Home Office, drawing attention to relevant laws in support of your case.
Our legal team is on hand to guide you through each step of the process. We aim to remove the stress from proceedings and make your application as stress-free as possible. Get in touch today on 020 4502 8582.
If your visa was granted after 6th of April 2010, your time in the UK will not count towards the residency requirements for ILR or British Citizenship. If your visa was issued before this date, it will count towards the necessary period of residence.
It is possible to get a different UK-based job and apply for a Tier 2 General Visa- your time in the UK will then count towards the residency requirements. However, unless you are earning over £120,000, or are due to earn over £159,600 in your new role, you will have to adhere to a 12-month cooling off period before applying for your new visa.
It is possible to switch onto a Long-Term ICT Visa from a Representative of an Overseas Business Visa.
Eligibility stems from already in the UK and working for the same employer that you named on your preceding visa application.
If you have not already provided it, you may be asked to submit your biometric information.
The Tier 2 ICT Visa is aimed at employees wishing to transfer to the UK branch of their company.
A person usually becomes eligible after working for their employer for 12 months.
There are currently two types of Tier 2 ICT Visa: Graduate Trainee and Long-Term Staff.
Graduate Trainee applicants will need a salary offer of at least £23,000. Long-term staff must have an offer of at least £41,500.