ICT to Global Business Mobility Visa Transition Arrangements for Sponsors

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The Home Office has shared details of the transition arrangements for sponsors that are currently employing, or are in the process of hiring, ICT visa holders.

From 11 April 2022, the Global Business Mobility (GBM) Visa will be open to new applications. Within the GBM visa, two new sub-categories will replace the ICT routes:

  • GBM: Senior or Specialist Worker: replacing the Intra-Company Transfer route
  • GBM: Graduate Trainee: replacing the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route

 

SMS service availability pre-11 April

The Home Office has advised of planned system downtime while its IT systems are updated in preparation for the new routes.

The SMS and online sponsor application form will be unavailable from approximately 19:00 on Friday 8 April 2022 until approximately 9.00 Monday 11 April 2022.

All in-progress (that is, saved but incomplete) applications to add routes to an existing licence will be deleted during this downtime and will have to be restarted once access is restored.

In addition, any ICT Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) with a status of ‘ready to go’ or ‘work in progress’ will not be available to assign.

In its guidance, the Home Office “strongly advises you to complete any transactions before 19:00 on Friday 8 April 2022.”

 

Impact of the changes on your sponsor licence

For employers with a valid ICT sponsor licence on 10 April 2022, the Senior or Special Worker route will automatically be added to the licence.

The GBM Graduate Trainee route will also be added to the licence if either of the following applies:

  • you have requested an allocation of CoS for the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route at any time since 1 December 2020
  • you have, at any time in the past, assigned a CoS to a graduate trainee – this includes on the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route, or the Graduate Trainee sub-category of the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) route in place before 1 December 2020

Your Intra-Company sponsor licence will be retained to allow you to meet your reporting duties for existing ICT workers, but there will be no longer be any active CoS allocations for ICT visas.

 

If your licence is due for renewal

If your licence is due to expire between 8 April 2022 and 11 April 2022 inclusive and your renewal application is not submitted by 19:00 on 8 April 2022, the licence will be extended for a temporary period of 4 calendar days.

During this temporary reprieve, the renewal application must be submitted or it will expire, impacting your permission to employ sponsored workers.

 

Impact of the changes on your CoS allocations

CoS allocations for the new Senior or Specialist Worker route will be the same as your total CoS allocation for the Intra-Company routes on 10 April 2022.

If your licence is updated to also include the Graduate Trainee route, your CoS allocation for that route will be the same as your total CoS allocation for the Intra-Company routes on 10 April 2022, up to a maximum of 20 CoS.

 

Undecided CoS requests

Any outstanding requests to increase or renew existing CoS allocations to sponsor ICT workers from before 11 April 2022 will be considered under the Senior or Specialist Worker route.

However, any undecided requests to increase or renew your existing CoS allocation to sponsor workers on the ICT Graduate Trainee route made before 11 April 2022 will automatically expire, and the request will need to be submitted again on or after 11 April 2022.

 

CoS assigned before 11 April 2022

For CoS assigned to workers on either of the ICT visas before 9 a.m. on 11 April 2022 that have not been used in an application for entry clearance or permission to stay before that date and time, the worker can still use the CoS on the relevant GBM route (Senior or Specialist Worker, or Graduate Trainee), provided the CoS has not expired and you are licensed on the relevant route.

One of the key differences between the ICT routes and the new GBM visa is the uplift in salary thresholds under the new routes.

This means workers assigned an Intra-Company Transfer CoS with a salary below £42,400 or assigned an Intra-Company Graduate Trainee CoS with a salary below £23,100 will not be eligible under the new routes.

Sponsors may increase the salaries of any workers to allow them to qualify for the new routes. The new salary level must be added as a note to the CoS.

 

Need assistance?

DavidsonMorris’ specialist immigration lawyers are on hand to advise on all aspects of sponsor licence management, including allocations of Certificates of Sponsorships. If you have a query about the new Global Business Mobility visa, or CoS allocations and requests, contact us.

Last updated: 5 April 2022

Author

Founder and Managing Director Anne Morris is a fully qualified solicitor and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

She is a recognised by Legal 500 and Chambers as a legal expert and delivers Board-level advice on business migration and compliance risk management as well as overseeing the firm’s development of new client propositions and delivery of cost and time efficient processing of applications.

Anne is an active public speaker, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

About DavidsonMorris

As employer solutions lawyers, DavidsonMorris offers a complete and cost-effective capability to meet employers’ needs across UK immigration and employment law, HR and global mobility.

Led by Anne Morris, one of the UK’s preeminent immigration lawyers, and with rankings in The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, we’re a multi-disciplinary team helping organisations to meet their people objectives, while reducing legal risk and nurturing workforce relations.

Legal Disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct at the time of writing, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

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