In July 2020, the Home Office updated its policy proposals on the immigration rules that will be implemented once the transition period is over. The latest updated version mirrors the information set out in the earlier proposed Policy Statement released in February 2020. This blog will summarise the changes specifically in respect of the Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer only.
What is the Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer?
Individuals under the Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer (ICT) category are skilled migrant workers transferring from an overseas branch of a company to a UK branch. There are currently two subcategories under the Tier 2 ICT route:
- Tier 2 (ICT) Long Term Staff; and
- Tier 2 (ICT) Graduate Trainee.
Under the Proposed Policies
The Tier 2 (ICT) visa under the new system reflects the same rules that are already implemented. This visa category will still require migrant employees to hold highly skilled roles at RQF Level 6 or above. Additionally, this route will remain one that does not lead to settlement in the UK.
What changes will be made under the new route post 1 January 2021?
- Rules on switching to a “Skilled Worker” visa (as of 1 January 2021): Currently, if a Tier 2 (ICT) migrant intends to switch to a Tier 2 (General) visa, the individual is required to make an application from outside the UK and in most instances will be required to meet the cooling-off period (see further detail below). Under the new rules, this will relax as individuals may be permitted to switch from within the UK, provided all the relevant requirements are met. We continue to await further clarification on this point and whether this is to be applied for existing Tier 2 (ICT) holders already in the UK.
- Rules on the cooling-off period: Currently, if an individual is in the UK under the Tier 2 visa category and they leave the UK by the expiry date of their visa, they are required to wait 12 months before they are able to apply again for entry clearance under any Tier 2 category, unless an exemption applies.
However, as of 1 January 2021, the cooling-off period will only apply if the Tier 2 (ICT) migrant has already had leave for more than 5 years in any six-year period. We continue to await further clarification from the Home Office on this point and how this will affect those who already hold leave as a Tier 2 migrant under the existing immigration rules.
Gherson has over 30 years’ experience in UK Visas and Immigration, in particular Corporate Immigration, and acts for a large number of corporate clients and individuals with respect to the Tier 2 General or Tier 2 ICT visa categories. Should you have any questions or queries relating to sponsor licences or Tier 2 visa guidance, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.
Paralegal in our General and Corporate Teams