Bishop & Sewell

What is it?

The Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) visa is designed to enable workers who are based overseas to transfer temporarily to the organization’s UK branch or connected entity

There are currently two types of Tier 2 ICT visa;

  • Long-term Staff: for transfers of more than 12 months for a worker who has worked for the overseas organisation for at least 12 months, unless the migrant is earning at least £73,900;
  • Graduate Trainee: for transfers into graduate trainee programmes. The applicant must be a recent graduate with at least three months experience with the overseas organisation.

What are the main requirements?

In order to qualify for a Tier 2 ICT visa the applicant must be able to demonstrate that:

  • they have a job offer and a Certificate of Sponsorship from an organisation based in the UK that holds a sponsor licence;
  • the role represents a genuine vacancy;
  • they possess the suitable skills and experience for the role;
  • the role is at the relevant skill level (typically NQF level 6 or above) and they will be paid an appropriate salary as listed within the Codes of Practice;
  • they have sufficient funds to maintain themselves (if maintenance is not certified by the sponsor); and
  • they do not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal.

How long can I stay and what are the conditions of my stay?

Applicants in the Graduate Trainee category can apply to come to the UK for a maximum period of 12 months.

Applicants in the Long-term staff category earning at least £120,000 a year can extend their leave up to a maximum of nine years, whilst those in this category earning less than this can extend their leave up to a maximum of five years and one month.

It is not possible to switch from a Tier 2 ICT visa to a Tier 2 (General) visa from within the UK. Those wishing to apply under Tier 2 (General) or extend their Tier 2 ICT visa beyond the maximum time allowed are required to leave the UK. A 12 month cooling off period will generally then be applied (unless one of the exceptions applies) before the applicant can obtain a new visa to return under Tier 2.

During their stay in the UK, applicants can work for the sponsor in the role described on their Certificate of Sponsorship, perform supplementary work of up to 20 hours per week in accordance with the rules and undertake voluntary work and study providing this does not interfere with their main sponsored work. They are not permitted access to public funds.

Can I apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (otherwise known as ‘Settlement’)?

The Tier 2 ICT visa is no longer a route leading to Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.

Some holders of leave under this route may be eligible to apply because of the amount of time they have spent in the UK and we can provide specific advice if required.

How we can help?

The requirements of the Tier 2 ICT visa are highly prescriptive and the Home Office routinely refuse applications that do not fully comply with the Immigration Rules and guidance. Our highly experienced team of immigration lawyers will assist in preparing and submitting your application to achieve the best possible outcome. They will also fully advise on the requirements to be satisfied for extension, settlement and British nationality applications.

If you’d like to discuss matters further, please email our Immigration team on or complete the online enquiry form on this page.


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