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Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer (ICT) Long-Term Visa
*Note: making initial applications under this route is no longer available – prospective applicants will have to make an application under the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa. Follow the link for more information on how we can help you meet the new requirements.*
The ICT Visa enables overseas workers to transfer to their organisation’s UK branch or connected entity. Long-term staff visas are for applicants transferring to a role which requires previous experience in the company and for transfers exceeding 12 months, or for applicants who have already worked for the overseas organisation for at least 12 months (unless the company pays the applicant a salary of at least £73,900).
Main requirements for the Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer visa
The maximum permitted stay in the UK for long-term staff earning more than £120,000 a year, including possible extensions, is 9 years. Those earning less than £120,000 a year can stay in the UK for up to 5 years and 1 month. An applicant may come to the UK 14 days before the start date on their Certificate of Sponsorship, which is a reference number that the sponsor will give to the applicant. This holds all relevant personal details and information about the job.
Applicants wishing to extend their Tier 2 ICT visa beyond the maximum stay must leave the UK and cannot apply to return until after a 12-month cooling-off period. Applicants may take a second job after they have started work with their first sponsor as long as it is in the same profession or on the same level. They are allowed to do supplementary work of up to 20 hours per week, study and participate in voluntary work. It should be noted that the Tier 2 ICT Visa is not itself a route leading to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
Key criteria for the Tier 2 ICT visa
In order to apply for an ICT Visa, an applicant must be from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. Furthermore, they must have been offered a role in a UK branch in the organisation that they are already working for overseas. Applicants need to have proof that they have worked for their employer outside the UK. Applicants must have a sponsorship certificate, be paid an appropriate salary for their work and have savings of £945 three months before applying to maintain themselves at the beginning. They must also demonstrate that they are able to travel and give proof of their travels from the past 5 years.
How can NA Law Solicitors help?
At NA Law Solicitors, we will ensure that your application is prepared with the necessary expertise and attention to detail in order avoid refusal from the Home Office, which reviews Tier 2 ICT Visa applications very thoroughly. We will assist you and give guidance with a successful outcome in mind. We can also help with the Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence application process, Tier 2 sponsor duties, applying for a Tier 2 COS application, the genuine vacancy test and Tier 2 sponsorship licence application renewal process. Please get in touch for an initial assessment.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
You need a sponsorship licence if you plan on hiring employees from outside the EEA.
To meet the requirements, you must:
- be a genuine business or sole-trader which is legally operating in the UK.
- be able to demonstrate a genuine need for migrant workers.
- have no unspent criminal convictions for immigration offences, money laundering, or fraud.
- not pose any kind of threat to the UK via your company or any of its personnel.
- not have a history of failing to carry out sponsorship duties.
- have organised HR systems and records.
The Home Office fee depends on the type of business you have. For small businesses and charities the Tier 2 sponsorship fee is £536. For medium and large businesses the Tier 2 sponsorship fee is £1476. You are a small business if you have an annual turnover of £10.2 million and less than 50 employees.
Some of the most common reasons for Tier 2 sponsor visa rejection are:
- Non-compliance with the Home Office security standards
- Failing the genuineness test
- Failing to retain documentation on sponsored migrant workers
The Home Office will award you with a license rating. Your business will be placed on the UK Sponsorship Licence register. You will be able to issue Certificates of Sponsorship. Your license will be valid for 4 years.
Applying for a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence is a lengthy and complex process. NA Law Solicitors can assist with your business immigration needs by managing the entire Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence application process. We can help you adhere to your duties as a Tier 2 sponsor and steer you towards a successful outcome. Subsequently, NA Law can assist with the following:
- Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence applications
- Audit existing HR and record keeping systems
- Acting as a key contact and/or level 1 user for your Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence
- Advising on Right to Work checks as set out by the Home Office guidance
- Applying for a restricted or unrestricted CoS and assigning it to the relevant workers
- Advising on how to deal with closure notices and civil penalty notices
- Assisting multi-nationals to bring their overseas staff to the UK via the Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer visa route
- Advising on Brexit-related issues faced by EEA national workers
- Advising on all other corporate immigration matters
During the sponsor licence application, the Home Office may come to conduct a compliance visit at the company premises. Our specialist team at NA Law Solicitors can conduct a mock audit for you. This will decrease the chance of an unsuccessful sponsor licence. Contact us for further information, advice or guidance.
Most applications are dealt with within 4 weeks. UKVI will contact the applicant once a decision is made.
Prior to making a decision on a Student sponsorship licence application or as a means to ensure a sponsor is adhering to its Student sponsor duties, UKVI may make an unannounced visit to inspect the sponsor’s HR policies and confirm they have sufficient measures in place to fulfil their obligations.