Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer)

Do you need to bring a member of staff from one of your overseas offices to the UK for a temporary assignment?

We can help with the Tier 2 (ICT) visa.

Tier 2 intra company transfer

The Tier 2 (Intra-Company) Transfer visa is specifically designed to allow you to do this. 

Types of Intra-Company Visas

There are two types of Intra-company Transfer visa:

  • Long-term Staff This visa is for transfers of more than 12 months into a role that can’t be filled by a UK recruit. If the employee will be earning more than £73,900, the 12-month qualifying period will not apply. 
  • Graduate Trainee This visa is for transfers into graduate trainee programmes for specialist roles. Graduates need at least 3 months’ experience with the employer overseas to be eligible.

What do you need to be able to sponsor someone in the UK under Tier 2 (Intra-Company) Transfer?

The UK-based operation must have a valid Tier 2 sponsor licence in place, with Intra Company Transfer Certificates of Sponsorship available to assign to prospective employees coming over to the UK. You will also need to evidence the connection between the UK and overseas operations. 

What are the eligibility requirements to apply for a Tier 2 (Intra-Company) visa?

The requirements for each type of visa varies, below is an outline of how you can determine if the option is suitable for the person you wish to bring to the UK.

Long-Term

  • Must have been employed in a full time capacity by the overseas company for at least 12 months.
  • Salary on offer in the UK must be at least £41,500, unless the salary stated for the Code of Practice is higher, then you will need to pay the higher threshold. 
  • For assignments over 12 months.

Graduate Trainee

  • Must be a recent graduate with at least 3 months’ experience with the employer overseas.
  • Salary on offer in the UK must be at least £23,000, unless the salary stated for the Code of Practice is higher, then you will need to pay the higher threshold. 

Note that Tier 2 ICT visas are exempt from the Resident Labour Market Test. 

What is the maximum time you can sponsor someone in the UK on the different types of Intra-Company transfer visas?

  • Long-term Staff earning more than £120,000 a year: 9 years
  • Long-term Staff earning less than £120,000 a year: 5 years, 1 month
  • Graduate Trainee: 12 months

Can I extend my staff’s visa from within the UK?

It is possible to extend a person who is in the UK on an Intra-Company Transfer, providing the maximum time allowed has not been spent in the UK.

For example, if you bring someone to the UK under the Intra-Company Transfer Short-Term arranged months for 6 months, they can extend for a further a 6 months from within the UK providing they are still required for the role.

If you are unsure about the best route for your business needs, call one of our highly experienced staff at DavidsonMorris Solicitors.

Is switching from Tier 2 ICT to Tier 2 (General) visa permitted?

It is important that the business selects the correct type of visa for the person they wish to bring to the UK for an assignment as there are limitations to what Tier 2 (ICT) holders can do once in the UK.

What happens after an employee has been in the UK for the maximum time allowed to spent on the type of visa they entered on?

After spending the maximum allowed time in the UK, the person will be subject to the 12-month cooling off period. Limited exemptions to the cooling-off period are potentially available, including:

  • The person is a ‘high-earner’, earning above the prevailing threshold;
  • The Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned for 3 months or less, the person left the UK within the 3 months and you reported this to via the Sponsor Management System.

Can employees who are in the UK under Tier 2 Intra-company transfer qualify to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK?

If the employee entered the UK before 6th April 2011, after 10 years of continuously being in the UK lawfully the person may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to remain, under the Long Residency route, providing they meet all the requirements.

However, if they choose not to apply then they must leave the UK by the expiry date given on the visa and they cannot re-enter the UK for a 12 months from the date they left the UK under any Tier 2 category, this is known as the cooling-off period.

What is Indefinite Leave to Remain?

Holding Indefinite Leave to Remain means the person is free of immigration control, it grants an applicant the right to live and work in the UK without any immigration restrictions, and entitles them to apply for naturalisation.

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