This guidance relates to UK Intra-Company Transfer and Graduate Trainee Visa Requirements. In 2020, the Intra-Company Transfer route has replaced the Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Long-term Staff route. Whereas the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route has replaced the Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Graduate Trainee route. Dependent partners and children can apply on this route. However, the Intra-Company routes are not routes to settlement, and permission in these routes will not count towards the qualifying period of stay required to settle, should an applicant later apply to settle under another route. Existing Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) workers can apply for extensions, changes of employment and settlement under the Intra-Company routes.
Intra-Company Transfer and Graduate Trainee Visa UK
There are two Intra-Company routes viz. the Intra-Company Transfer route and the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route. Both these Intra-Company routes can be used by European Economic Area (EEA) nationals (from 1 January 2021) and non-EEA nationals. Please note, throughout this document, references to EEA nationals include Swiss nationals.
Intra-Company Transfer route is for established workers who are being transferred by the business they work for to do a skilled role in the UK. Intra-Company Transfer route replaces the Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Long-term Staff route.
The Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route is for workers who are being transferred by the business they work for to undertake a role in the UK as part of a structured graduate training programme. The Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route replaces the Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Graduate Trainee route.
There are two Intra-Company routes: the Intra-Company Transfer route and the Intra- Company Graduate Trainee route.
Intra-Company Transfer Visa UK Requirements
In terms of Appendix Intra-Company Routes, an applicant needs to meet the following validity, suitability, and eligibility requirements to get an Intra-Company Transfer or Graduate Trainee Visa UK:
- Validity Requirements for Intra-Company Transfer and Graduate Trainee Visa UK: The Paragraphs IC 1.1 to IC 1.6 of Appendix Intra-Company Routes outline the minimum criteria which an applicant needs to fulfill for the further considerations. For instance, the applicant has used the correct form and supplied their identity documents. Applications which do not meet validity requirements are rejected as invalid.
- Suitability Requirements for Intra-Company Transfer and Graduate Trainee Visa UK: The Paragraphs IC 2.1 to IC 2.2 of Appendix Intra-Company Routes relates to the suitability of the applicant to be granted any form of permission, not specifically whether they qualify under the Intra-Company route. Applicants must not fall for refusal on general grounds or be in breach of immigration laws. Applications which do not meet these requirements are refused.
- Eligibility Requirements for Intra-Company Transfer and Graduate Trainee Visa UK: The Paragraphs IC 3.1 to IC 11.3 of Intra-Company Routes relates to the specific eligibility criteria. Applications which do not meet these requirements are refused.
Intra-Company Transfer Visa UK Validity Requirements
Before considering suitability and eligibility requirements, the Immigration Officer/Home Office check the validity of the application under the paragraphs IC 1.1 to IC 1.6 of Appendix Intra-Campany Transfer Routes, which relate to:
- EEA Nationals
- Application Fees and Immigration Health Charge
- Biometrics and Identity Documents
- Certificate of Sponsorship
- Minimum Age of the Applicant
- Government or International Scholarship Agency Awards
Although, the UK Intra-Company Transfer Visa entry clearance applications by EEA nationals before the end of free movement between the EU and the UK can be considered as valid, but the grant should be no earlier than 1 January 2021. However, the applications for permission to stay before 1 January 2021 from EEA nationals are rejected as invalid.
Application Fees and Immigration Health Charge
The UK Intra-Company Transfer visa applicants need to pay the relevant application fees and any Immigration Health Charge (aka Immigration Health Surcharge or IHS). Accordingly, each person applying will need to pay:
- the visa application fee, which depends on the duration of the Intra-Company Transfer Visa
- the healthcare surcharge for each year of their stay – usually @ £624 per year
Please note, if the main applicant is a national of a country that is a signatory of the Council of Europe Social Charter (CESC), then are entitled to GBP55/- discount. Once the Intra-Company Transfer Visa is granted then migrants need to pay £19.20 for biometrics information (fingerprints and a photo) in the UK.
Intra-Company Transfer Visa Fees 2021/22 from Outside the UK
If an applicant is applying from outside the UK, then the standard fee depends on the duration of the Intra-Company Transfer Visa. Therefore, if the duration of the Intra-Company Transfer Visa is up to 3 years, then the application fees are £610 per person. However, if the duration of the Intra-Company Transfer Visa is more than 3 years then the application fees are £1,220 per person.
Intra-Company Transfer Visa Fees 2021/22 Inside the UK
If an applicant is applying from inside the UK to extend, switch or update visa, then standard fee depends on the duration of the Intra-Company Transfer Visa. Therefore, if the duration of the Intra-Company Transfer Visa is up to 3 years, then the application fees are £704 per person. However, if the duration of the Intra-Company Transfer Visa is more than 3 years then the application fees are £1,408 per person.
Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa Fees 2021/22
The application fee for Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa is £482 from inside and outside the UK.
Biometrics and Identity Documents
At the time of application, Intra-Company Transfer or Graduate Trainee Visa applicants need to provide their biometrics. These biometrics details are verified against a valid passport or other travel document of the applicants
Certificate of Sponsorship
Intra-Company Transfer or Graduate Trainee Visa UK applicants need to have a certificate of sponsorship (CoS). The COS is a virtual document (like a database record) which is assigned by the sponsor. Sponsors use a secure IT system called the sponsorship management system (SMS) to assign a CoS.
The applicants should provide COS reference number in their application. If the applicant has not supplied the reference number, they must provide an explanation. When the Immigration Officer is not satisfied the sponsor has assigned a CoS to the applicant, then may reject the application. If the CoS reference number is not yet assigned because of delays by UKVI (for instance, a delay in processing a sponsor licence application or a request for a CoS), then the Immigration Officer/Home Office may exceptionally place the case on hold pending the outcome.
The assigned CoS should not be more than 3 months before the date of application. If the COS is assigned too early, then also the application may be rejected.
The minimum age for Intra-Company Transfer or Graduate Trainee Visa applicants is 18 or over on the date of application. Therefore, if the applicant is too young, then the application gets rejected.
Government or International Scholarship Agency Awards
If Intra-Company Transfer or Graduate Trainee Visa applicant has received an award covering fees and living costs from a government or international scholarship agency in the 12 months before the date of application, then the government or agency must provide written consent to the applicant. The letter of consent must be on the official letter-headed paper or stationery of the organisation or organisations, bearing the official stamp of that organisation and issued by an authorised official of that organisation. The documents must confirm the organisation gives the applicant consent to remain in or re-enter the UK.
An applicant who is in the UK cannot apply to switch into the Intra-Company Transfer route if they have, or were last granted, permission as a Visitor, Short-Term Student, Parent of a Child Student, Seasonal Worker, Domestic Worker in a Private Household, or outside the Immigration Rules
For entry clearance or permission to stay in the UK an applicant needs to meet the suitability requirements under Paragraphs IC2.1 and IC2.2 of Appendix Intra-Company Routes. Therefore, in terms of paragraph IC2.1 the UK Intra-Company Transfer or Graduate Trainee Visa applicant must not fall for refusal under Part 9: grounds for refusal. Moreover, as per paragraph IC2.2 an applicant applying for permission to stay must not be:
- in breach of immigration laws, except that where paragraph 39E applies, that period of overstaying will be disregarded; or
- on immigration bail
Intra-Company Transfer Visa UK Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for UK Intra-Company Transfer or Graduate Trainee visa an applicant needs to secure 60 mandatory points for sponsorship (20), job skill level (20), and salary (20). In some cases (mainly entry clearance applications), applicants must also need to satisfy non-points requirements relating to tuberculosis testing, available funds, and maximum length of assignments.
Accordingly, in terms of Appendix Intra-Company Routes, eligibility requirements for UK Intra-Company Transfer and Graduate Trainee Visa relates to:
- Entry Requirement
- Tuberculosis Certificate
- Points Requirement (Overview)
- Sponsorship (20 Mandatory Points)
- Job at the appropriate Skill Level (20 Mandatory Points)
- Salary (20 Mandatory Points)
- Financial Requirement (Mandatory)
- Maximum Length of Assignments
A person seeking to come to the UK on an Intra-Company Transfer or Graduate Trainee visa needs to apply for and obtain entry clearance under Appendix Intra-Company Routes before they arrive in the UK.
For UK Intra-Company Transfer or Graduate Trainee visa, applicants need to provide a valid TB certificate with their application if they have been residing within a country listed in Appendix T of the Immigration Rules for more than 6 months immediately preceding the application. If an applicant fails to provide a valid TB test certificate, then the application is refused.
Intra-Company Transfer or Graduate Trainee visa applicant needs to score sixty (60) mandatory points against the following requirements:
- Sponsorship – 20 Points
- Job at an Appropriate Skill Level – 20 Points
- Salary – 20 Points
Please note, there are no requirements relating to English Language skills for Intra-Company Transfer or Graduate Trainee Visa UK.
Sponsorship – 20 Points
To get Intra-Company Transfer or Graduate Trainee Visa UK an applicant needs to score 20 points for sponsorship. Accordingly, to secure 20 Points for Sponsorship an applicant needs to satisfy the requirements relating to:
- Valid Certificate of Sponsorship
- Licensed Sponsor
- Immigration Skills Charge
- Genuine Vacancy
- Working for Third Parties
- Work for the sponsor group outside the UK
Job at an Appropriate Skill Level – 20 Points
To get Intra-Company Transfer or Graduate Trainee Visa UK an applicant needs to score 20 points for Job at an Appropriate Skill Level. Accordingly, to secure 20 Points for Sponsorship an applicant needs to satisfy that they are sponsored in an occupation code listed in Table 1 or Table 2 of Appendix Skilled Occupations. An applicant may not get the points for a job at the appropriate skill level if the sponsor has not chosen an appropriate occupation code.
Salary – 20 Points
To score 20 points for salary, the sponsor needs to pay a salary that is at or above both:
- the general salary threshold of £41,500 for Intra-Company Transfers or £23,000 for Intra-Company Graduate Trainees
- the going rate for Intra-Company Transfers or 70% of the going rate for Intra-Company Graduate Trainees
Please note, the salary can include only guaranteed basic gross pay and some guaranteed allowances.
Financial Requirement (Mandatory)
An applicant will automatically meet the financial requirement when they are applying for permission to stay in the UK, having been in the UK for at least 12 months with permission on the date of application. However, if this does not apply, an applicant can meet the financial requirement by either:
- their sponsor certifying, they will, if necessary, maintain and accommodate the applicant up to the end of the first month of their employment, to an amount of at least £1,270; or
- providing evidence showing they have held funds of at least £1,270 for a 28-day period as set out in the financial requirement guidance (this has reduced from the 90-day requirement which existed for Tier 2 applications)
Maximum Length of Assignments
Applicants who are high earners (with a salary over £73,900) can have a maximum of 9 years in any 10-year period. All other applicants can have a maximum of 5 years in any 6-year period. These limits apply to both Intra-Company routes, but the grant period for graduate trainees is restricted further. Accordingly, the end date for Intra-Company Graduate Trainee applicants will be whichever is sooner of:
- the work end date on the certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days
- the date 1 year after the work start date on the certificate of sponsorship
Documents Required for Intra-Company Transfer Visa UK
To meet the Intra-Company Transfer and Graduate Trainee Visa requirements an applicant needs to furnish the following supporting documents with the application:
- Print out of the Online Application Form
- a current passport (or other valid travel identification) that shows applicant’s identity and nationality with a blank page on both sides for affixation of the visa vignette
- certified translation of any documents that are not in English or Welsh
- certificate of sponsorship reference number, which the UK employer (sponsor) has given to the applicant
- job title and annual salary
- job’s occupation code
- name of the employer and their sponsor licence number – this will be on the certificate of sponsorship
- Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)
An applicant may ask their employer for a copy of certificate of sponsorship if they do not have one.
Additional Supporting Documents
Depending on circumstances, an Intra-Company Transfer or Graduate Trainee Visa applicant may need to provide:
- evidence of requisite personal savings for meeting the maintenance funds requirements. For instance, bank statements (unless the certificate of sponsorship shows that the employer can support)
- proof of relationship with spouse/partner or children – if dependant family members are applying with the main applicant
- tuberculosis test results, if applicable
- a valid ATAS certificate – if the job involves researching a sensitive subject at PhD level or higher
- UK PhD certificate, or unique ECCTIS reference number (formerly unique UK NARIC reference number) if the applicant’s qualification is from outside the UK
The service standard for Intra-Company Transfer and Graduate Trainee Visa Processing Time UK after Biometrics in 2021 is to decide 90%, 98% and 100% of the applications within 15, 30 and 60 working days, respectively. Accordingly, the UK Intra-Company Transfer and Graduate Trainee visa processing time is usually within 3 weeks or 15 working days for 90-95% of the applicants. Moreover, applicants can fast track UK Intra-Company Transfer and Graduate Trainee visa processing time within five working days by purchasing the £250 priority visa service.
The service standard for Intra-Company Transfer and Graduate Trainee extension or renewal visa processing time after biometrics is 8 weeks. Moreover, applicants can fast track UK Intra-Company Transfer and Graduate Trainee visa processing time for extension (renewal) applications within 5 working days or 24 hours by purchasing the £500 or £800 priority or super-priority service, respectively.
Please note, purchasing the priority or super-priority service for fast-tracking UK Intra-Company Transfer and Graduate Trainee visa processing time does not influence the decision. In fact, these premium services are only for fast tracking UK Intra-Company Transfer and Graduate Trainee visa processing time of straightforward applications.
Conditions of Stay in the UK
Applicants granted entry clearance or permission to stay in an Intra-Company route are subject to the following conditions:
- cannot take employment except:
- working for the sponsor in the job recorded on their certificate of sponsorship
- supplementary employment
- voluntary work – must not be paid or receive other money for the voluntary work, except reasonable expenses
- working out a contractual notice period for any job they were lawfully working in on the date of application
- no access to public funds
- must register with the police, if they are required to do so by Part 10 of the Immigration Rules
- study (with no limit on the number of study hours if it does not interfere with the job they have been sponsored to do) subject to certain restrictions
A migrant on UK Intra-Company Transfer or Graduate Trainee visa is allowed to study, but they must obtain an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate for the course or research they intend to undertake and present it to their education provider before they start their study if:
- they are not a national of the countries listed in Appendix ATAS 3.1
- their course is in a subject listed in Appendix ATAS 4.1 and it:
- leads to a master’s degree, PhD, or another postgraduate qualification
- is a period of study or research which is part of an overseas postgraduate qualification
If their course (or research) completion date is postponed or delayed for more than 3 calendar months or there are any changes to the course contents (or the research proposal), they need to apply for a new ATAS certificate within 28 calendar days and provide a printout of the new certificate to their education provider promptly.
In addition to the job specified on the certificate of sponsorship, a migrant on Intra-Company Transfer or Graduate Trainee visa in the UK can do extra work if it is:
- in either a job on the shortage occupation list or a job in the same occupation code as the job for which the certificate of sponsorship was assigned
- no more than 20 hours a week
- outside the working hours covered by the certificate of sponsorship
Intra-Company Transfer Visa UK Success Rate
According to the latest immigration statistics, from 2020 Q4 to 2021 Q2, 9,345 Intra-Company Transfer or Graduate Trainee applications resolved, and 9,331 visas granted. Moreover, 7 applications rejected, 7 applications withdrawn, and no application lapsed. Therefore, the UK Intra-Company Transfer and Graduate Trainee entry clearance visa success rate is 98.85%.
|Year/ Quarter||Intra-Company Transfer Visa UK Success Rate|
|Intra-Company Transfer Visa UK Success Rate||98.85%|