Tier 2 ICT Visa for Intracompany Transfer & Graduate Trainees


Uncover the essentials of the Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Visa UK, a key pathway for long-term staff and graduate trainees aiming to join a UK branch of their global company. This points-based system requires applicants to score sixty points via a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), an appropriate salary, and sufficient maintenance funds, exempting them from the English language requirement. Our guide delves into FAQs, provides a thorough document checklist, explains the cooling-off period, and outlines application fees and processing times. It’s important to note that the Tier 2 ICT Visa has evolved into the Intracompany Transfer Visa, which is now part of the Global Business Mobility Senior or Specialist Worker route.

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Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Visa UK Requirements

1. Tier 2 ICT Visa for Intracompany Transfer & Graduate Trainees

The Tier 2 intra-company transfer visa enables an existing employee of a multinational company to work or get training in its UK branch for a specific vacancy that a settled or EEA worker cannot fill either on a long term basis or for frequent short visits. However, an applicant cannot use the Tier 2 intra-company transfer visa route if they are an employee of an overseas employer, who does not have an ownership or control of the UK branch.

Tier 2 ICT Visa Types

The Tier-2 intra-company transfer visa for skill transfer and short-term staff discounted on April 6, 2017. Therefore, at present, there are only 2 sub-categories of Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa viz. Long Term Staff and Graduate Trainee.

  • The Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa for Long term staff is for those persons who are working for their organisations for at least 12 months directly before the transfer. And are transferred to a skilled job in the UK for which their employer cannot hire a settled worker in the UK. The maximum duration of the Tier 2 long-term intra-company transfer visa is up to a maximum of 5 years. However, the rules for high earners are flexible.
  • The Tier 2 Graduate Trainee Visa is for recent graduate recruits and the organisation transfers them for training to its UK branch. However, the Tier 2 Graduate Trainee route is not for filling a long-term post. Therefore, a migrant can only come to the UK for a maximum period of 12 months for a structured graduate training programme with a clearly defined progression towards a managerial or specialist role within the organisation.

Points Requirements for Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa UK

For successfully applying for the Tier 2 intra-company transfer visa, an applicant needs to score sixty points.

  • 30 points for an assigned Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)
  • 20 points for the Appropriate Salary
  • 10 points for Maintenance funds

Accordingly, an applicant is likely to get a Tier 2 intra-company transfer visa if they:

  1. have a valid CoS for the job
  2. will be paid an ‘appropriate salary’ for the job in the UK
  3. have personal savings to support the cost of living in the UK
  4. can travel and has a travel history over the last 5 years
  5. have tuberculosis test results if the applicant is from a listed country
  6. can provide evidence of working for the sponsoring employer outside the UK

Furthermore, an applicant needs to apply through visas and immigration services Gov.UK for a Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer visa. And needs to attend the appointment at a visa application centre for submitting application and biometrics. In case of a successful outcome, the UKVI will use the biometrics information (i.e. fingerprints and photograph) of the applicant for issuing the biometric residence permit (BRP) to the applicant. Accordingly, an applicant needs to collect the BRP within 10 days of arriving in the UK.


    Our multilingual, qualified London-based immigration specialists will get back to you, usually within 2-3 working days. If you have not attached any documents, the UK-based law firm may ask for relevant case-specific documents such as refusal letters, deportation orders, application forms, etc. After reviewing the documents and information, the legal advisor may suggest a course of action and quote the fees for processing the application.


    2. Tier 2 ICT Visa: Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) Requirements

    • Applicants need a valid CoS from a licensed sponsor.
    • The CoS is electronic, containing personal and job details, and is not a paper document.
    • Applicants use the CoS reference number once in their application within 3 months of issuance.
    • The CoS must confirm the job is at RQF level 6 (standard) or RQF level 4 (creative sector occupations) and that the applicant will receive an appropriate salary.
    • 30 points for a valid CoS if employed outside the UK by the sponsor for at least 12 months.
    • The 12-month requirement is waived for salaries over £73,900 annually.
    • The 12 months can be cumulative, including previous work with the sponsoring organization.
    • Absences due to maternity, paternity, shared parental, adoption leave, or long-term sick leave can extend the period for meeting the 12-month requirement to 24 months.
    • The sponsor must be fully responsible for the job’s duties and outcomes.
    • The CoS cannot be used for supplying workers to another organization on a contract basis.
    • The applicant must not be an agency worker or contracted for ongoing routine roles for a third party.
    • 30 points if employed in a graduate training program by the sponsoring organization for at least 3 months outside the UK.
    • Time spent in the UK as a Tier 2 ICT Graduate Trainee does not count towards the 12-month experience required for Long Term Staff.

    3. Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa Salary Requirements


    • Long Term Staff: Earn at least £41,500 or the job’s appropriate rate, whichever is higher, for 20 points.
    • Graduate Trainee: 20 points for earning £23,000 or the job’s appropriate rate, whichever is higher.
    • The salary may vary for visa extensions, work less than a year, hourly rates, or set working hours.
    • Appropriate salary applies only to the period working in the UK.
    • For less than 12 months in the UK, points are based on pro-rated annual earnings. E.g., £25,000 for 6 months equates to £50,000 per year for points calculation.
    • Points are awarded based on actual earnings, not equivalent full-time earnings.
    • Allowances can be included in gross salary calculations, except for shares exchanged for UK employment rights.
    • Points capped at a maximum of 48 work hours per week, regardless of longer work hours.
    • CoS should specify salary details; no additional evidence required.
    • For overseas payments, use Oanda’s exchange rate on the CoS assignment day.
    • CoS must confirm salary at or above the appropriate job rate as per Appendix J of Immigration Rules.
    • Includes guaranteed gross basic pay and certain allowances.
    • Excludes one-off payments, non-guaranteed bonuses, overtime, business expenses, pension contributions, medical benefits, tuition fees, and shares obtained as an employer-owner.
    • For Tier 2 ICT Long Term Staff visas, accommodation allowance is capped at 30% of the total gross salary package.

    4. Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Visa UK: Maintenance Funds

    • Dependents can join the main Tier 2 ICT applicant in the UK.
    • Dependents include the spouse or partner and children under 18. Children over 18 are eligible if they are already in the UK on a Tier 2 ICT dependent visa.
    • Each dependent must have £630 in a regulated financial institution for 90 days to cover living costs in the UK.
    • Example: A Tier 2 ICT visa applicant bringing a spouse/partner and two children needs £2,835 (£945 for self, £630 for spouse/partner, £1,260 for two children).
    • If the Tier 2 ICT applicant has a fully approved A-rated sponsor, the savings evidence for themselves and dependents is not required.
    • The CoS must state that the sponsor will provide each dependent with at least £630 for a month to cover initial costs.

    5. Documents Required for Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Visa

    An applicant usually needs to furnish the following documents at the UK visa application centre:

    1. Print out of the online Tier 2 ICT visa application form
    2. the CoS reference number
    3. a documented proof from a bank or building society indicating that the applicant possesses adequate personal savings, unless the financial support is affirmed through the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) by the sponsor
    4. a current passport or travel document with a blank page for the Tier 2 ICT visa vignette
    5. expired passports or travel documents for past immigration and travel history
    6. tuberculosis test results if the applicant is from a listed country

    If the UKVI ask for additional information during the assessment process, then a Tier 2 ICT visa applicant may need to provide the evidence of working for the sponsor such as:

    • printed pay slips
    • online pay slips supported by a letter from your sponsor signed by a senior staff member
    • bank or building society statements
    • a building society passbook

    6. Guidance Notes

    Tier 2 ICT Visa for Intra Company Transfers and Graduate Trainees

    Application Fees

    The UK visa fees for Tier 2 intra-company transfer for Long-Term Staff where a CoS is for a period of three years or less and more than 3 years is £610/- and £1,220/-, respectively. Moreover, the application fee for Tier 2 Graduate Trainee is £482. Please note citizens of Turkey or Macedonia are eligible for a £55/- discount. And the Tier 2 intra-company transfer visa application fee does not include the immigration healthcare surcharge (IHS). However, the IHS is refundable in case of a refusal.

    Processing Time

    An applicant can apply for a Tier 2 intra-company transfer visa up to 3 months prior to the start work in the UK. The CoS mentions the date on which a migrant can start doing the work in the UK. For instance, if the CoS mentions Feb 2, 2020, as a start date then an applicant can apply for a Tier 2 ICT visa as early as Nov 3, 2019.

    The service standard is to process a majority of Tier 2 intra-company transfer visa applications within 15 working days. However, a fraction of the Tier 2 ICT visa application may take up to 30 working days. The UKVI also offers Tier 2 priority visa service at certain UKVACs to process applications within 1-week.

    Genuineness Test

    When applying for Tier 2 ICT entry clearance or leave to remain visa application an applicant needs to satisfy that they have been sponsored to undertake a genuine role. And the applicant has the appropriate qualification to undertake the role for assigned CoS.

    During the assessment process, the decision-maker may request additional information and evidence from both the applicant as well as the sponsor. And can surely refuse the application if the applicant or the sponsor fails to provide the information or evidence. Moreover, an applicant needs to provide the requested documents to the Home Office within 10 business days of the date the request letter.

    Interview

    At times, UKVI may conduct an interview with the applicant. In fact, the need for an interview may arise due to adverse immigration history, past criminal convictions, documents verifications etc.

    Permitted Activities

    A migrant can undertake following activities on Tier 2 intra-company transfer visa in the UK:

    1. work for the sponsor in the job described in the CoS
    2. do a second job in the same profession and at the same level as the main job for up to 20 hours per week
    3. do voluntary work
    4. study as long as it does not interfere with the sponsored job
    5. travel abroad and return to the UK
    6. bring family members to the UK

    However, a migrant on Tier 2 intra-company transfer visa is not eligible for public funds. And cannot start working in the UK before getting the Tier 2 intra-company transfer visa.

    Maximum Duration of Stay

    The maximum duration of Tier 2 intra-company transfer visa for long-term staff is usually up to 5 years plus 1 month. However, for migrants earning more than £120,000 a year, the duration of stay is 9 years. Moreover, the maximum duration of stay for Tier 2 Graduate Trainees is 12 months.

    When can a migrant start working in the UK?

    In fact, a migrant on Tier 2 ICT visa can start working in the UK 14 days prior to the start date of the sponsored job in the UK as detailed on the CoS. For instance, if the job starts on Jan 15, 2020, then a migrant can start working on Tier 2 ICT visa from Jan 1, 2020.

    7. Tier 2 ICT Visa: Extension, Switching, and Processing Time


    • Migrants can extend their Tier 2 ICT visa if they hold a similar job as before, work for the same sponsor, and earn an ‘appropriate salary’.
    • Application for extension should be made before the current visa expires.
    • Dependents on the current visa, including children who turned 18 during the stay, can be included.
    • For long-term staff, extension is either for the period on the CoS plus 14 days or up to 5 years (9 years for those earning over £120,000 annually), whichever is shorter.
    • Graduate Trainees can extend for the remainder of a 12-month period (e.g., an original 4-month grant allows for an 8-month extension).
    • Online application fees for Tier 2 ICT visa extensions are £704 (for CoS of 3 years or less) and £1,408 (for more than 3 years).
    • For Tier 2 Graduate Migrant visa, the fee is £482.
    • Turkish or Macedonian citizens receive a £55 discount.
    • Fees exclude the immigration healthcare surcharge (IHS), refundable if refused.
    • A biometric fee of £19.20 is also required.
    • Migrants on a Representative of an Overseas Business visa can switch to a Tier 2 ICT long-term staff visa.
    • Switching to a Graduate Trainee Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa is not permitted.
    • Maximum duration after switching is up to 5 years plus 1 month, or 9 years for those earning over £120,000.
    • Standard processing within 8 weeks post-biometrics.
    • Priority service (£500 extra) processes within 5 working days.
    • Super-priority service (£800 extra) offers next-working-day decision post-biometrics or within 2 days for weekday appointments.
    • Priority services are for straightforward applications only and do not guarantee a decision within the stated time.

    8. Tier 2 ICT Visa: Cooling-Off Period and Rules


    • After a Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer visa expires, migrants must leave the UK.
    • A 12-month cooling-off period applies before reapplying for a Tier 2 ICT visa.
    • Graduate trainees must leave the UK after 12 months.
    • They cannot reapply for a long-term staff visa under Tier 2 ICT until 12 months have passed since their last Tier 2 ICT leave expired or since they left the UK, whichever is earlier.
    • Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Long Term Staff visas are granted for up to 5 years (or 9 years for those earning £120,000 or more annually).
    • Extensions beyond these periods are not permitted.
    • Graduate trainees earning £120,000 or more annually can apply for a long-term staff visa.
    • The cooling-off period does not apply to initial CoS issued for 3 months or less, offering flexibility for short-term transfers.
    • The cooling-off period can start before the visa expiry if the applicant leaves the UK earlier and provides evidence like boarding card stubs, travel tickets (with an SMS employment conclusion report), passport stamps, or a letter from the overseas employer confirming employment start date abroad.
    • The Home Office calculates the cooling-off period from the earliest evidence of leaving the UK.
    • The cooling-off period applies even if the actual stay is less than 3 months, provided the CoS is for more than 3 months. For example, a 6-month CoS holder who leaves the UK after 2 months is subject to the cooling-off period.