The Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer visa also referred as Tier 2 ICT allows a migrant to be moved from an overseas office to the UK, for the purpose of supporting the UK business entity.
To apply for the Tier 2 ICT visa, you must not fall for general grounds of refusal, must have a job offer, your employer must have assigned a valid certificate of sponsorship also referred as the CoS and you must meet the maintenance requirements.
One of the key requirements of the Tier 2 ICT, is that you must have worked for your employer for a period of 12 months prior to your relocation. You cannot switch into a Tier 2 ICT visa from the UK unless you hold the Tier 2 ICT visa or a visa under the representatives of an overseas business.
The costs of applying for a Tier 2 ICT will depend on the length of your visa. Your employer will be required to pay for the certificate of sponsorship and other associated costs.
Once the visa is granted, then your Tier 2 ICT visa will only allow work that is described in your certificate of sponsorship. Additionally, you will not have access to state benefits, may need to register with police if required and will not be allowed to start or run a business under this visa category. You may be able to do an additional job/voluntary work on the Tier 2 ICT.
If you want to change your job while you are in the UK under Tier 2 ICT visa, you may need to make a 'change of employment' application to extend your permission to stay. A 'change of employment' application is treated in the same way as an initial application under Tier 2 ICT visa.
What are the categories under the Tier 2 ICT
The Tier 2 ICT visa contains the following categories and some of those categories may have been closed for new applicants:
Tier 2 ICT Long-term staff - for established, skilled employees to be transferred to the UK branch with a sponsor licence for more than 12 months.
Tier 2 ICT Graduate Trainee - this route allows the transfer of recent graduate employees to a UK branch of the same organisation, as part of a structured graduate training programme.
Other Tier 2 ICT categories for new applicants, namely the short term staff and skills transfer have been closed.
Looking at the Tier 2 ICT categories in more detail
The immigration rules change quite frequently, however the following should give a summary of what is needed to be met for each Tier 2 ICT application types.
Tier 2 Long Term Staff
You must have a valid certificate of sponsorship and have been employed for the parent company for more than 12 months or you will be paid at a gross salary of £73,900 or more. The periods of employment in the UK does not count towards the 12 months period.
As part of the Tier 2 long term staff visa requires the employment to be genuine and this will be assessed by the Home Office at the date of application. Checks will be carried out and the employer runs the risk of losing their sponsor licence if this is not a genuine vacancy.
Tier 2 Graduate Trainee
The category requires a valid certificate of sponsorship, you are being sponsored as part of the graduate training program and have been employed for more than 3 months prior to this application. Time spent under the graduate trainee program does not count towards the 12 months required for the Tier 2 long term staff visa.
Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Maintenance
When applying for Tier 2 ICT you must have sufficient amount in your account held for 90 days. Specified evidences would need to be provided at the date of application to satisfy the Tier 2 ICT maintenance requirements.
Tier 2 Intra-company transfer English Requirements
You may not need to score points on English requirements and this will depend on your period of stay in the UK.
How to apply for the Tier 2 ICT visa
The visa application is applied online; this is whether you are in the UK or outside of the UK. Once you have completed your Tier 2 ICT visa application, you will be able to pay for the visa fees and book the visa appointment. As part of the submission, you will need to submit your legal representation and also the evidences to support your Tier 2 ICT application.
The decision making of a Tier 2 ICT visa does not take more than 15 working days however this would depend on individual applications and country of application. Once a decision is served, the Home Office can issue up to 5 years Tier 2 ICT visa. Your visa validity will depend on the certificate of sponsorship issued by your employer.
Your Tier 2 ICT visa comes with a number of conditions, which includes no recourse to public funds, may require registering with the police and will need permission to study in the UK unless the exception policies apply.
You can also apply for your dependants to join you in the UK. They will need to meet the immigration requirements as set out and must have adequate maintenance to join you in the UK.
Bringing dependants to the UK under the Tier 2 ICT visa
The Tier 2 ICT visa allows you to bring dependants to the UK and they will need to apply for their visa separately to yours. Your visa application will list your dependant details and link their applications to you.
When your partner is applying for the Tier 2 ICT dependant visa, you both must demonstrate that you are legally married or have lived together 2 years prior to the relocation. You must also provide evidences to show the relationship is genuine and subsisting. Evidence of the intention to live together as partner must also be demonstrated. They will also require you to show adequate maintenance.
For the children, both parents must be present in the UK unless one parent holds sole parental rights or there are serious and compelling grounds. The dependant child must be living as part of the household and be financially dependent on you.
Refusal of your Tier 2 ICT Visa
An application for your Tier 2 ICT visa can be refused on a number of grounds and there will be a right to complete an administrative review. This will need to be completed once you have been served the decision letter.
If your Tier 2 ICT application has been refused outside the UK, you will be able to submit an administrative review. You must request the administrative review no more than 28 calendar days after the date when the Tier 2 ICT refusal notice was issued.
You can only ask for 1 administrative review for each intra-company transfer application that the Home Office have refused. You should not send any additional documents for the Tier 2 ICT application with your request for a review.
If your application has been refused in the UK and you can also complete an administrative review as the right to appeal for these decision has been removed following the changes in the Immigration Act 2014.
Your decision letter will explain the reasons why you have been refused and if this decision is correct, you may not be able to challenge the decision. At ICS Legal, we will assess your refusal merits and advise you on the best course of action. Please email us a copy of your Tier 2 ICT refusal letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applying for indefinite leave to remain under Tier 2 ICT
You can apply for indefinite leave to remain under Tier 2 ICT if you have been in the UK prior to the changes implemented on the 6th of April 2010.
To meet the requirements of the indefinite leave to remain, you must have completed 5 years continuous residency and must not fall for refusal under general grounds of refusal. Further to this, you must prove that you meet the salary threshold and have met the financial adequacy test. The knowledge of life requirement must also be met.
Taking legal advice on the Tier 2 ICT working visa
At ICS Legal, we will advise you on the correct process of applying under the Tier 2 ICT working visa and support you throughout the visa application process.
You can speak to one of our UK Immigration Lawyers on the Tier 2 ICT visa requirements by sending us an email on email@example.com or you can call us on 0207 237 3388.