What Is a UK Tier 2 ICT Visa?
Tier 2 Intra-Company Visa is a UK work visa for skilled workers of a multinational company in a foreign country, with minimum 1 year work-experience in such company, expecting to get transferred in a job in the UK branch.
Recent graduated recruits with a minimum 3 months experience in a multinational company in a foreign country, expecting a transfer into a UK branch of the same company, can apply for this visa. Such training should help them advance the current job position towards a managerial or specialist.
Who Needs a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa?
Citizens of countries that don’t have a visa free travel agreement with the UK are required to apply for the Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa. The job position that they are expected to work in, should be such that cannot be filled by the EU/EEA workforce.
Which Are the Types of Tier 2 ICT Visas?
Based on the engagement you’ll have in the UK branch of your current employer, there are 2 types of the Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visas, as follows:
- Tier 2 ICT Visa for Long-Term Staff.
- Tier 2 ICT Visa for Graduate Trainee.
Note: The Tier 2 Inter-Company Transfer Visa for short term staff is not available for new applications ever since April 6, 2017.
Which Are the Preconditions to Apply for a Tier 2 ICT Visa?
These are factors defining your eligibility to apply for a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa:
- Pass the general grounds for a UK visa refusal.
- Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from a licensed Tier 2 sponsor. The employer has to be a multinational company.
- Job must have passed “the resident labour market test”.
- Appropriate annual salary. Your offered annual salary must be minimum £41,500 (as a long-term staff) or the appropriate rate for such long-term job, whichever is more. Or, a minimum of £23,000 annual salary (as a graduate trainee) or the appropriate rate for such graduate training, whichever is greater.
- Suitable job position. The job you have been offered has to be on the level 6 of the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF). Or, of the level 4 of RQF in the creative sector.
- Your employer’s rights to sponsor you. The multinational company which is sponsoring your transfer in their branch in the UK has to be listed amongst licensed Tier 2 sponsors.
- Certificate of sponsorship validity. You must not apply for this visa with a CoS issued 3 months or earlier before your planned date of visa application.
- Genuine vacancy. The job position you’re expecting to get has to be a genuine role, and the sponsor has to be qualified to offer services/products deriving from such position.
- Financial capacity requirement. You need to have enough money on your disposition for the living and accommodation costs in the UK, without having to rely on UK’s public funds.
- Age requirement. Be age-appropriate to start academic studies, meaning that you have be at least 18 when being issued a visa, or expecting to turn 18 within the visa period.
What I Am Allowed To Do in the UK with a Tier 2 ICT Visa?
Activities you can do in the UK with a Tier 2 ICT visa are:
- Getting a supplementary paid job that:
- Is the same job position as your main sponsored job
- The workload in such job doesn’t exceed 20 hours /week.
- Is listed amongst the UK’s shortage occupations.
- Perform unpaid activities as a volunteer.
- Study for as long as it doesn’t interfere with the purpose of your visa.
- Partake in a postgraduate course.
- Travel outside the UK within the visa period.
- Bring your dependent family members with you.
- Switch into another job position within the same company (sponsor).
What I Am Not Allowed to Do in the UK with a Tier 2 ICT Visa?
Activities that you are not allowed performing in the UK on the grounds of a Tier 2 ICT visa:
- Use UK public funds or other public benefits.
- Switch into another visa category from Tier 2 ICT visa.
- Get a second job outside of Tier 2 ICT visa’s policies.
How to Apply for a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa?
There are 2 main application types for a Tier 2 ICT visa, depending on where you’re applying from when applying, as follows:
Application for Tier 2 ICT Visa from Abroad
You should apply for an entry Tier 2 ICT visa from abroad, if your intention is to enter into the UK from a country outside the EEA, for a reason recognized under policies of such visa.
The application process for the Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer visa is similar to other UK visas. When applying from outside the UK you need to apply through an online service of the Home Office. Additionally, you have to submit the supporting evidence to the address specified in the online form. You have to apply for this visa not later than 3 months since receiving the Certificate of Sponsorship, and not earlier than 3 months from the starting date of the job.
You cannot be be in the UK earlier than 14 days than the starting date of your starting date, as specified in the Sponsorship Certificate. As a part of the application you have to submit your biometric information at a visa application center, in 10 days after having arrived in the UK.
Application for Tier 2 ICT Visa from the UK
If you’re applying for an extension of Tier 2 ICT Visa, or applying to switch into Tier 2 ICT, you have to submit the application early enough before the current visa expires.
Tier 2 ICT Visa Extension
You may apply for an extension of a current Tier 2 ICT Visa from the UK,. This is possible only if the reason you’re expecting to remain in the UK is to continue working for the same sponsor.
To apply for an extension or change in the job position in Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa category, you have to use the online application service of the Home Office. You have to submit the required documents for visa extension on the address specified in the online form.
As a part of the application you have to provide biometric information.
Switching into the Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer visa
You can apply to alter your current valid Representative of a Foreign Business visa into Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa (Long-Term Staff subcategory), without having to leave the UK. This is possible only if this will mean working for the same sponsor.
The application to switch into Tier 2 ICT visa from another visa category is known as the application for another LR.
How Long Can I Stay in the UK with a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa?
The period you’ll be entitled to live and work in the UK, completely depends on the type of sponsorship you have, as follows:
- The work contract period, plus 2 calendar weeks.
- Up to 5 years, plus 1 calendar month (depending the start date of the certificate of sponsorship).
- Up to 5 years, for a salary under £120,000/ Up to 9 years, for a salary £120,000 or above. This period takes account the complete visa periods, since the initial visa.
- If you are a Graduate Trainee: Up to 1 calendar year. This includes the complete visa periods, since the initial visa.
Whichever of the above criteria is shorter, is considered the allowed period of stay in the UK.
Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa Requirements
- Complying with the general requirements of applying for a UK visa.
- Reaching 50 points for Tier 2 ICT attributions. This takes account of 30 points given for having a valid and qualifying certificate of sponsorship from your employer. While, the other 20 points for having been offered the appropriate salary.
- Get a minimum of 10 points for your means of subsistence. You must prove that you have £945 for yourself and £630 for any dependent accompanying you (if applicable).
- Certificate of sponsorship by an A rated sponsor. It has to have an undertaking that such sponsor will be covering your subsistence costs.
- Formal bank statements showing enough cash. This has to cover the period of 90 days right before applying for the visa. This includes ad hoc bank statements and electronic bank statements printed on the bank’s letterhead/stationary.
- Confirmation letter for enough personal savings in cash. You must have held such money for at least 90 continuous days.
- Sponsor’s unconditional written consent.
- Having a clear criminal record certificate.
- Having the tuberculosis test results (if you are from a country which requires taking the test before coming to the UK).
Specific Requirements for Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa Extention
- New Certificate of Sponsorship for extension.
- Working for the same employer you have worked when taking your last visa (such visa must have been either Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer – Long Term Staff, or a Visa as a Representative of a Foreign Business).
- Register with the police (if you qualify).
Specific Requirements for Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Switch
- Your Biometric Information. You have to provide your photograph and get your fingerprints scanned.
- Paying the Immigration healthcare surcharge (IHS).
- Paying the appropriate visa application fee.
- Providing the ATAS Certificate (If you’re expecting to participate in a postgraduate course and you’re required to present such certificate).
How Long Does It Take for a Tier 2 ICT Visa Application to Be Decided?
For an application for Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa made from abroad, the processing time is usually 3 months.
For an application to switch into/extend a Tier 2 ICT visa it takes up to 8 weeks to get a decision, if using the priority service the processing time is up to 10 weeks, while if using the premium service you’ll get the decision in the day you apply.
The application for a settlement permit (ILR) in Tier 2 ICT is decided by the Home Office within 6 months since the day you apply.
Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer visa Dependents
As a dependent family member of a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer applicant/holder you can accompany them during their period of engagement in the UK. Your family members can apply as your dependents if their relationship with you is any of the following:
- Your husband/wife.
- Your unmarried/same-sex partner of a long-lasting relationship.
- Your child younger than 18 when applying/ 18 or over applying for LR or ILR from the UK.
Read the details on how you can apply as a dependent relative in Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer category.
Requirements for Dependents of Tier 2 ICT Visa Holders
The requirements for Your Partner Applying for a Settlement Permit in Tier 2 ICT:
- Proof of having/having had a Tier 2 ICT dependent partner visa.
- Evidence of your relationship with your partner.
- Marriage/civil partnership certificates.
- Bank statements.
- Council tax bills.
- Medical registration certificates.
- Utility bills.
- Proof of continuous residence in the UK of your partner.
- Proof of the intention to build a permanent life together.
- Proof of your financial capacity to cover your/your partner’s subsistence costs.
- Evidence that your partner has passed the “Life in the UK” test and has the adequate English language skills.
Requirements for Your Child Applying for a Settlement Permit in Tier 2 ICT:
- Proof of having/having had a Tier 2 ICT dependent child visa.
- Evidence that your child isn’t married/in a civil partnership.
- Evidence of your relationship with your child.
- Your child’s birth/adoption certificate.
- Proof of your financial capacity to cover your/your child’s subsistence costs.
- Proof that your child’s other parent is either in the UK, or is applying to settle on a work visa. This rule doesn’t include the following cases:
- You’re the only parent alive.
- You have sole responsibility for your child’s education.
- Your child has a serious illness and you are a settled person.
- Evidence for your child’s current living address (if your child is 16 or above that age). You have to provide at least 2 of the following documents:
- Your child’s bank statements.
- Their credit card bill.
- Their driving license (if applicable).
- Your child’s NHS certificate of registration.
- Formal letter from your child’s current education provider.
- Information regarding monthly payable costs of your child. This takes account of money your child spends on paying the rent, utility services, and similar monthly costs.
Note: When your child or partner applies for settlement permit as your Tier 2 ICT visa dependent, you have to be living with them and not be in use of public funds or benefits.
How Much Does It Cost to Apply for an ICT Tier 2 Visa?
The fee to apply for a Tier 2 Intra-Company Visa differs in dependence to the category you are applying for, from where you are applying and the way you are submitting your request for this visa. Click here to learn more about the fees to apply for a Tier 2 ICT visa.
Can my Tier 2 Inter-Company Transfer Visa Be Cancelled?
Yes, your Tier 2 Inter-Company Transfer visa may be revoked in the following cases:
- If you fail to start working for your sponsor.
- If the work contract you have with the sponsor ends earlier than agreed.
- Sponsor failing to continue being a Tier 2 licensed sponsor for any reason.
- Long absences from the work.
Can a Tier 2 ICT Dependent Family Member Work in the UK?
Dependents of Tier 2 ICT visa holders may work, for as far as this isn’t a full-time job and it doesn’t exceed the workload of 20 hours during 1 week.
Application to Settle in the Tier 2 ICT Category
You may apply to get a permanent residence permit if you have legally resided in the UK for at least 5 continuous years. The application for a settlement permit should be done not earlier than 28 days before you reach the 5 years of continuous residence in the UK.
This type of application to settle in the UK in Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer category is largely referred as application for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
By receiving an ILR in Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa you’ll be authorized to permanently remain in the UK. After having reached the qualifying period of residence and met other requirements, you may even apply for naturalization as a British citizen.
How to Apply for Settlement Permit?
The application for ILR in Tier 2 ICT category has to be made using the online application service of the Home Office. As a part of the application you need to provide the supporting documents of the information you provide by applying online. Additionally, you have to provide your biometric information.
Specific Requirements to Apply for a Settlement Permit in Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer
- Proof of having a valid Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa.
- Proof of having been in the UK for 5 continuous years.
- Proof of absences you have made from the UK during the 5 year qualifying period.
- New Tier 2 Sponsorship Certificate. The sponsor must issue a new certificate of sponsorship for settlement, stating their intention to continue engaging you in their company, in accordance with the employment rules (paying the appropriate salary, paying your leaves, etc.).
Note: the period spent outside the UK during the “5-year qualifying period”, must not have been more than 180 days during the 1 calendar year.
Settlement Permit in Tier 2 ICT Refusal reasons
Common reasons leading the Home Office to refuse applications for settlement permit are:
- Having a criminal history in or outside the UK.
- Submitting insufficient or untrue evidence or information.
- Having broken the immigration law, i.e. Having overstayed beyond the visa period.