Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Visa

The Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa, or Tier 2 ICT, is designed to allow employers to transfer a skilled member of staff currently working in an overseas branch to a UK branch of the same or a related company.

Many of the same conditions for the Tier 2 (General) Visa also apply to the Tier 2 (ICT) Visa - for example the company must have a valid Sponsor Licence that allows them to sponsor an overseas employee. But there are some important differences that need to be handled correctly if the visa application is to be processed in a timely manner and to a successful conclusion.

Five Star International is a firm of expert immigration lawyers based in the heart of Glasgow's West End, and we have an excellent understanding of both the practical and legal aspects of immigration procedures. Our friendly and enthusiastic team have many years of experience handling all types of immigration cases, including Intra-Company Visas. So why not give us a call today on +44 (0) 141 339 7373 or by email at enquiries@fivestarvisas.com to discuss the details of your Tier 2 ICT Visa application.

Tier 2 ICT Visa Requirements

The Tier 2 ICT Visa is designed for people from outwith the EEA and Switzerland, and the main requirement for a successful application is that your overseas employer (who holds a Sponsor Licence) has offered to transfer your job to a UK branch of the company or organisation.

You need to be in possession of a Certificate of Sponsorship (essentially a reference number), your proposed job must offer an 'appropriate' salary, and you must also prove that you have sufficient savings to support yourself and your dependants without relying on public funds. Your Sponsor may undertake to maintain and accommodate you, in which case you may not need to prove you can support yourself, otherwise you will need to show that you have had access to sufficient savings for the three month period before your application.

In some circumstances you need to prove that you can communicate effectively in English - you can demonstrate this by sitting a certified test at the required level, or by being a Citizen of one of the countries listed as English-speaking, or by holding a degree-level qualification that was taught in English.

As with the Tier 2 (General) Visa, you need to hold a Certificate of Sponsorship from a licensed Sponsor business or organisation before applying, and the work you undertake must be related to the work of your Sponsor. The same general rule applies that the role you take in the UK could not have been filled by an employee already based in the UK, and that the employer took reasonable steps to advertise the position locally.

To qualify as an 'appropriate salary' your job must pay £41,500 or higher (for Long-Term Staff), or £24,800 (for Short-Term Staff, Graduate Trainee or Skills Transfer). There are exceptions to this minimum level, for instance if you work for an overseas news broadcasting organisation. But in most cases the 'appropriate rate' will be as described or higher, depending on the industry sector.

There are four main types of ICT Visa available - for long-term staff, short-term staff, graduate trainees and to allow for skills transfer.

The Long-Term Staff category is for people who are to work in the UK for a period greater than 12 months, whereas the Short-Term Staff category is for people working for less than 12 months. In both cases you need to have worked for your overseas employer for at least one full year before applying for an Intra-Company Transfer Visa.

The Graduate Trainee option is for people looking to transfer into a specialist graduate training scheme. For this option you only need to have been with your employer for 3 months instead of the usual 12 months, however you need to have graduated recently in order to be eligible.

Finally, the Skills Transfer option is designed to allow people to either acquire skills in the UK that they need for their overseas role, or to allow them to pass their current skills on to the other UK employees of the Sponsor organisation. This option does not require you to have been with your current employer for any particular length of time.

As with the General Tier 2 Visa, you are permitted to apply no more than 3 months before you arrive in the country, and decisions are usually given within around 3 weeks. There is a visa processing fee to be paid, which will depend on the type of ICT Visa you require, as well as your location and other factors. There is also a health surcharge payable.

Most of the rights and restrictions from the Tier 2 (General) Visa apply for the Tier 2 (ICT) Visa too - meaning you can work for your Sponsor in the role outlined in your Certificate of Sponsorship, and you can also do voluntary work or study alongside your main role. You can freely enter and leave the country, and bring family members and dependants with you. But you can't access public funds, for example state benefits.

The maximum length of time you can stay in the UK depends on the type of ICT Visa granted, and in the case of long-term staff on the level of your annual salary. Unless your visa is specifically issued for a shorter duration, the maximum length of time you can stay is 9 years (for Long-Term Staff earning over £155,300 per annum), 5 years and 1 month (for Long-Term Staff earning less than £155,300 per annum), 12 months (for both Graduate Trainees and Short-Term Staff), or 6 months (Skills Transfer).

Expert Legal Advice for Tier 2 ICT Visa Applications

Five Star International is a team of immigration experts based in Glasgow, and our enthusiastic and highly skilled immigration lawyers have many years of experience handling all types of immigration cases throughout Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and across Scotland.

We are skilled at both the legal and practical aspects of immigration procedures, and our experienced lawyers have built up a reputation for successfully resolving complex and challenging cases that other UK immigration firms were unable to resolve. We believe in offering a flexible and personal legal service - we are open from 8am until late 6 days per week, offer telephone and Skype consultations, and offer home and workplace visits for your convenience.

To speak with one of our specialist immigration advisers about the details of your Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa Application - whether you are just looking for general help, or specific advice about either the legal or practical aspects of your application - we would be only too happy to help. Please get in touch now on +44 (0) 141 339 7373 or by email at enquiries@fivestarvisas.com.