The Intra-Company Transfer visa (“ICT”) category is aimed at multinational organisations that would like to transfer their existing employees working overseas to work in the UK.
There are two categories of Intra-Company visa:
- The Intra-Company Transfer visa
If you are an overseas company and require a worker from overseas to work in the UK office, you must first ensure that you are a licensed sponsor in order to provide that worker with a valid certificate of sponsorship. The individual must have worked for the sponsor group (i.e. for an overseas entity linked to the UK sponsor employer by common ownership) for at least 12 months (unless they will earn at least £73,900 per year, in which case they must only have been employed by the sponsor group as at the date of applying).
- The Intra-Company Graduate Trainee visa
This category permits an overseas company to transfer their workers to the UK office as graduate trainees, on the basis that they are carrying out a structured graduate training programme with a clearly defined progression towards a managerial or specialist role within the sponsor organisation.
These individuals must be recent graduates and must have worked for the overseas entity for at least 3 months before the date of submission of the application.
What are the advantages?
The main advantage of this category is that the prospective migrant will not be required to meet the English Language criteria which is required for the Skilled Worker route.
What are the eligibility requirements?
To qualify for an Intra-Company visa, the individual will need to meet the following criteria:
- They must have been assigned a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) by a licensed sponsor;
- The role which they have been offered must be deemed by the Home Office to be a ‘genuine vacancy’;
- The job on offer must meet the minimum salary requirements: as an ICT migrant the individual must earn at least £41,500 per annum or the ‘going rate’ for the particular job which they will undertake (whichever is higher), or, alternatively, as a Graduate Trainee the individual must earn at least £23,000 per annum or 70% of the ‘going rate’ for the job (whichever is higher);
- The individual must meet the maintenance requirement: i.e. maintain personal savings of £1,270 for at least 28 consecutive days or provide confirmation that the sponsor will certify maintenance;
- Proof of Tuberculosis test (if applicable); and
- Proof that the individual has worked for the overseas entity for the required period.
How long will the sponsored migrant be permitted to stay in the UK?
The Intra-Company Transfer category is designed to be a temporary migration route and is not a path to settlement in the UK. The maximum period of time an individual will be able to reside in the UK on the Intra-Company Transfer visa will depend on their salary:
- If the migrant earns less than £73,900 per year, they can stay for 5 years in any 6-year period in the UK;
- If the migrant earns at least £73,900 per year or over, they can stay 9 years in any 10-year period.
On the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee visa the maximum an individual is permitted to remain in the UK is 12 months.
How long does an application take to be considered?
An application that is submitted from outside the UK usually takes 15-20 working days to be decided. Depending on which country the application is submitted in, processing times may be expedited if priority services are available there.
If an application for an extension of leave is submitted from within the UK, the standard processing time is 8 weeks, although an application may be expedited to 5 working days or the next business day, if priority services are purchased.
Gherson has a wealth of experience in all aspects of UK immigration law and has assisted many licensed sponsors with Skilled Worker and Intra-Company Transfer visas. If you have any specific questions or queries in respect of your particular circumstances, 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.