News and communications from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)

08 December 2019

Latest News

Biometric Residence Permits to be introduced to visa applicants from abroad from March 2015 The Home Office has announced that United Kingdom entry clearance visas or entry clearance vignettes are soon...
The Migration Advisory Committte ("MAC") was commissioned by the Government in June 2015 to advise on changes to Tier 2 of the Points Based System and on 19 January 2016 MAC published its...
Changes to the Prevention of Illegal working checks announced Following a recent consultation on the prevention of illegal working, the Home Office has recently released a "Code of practice on...
More inNews  

Tier 2 (ICT)

Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer)

Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) migrants are skilled workers moving from an overseas branch of a company to a UK branch.

From 6 April 2014, Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrants who are earning more than £153,500 a year or more will be allowed to stay in the UK for a maximum of 9 years in the “Long Term Staff” sub-category.  The category will still not lead to settlement and a 12 month “cooling off period” will continue to apply from when the migrant leaves the UK before they can return.  This change is being made in response to feedback from business, and will enable business needs to be met while maintaining the temporary nature of this category, by preventing applicants qualifying for settlement on the basis of long residence.

A change to the operation of the “cooling off period” for Tier 2 categories will also be made from 13 December 2012 to introduce flexibility in the way that the start of the cooling off period is determined when it is clear that the applicant has left the UK before the expiry of their leave. This will mean that the cooling off period can start from the earliest date that the applicant can demonstrate that they left the UK, rather than the date of expiry or curtailment of Tier 2 leave.

The onus will be on the migrant to demonstrate that they have left the UK, and have remained outside, and examples of acceptable evidence will be set out by UK Border Agency in due course.  Employers will still need to report if a migrant leaves their employment earlier than the end date on their Certificate of Sponsorship, as at present via the Sponsor Management System.

Certificates of Sponsorship issued to applicants in this category of Tier 2 do not have to include any resident labour market test. Neither is there any limit in force relating to the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) category.

There are 4 subcategories of Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer). Applicants in the Short and Long Term Staff subcategories must have been working for the company for a period of not less than 12 months prior to their applications. These subcategories are for people coming to work in the UK in a capacity which could not be filled by a recruit from the company’s UK workforce. Short Term Staff come to the UK for less than 1 year, and Long Term Staff for more than 1 year.

Long Term and Short Term Staff are themselves subcategories of the "Established Staff” subcategory of Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer).

The Established Staff subcategory was subdivided in this way in the changes which came into force in April of 2011.

Applicants in the Graduate Trainee subcategory have to have been working for the company for a period of not less than 3 months. Skills Transfer applicants only need to show that they are employed by the company at the time of their application.

Applicants in the Long Term Staff subcategory must be paid the appropriate UK-equivalent annual salary for their job, which must be at least £41,000. They are admitted to the UK initially for a maximum period of 3 years and 1 month. This period may be extended, on application, to a maximum period of 5 years, after which the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) migrant must leave the UK. He or she cannot return as a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) migrant for a period of 12 months. (There is however no bar on making other applications for entry clearance.)

From 6th April 2014 annual salaries for Short Term Staff must be at the appropriate UK level for their job and must not be less than £24,500. Short Term Staff are admitted to the UK for a maximum period of 12 months, after which they must leave the UK, with a bar on their returning in the Short Term Staff subcategory for a further period of 12 months.

Applicants in the Graduate Trainee and Skills Transfer subcategories must also be paid an annual salary of at least £24,500. They are admitted to the UK for a maximum period of 12 months and 6 months respectively, after which they must leave the UK. They are not allowed to return in either of these subcategories or as Short Term Staff for a period of 12 months.

Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) migrants who are already in the UK under the Rules in place before 6 April 2011 will be able to apply to extend their stay without being subject to the new graduate-level job requirement or the new salary thresholds. Those who are currently here in the Established Staff subcategory can continue to apply to extend their stay beyond five years.

From 6th April 2014 Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) and Tier 2 (General) applicants can be granted up to 5 years' leave (rather than 3) on payment of a higher fee.

Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) migrants have to meet a maintenance requirement. Applicants for entry clearance must show that they have sufficient funds at the time of their applications. Applicants whose Tier 2 Sponsor certify in the Certificate of Sponsorship that they will, if necessary, maintain and accommodate the applicant for the first month of the applicant’s employment are exempt from this requirement, as are applicants seeking to extend their existing leave to remain under Tier 2.

Tier 2 sponsored migrants are currently permitted to take up supplementary employment of up to 20 hours a week in addition to the employment they are sponsored for, provided that this is in the same occupation and at the same professional level.  From 13 December 2012, a change will be made to allow migrants to take up supplementary employment in a shortage occupation, even if this is a different occupation to the one that they are sponsored to work in.