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Guidelines on obtaining an Intra-Company Transfer Visa in the UK

Individuals who are working with an organisation with a branch in the United Kingdom (UK) can transfer to that branch and relocate to the UK for that period by obtaining an Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Visa.

The ICT visa would allow your company to transfer you to the UK branch seamlessly. For more information or assistance on how to apply, contact Total Law today. Give us a call at 0333 305 9375 or leave a message online and we’ll get back to you.

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    What is an Intra-Company Transfer Visa?

    The Intra-Company Transfer visa is intended to facilitate the transfer of employees within the multinational organization to the UK branch of that organization. This visa is within the broader work visa category. However, Irish citizens and persons under the EU Settlement Scheme do not need to apply for this visa to transfer to their organization’s UK branch.

    The application process is usually quite technical, involving a lot of documentation and keeping to strict submission deadlines. However, the services of a well-trained immigration lawyer can smoothen out the process for you. You can either reach out to our online contact or call us on 0333 305 9375 to speak to one of our immigration experts today.

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    Categories in an Intra-Company Visa

    The ICT visa has two sub-categories, which are the routes that an applicant can go through in order to obtain this visa. These are the long term staff and the Graduate trainee routes

    Long-term Staff
    For this category, the job that the employee is being transferred for cannot be filled by the UK recruit. Such an employee must have worked with his employer overseas for 12 months. However, this criterion can be waived when the employee is paid £73,900 in the UK or more and should be working for up to 48 hours per week.

    Graduate Trainee
    Under this category, an employee undergoing a graduate training program is being transferred to the UK from overseas to fill a vacant role. The job should be a part of the graduate training program with a clearly defined path towards a managerial or specialist role within the sponsor group.

    The requirement for obtaining a graduate trainee visa is that the intra-company graduate trainee must have worked with the organization constantly for 3 months before applying.

    The Duration of the Intra-Company Transfer Visa

    The amount of time allowed to an applicant on an ICT visa depends on the route.

    Long Term Staff
    When an employee applies for the ICT (long-term staff) visa, they can move to the UK from overseas for 5 years, or the time given on the certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days or the length of time that it takes one to the maximum total stay allowed.

    The maximum total stay could either be, 5 years in any 6-year period where the employee is being paid less than £73,900 per year or 9 years in any 10 years where the employee is being paid £73,900 per year or more. The applicant can extend the visa or apply for another one up to the maximum stay.

    Graduate Trainee
    On the other hand, if you get the ICT graduate trainee visa, you can move to the UK for twelve months, the time given on the certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, or the length of the maximum total stay allowed.

    The maximum total stay is usually 5 years in any 6 years for an ICT graduate trainee visa. The trainee under an ICT graduate visa cannot extend the visa but can apply for another ICT graduate trainee visa from outside the UK.

    Seeking Extention of an Intra-Company Transfer Visa

    For an extension of the visa to be granted, the applicant must:

    • Have been issued a certificate of sponsorship from their employer
    • Still be receiving a salary that tallies with the earmarked level
    • Still be living in the UK
    • Still have the same job as when the visa was originally issued
    structured training programme

    How can an Employee be eligible to obtain an Intra-Company Transfer Visa?

    The employee seeking to obtain an ICT visa has to satisfy certain criteria that make them eligible for the visa. This criterion includes that they have a job with a sponsored employer.

    The major eligibility criteria are as follows:

    • The employee must have been issued a valid certificate of sponsorship
    • The employee should be able to provide a document detailing their travel history over the last five years
    • The salary that you will be paid must satisfy the salary benchmark for obtaining the visa
    • The employee must have adequate personal savings that would sustain them during their stay in the UK, but where your UK sponsor has certified the employee’s maintenance on the certificate of sponsorship, there would be no need to provide evidence of personal savings
    • The employee would be required to prove that they have indeed been working for the overseas organization at least for 12 months prior
    • The employee should be able to provide a Tuberculosis test result where they are coming from a listed country
    • The employee would be required to show proof of relationship, where applying with family members
    • The employee must be paid at least £41,500 for an ICT (long-term staff) visa or £23,000 for an ICT graduate trainee visa

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      The wait-time after application

      Once the applicant or trainee has applied online and satisfied all requirements, they would most likely get a decision within 3 weeks if the applicant applied outside the UK and 8 weeks if the applicant applied from within the UK.

      Where the application is time-sensitive, the applicant can opt for the priority service, which would cost them an additional £500 and reduce the processing time to five working days.

      They can still opt-in for the super-priority service that would enable them to receive a decision within one working day, although it comes at an additional cost of £800.

      Income Requirement for Intra-Company Transfer Visa

      For an ICT visa to be granted, a minimum income requirement should be complied with. However, this income requirement differs for the different categories under the ICT visa. This visa replaced the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) visa.

      Skilled worker visa
      intra-compancy transfer visas

      Necessary fees to be paid when applying for an Intra-Company Transfer Visa

      Certain fees would need to be paid upon application both by the UK sponsor and by the applicant or trainee.

      By the UK sponsor, the following fees need to be paid:

      • Immigration Skills Charge Fee
      • Certificate of Sponsorship Fee

      By the applicant, the following fees need to be paid:

      • Application form fee
      • Appointment fee (where necessary)
      • Visa application centre fee (where necessary)
      • Immigration Health Surcharge Fee
      • Additional services (such as priority service) fee

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        Documents required when applying for an Intra-Company Transfer Visa

        When an employee is applying for an ICT visa, they must be able to provide the following documents;

        • Authentic passport or any other document that shows the identity and nationality of the applicant
        • A document showing employment in the home country for at least 12 months or a document containing details of the training where the person applying is a graduate trainee
        • Tuberculosis test results, where the applicant is from a listed country
        • Document showing proof of relationship, where the applicant is applying with family members
        • An authentic certificate of sponsorship issued by a UK sponsor
        • A document evidencing that the applicant has adequate personal savings that would be enough to sustain them in the UK

        How long can an employee stay in the UK with an ICT Visa?

        The determining factor of the length of stay of an employee using an ICT visa is the amount of the employee’s salary. If an employee earns over £120,000 per year, they can stay for up to nine years, but a salary under £120,000 will allow you to stay in the UK for up to five years and one month. Persons under the graduate trainee category can remain in the UK for 12 months.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  When a person obtains an ICT visa, they can do voluntary work or even work a second job. The second job has to be for about 20 hours a week and in the same profession and at the same skill level as the main job or on the Skilled Worker shortage occupation list.

                  The applicant would also be permitted to bring their family members to the UK and travel out of the UK and come back. But the employee is precluded from applying for most benefits or state pension, making a job change unless the visa is updated, and applying to settle in the UK (also known as ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain.’)

                  The main ICT visa applicant can study on the ICT visa so far as the study does not interfere with the job they were transferred to the UK for. Although in some instances, the applicant may need to obtain an Academic/Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate for the intended course of study or research area and tender it to the educational institution before starting the study program.

                  Upon refusing the application for an ICT visa, the applicant may be given a right to request the review of the decision. In the alternative, where the applicant applied for permission to stay and was declined, they may be given the full appeal rights, subject to satisfying the necessary criteria.