UK Intra-Company Visa (formerly known as TIER 2 Intra-Company Transfer)

There are five categories of Skilled Worker applicants who will require a sponsorship certificate from their sponsors in order to make a visa applications in line with the certificate:

Intra-Company Visa 

This category caters for the multinational companies who wish to invite their existing employees working in their overseas branch or head office to work in the UK.
The sponsor needs to issue the applicant a certificate of sponsorship and needs to ensure the salary on offer and the qualifications of the applicant will enable him or her to satisfy the rules.

Applicants are required to score at a minimum number of points, depending on the type of application, in order to successfully apply under this category.

The Home Office will now check that applicants are genuine and that they intend to meet the conditions of the leave they apply for.

The following rules become effective for this visa category:

  • For this route, the cooling-off period is removed. There will still be a time-limit on how long an applicant can be under this route, but it will be up to 5 years in any 6-year rolling period or, for high earners, up to 9 years in any 10-year rolling period.
  • High earners will be those earning an annual salary above £73,900 (instead of £120,000). Those workers can have leave as Intra-Company workers for up to 9 years; and do not need to have been working for the business overseas for 12 months.
  • There are more flexible “switching” provisions, although applicants still need have been working for the sponsor for 12 months at the date of application (except for high earners).

A. Categories of UK Intra-Company Visa

Intra-Company transfers are now split into two sub-categories:

1. Intra-company Transfer visa

This sub-category is for established employees who are being transferred to the UK for 12 months or more in respect of a skilled job that could not be carried out by a new recruit from the resident workforce.

To qualify for the Intra-company Transfer visa, you must:

  • be an existing employee of an organisation that is been approved by the Home Office as a sponsor
  • have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the role you have been offered in the UK
  • do a job that is on the list of eligible occupations
  • have salary of at least £41,500 for an Intra-company Transfer visa

You can stay in the UK with an Intra-company Transfer visa for whichever is shorter of:

  • the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days
  • 5 years
  • the length of time that takes you to the maximum total stay allowed

The maximum total stay allowed for the Intra-company Transfer visa is:

  • 5 years in any 6 year period if you are paid less than £73,900 a year
  • 9 years in any 10 year period if you are paid £73,900 a year or more

You can apply for extension of your Intra-company Transfer visa up to the maximum total stay, specified above.

2. Graduate Trainee

This sub-category will be for the new graduates who need to come to the UK as part of a structured training programme which clearly defines progression towards a managerial or specialist role.  The applicant must have worked for the overseas branch or head office for at least 3 months and will be able to apply for entry clearance for a maximum of 12 months. Switching into other categories or applying for extension for leave to remain for more than 12 months will not be permitted.

They still require scoring 50 points for attributes and 10 points for maintenance to qualify.  They do not need to score points under English language section.

The job has to be at graduate level, paid at least £24,800 per annum and at or above the appropriate rate for the job.  The applicant must also be able to provide evidence of the structured program that they will follow. The sponsors will be limited to sponsor maximum five graduate trainees per year.

B. Scoring Sections

I Attributes

The applicant must score 50 points under this section that can be claimed under the following criteria:

  1. Valid Certificate of Sponsorship – 30 points
  2. Appropriate salary – 20 points

In order to be a valid Certificate of Sponsorship it would have to be issued in accordance with the Immigration Rules at Appendix A, paragraph 74.  Amongst other requirements, it cannot have been issued more than three months before the date of application and it has to record that the job appears on the list of graduate level occupations as stated in the codes of practice for Tier 2 sponsors as published by the Home Office (for exceptions, see transitional measures below).

All applicants in the UK on an Intra-Company Transfer under the rules in place before 6th April 2011 and paid at least the appropriate rate (according to the codes of practice on the Home Office website) will score 20 points for appropriate salary.  (Please see above individual categories for appropriate salary in respect new applicants.)

II Maintenance

The applicant will need to score 10 points under this section to obtain a visa. This is possible in the following ways:

  • the applicant has already been in the UK for the last 12 months on a valid visa or leave to remain, with the exception of visitor visa; or
  • the applicant has at least £1,270 in the personal bank account for consecutive 28 days before applying for himself as the main applicant; or
  • the applicant's sponsor provides official confirmation that, if necessary, he will help the immigrant financially, as well as with housing in the first month after employment. Such an application will only be accepted from a sponsor licensed under category A.

Maintenance for Dependants: The applicant will require showing extra £285 for his/her spouse, £315 for the first child and £200 for each additional dependent child, if the applicant intends to bring them with him to the UK. The applicant’s sponsor will also be able to certify the dependants of the prospective employee for maintenance purposes.

C. Switching Rules

Only those applicants granted leave in the following categories can switch into the Intra-Company Visa category:-

  • Tier 1 Migrant
  • Tier 2 Migrant issued under the old immigration rules
  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson, Minister of religion) visa issued under the old immigration rules
  • Tier 2 (Intra company transfer: established staff) visa and you’re applying to change sponsor issued under the old immigration rules
  • Health and Care Worker Visa (formerly known as TIER 2 (Health and Care Visa)
  • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Creative and sporting) for a job as a professional footballer and you meet the Tier 2 (Sportsperson) requirements, issued under the old immigration rules
  • Innovator
  • Start-up
  • A Dependent partner of someone with a Student visa
  • Member of Operational Ground Staff of an overseas owned Airline
  • Representative of an overseas newspaper, News Agency or Broadcasting organization

To discuss your visa application

Please contact with one of our immigration lawyers by phone +44 (0) 207 907 1460 (London), +7 495 933 7299 (Moscow), +971 509 265 140 (Dubai) or complete our enquiry

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Switch from a Student Visa

In order to be able to switch from a Student visa to a Skilled Worker Visa you must have obtained one of the qualifications below:

  • A UK bachelor’s degree
  • A UK master’s degree
  • A postgraduate certificate in education
  • A professional graduate diploma of education

The other student visa categories are:

  • Student
  • Student nurse
  • Student Re-sitting an examination
  • Overseas Qualified Nurse or Midwife
  • Person writing up a Thesis
  • Post graduate doctor or dentist
  • Student Union Sabbatical Officer

The applicant will need to be working for the same employer as in the previous application.

Administrative Review (Entry clearance and Extension applications)

If the entry clearance application or extension application is refused by the ECO in the British Diplomatic post or by the Home Office, the applicant will be given a right to make a request for a review of the decision that must be exercised within 28 days of the date of service of the decision if application was submitted outside the UK or 14 days if application is made inside the UK. The applicant will only be able to rely on the information/documents already submitted with the application and will not be allowed to provide or submit any fresh evidence with the review request.

It is therefore strongly advised to take professional help while making grounds for making review request.

Appeals (Entry Clearance Applications only)

Applicants whose Intra-Company Entry Clearance applications are refused will be given full rights of appeal, provided they are not left with any leave to remain in the UK at the time of the decision. In these appeals, applicants are no longer allowed to make use of fresh evidence in order to challenge the decision of the Home Office (unless appealing on human rights, asylum or race discrimination grounds) and can rely only on the evidence submitted with the application. The applicant will have 10 working days from the date of service of decision to lodge an appeal against that decision.

It is strongly advised to seek professional assistance in lodging an appeal against any decision of Home Office.

Settlement Prospects

Intra-Company Visa workers can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK on completion of a total of five years in the following categories, most recently having Tier 2 (ICT) leave to remain (issued under the old immigration rules):

  • Qualifying Work Permit Holder (on the basis of Intra-Company Transfer only)
  • Representative of an Overseas Business

Dependants would also be allowed to apply for settlement with the main applicant if they had last been granted leave as a dependant of the main applicant (in respect of partners, provided they have lived with the main applicant in the UK for at least two years).

What services we can offer?

  • We can advise on the procedure of making the Intra-Company Visa application in line with the sponsorship certificate
  • We can assess the job and the applicant`s details and advise on the likelihood of the applicant being sponsored under the Intra-Company Visa
  • We can advise and represent our clients in making their leave to remain/entry clearance applications in line with the certificate of sponsorship
  • We can advise and represent our clients’ dependants to seek dependant visas in line with the visa of the main applicant.
  • We can lodge an appeal (Entry Clearance Applications) or make a request for an administrative review if the applicant`s application is refused for some reason
  • We can advise in making applications for indefinite leave to remain for those who have already completed the five years’ qualifying period in the UK

Whatever the case, we are here to assist, advise and represent our clients in relation to any aspect of their immigration matters.

Still have questions?

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