Personal Immigration
Business Immigration

What Now for Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer (ICT) Migrants?

The Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) route closed on 11 April 2022. As such, if you are currently in the UK as a Tier 2 ICT migrant, it will no longer be possible to extend your visa under this route. 

Companies that wish to transfer overseas staff for non-permanent roles should make applications under the Global Business Mobility – Senior or Specialist Worker route (or Global Business Mobility – Graduate Trainee route, where applicable).   If you are currently in the UK with leave as a Tier 2 ICT migrant then you may also extend your stay as a Global Business Mobility – Senior or Specialist Worker. Existing Tier 2 ICT migrants can also switch into the Skilled Worker Route. Previously you were unable to do this, and were subject to a 12 month cooling off period after leaving the United Kingdom. 

If you have leave as a Tier 2 ICT migrant then you will be able to switch into the Skilled Worker category in-country, which is a route to settlement for both you and your dependants, subject to meeting the requirements of the route. 

Switching from Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer (ICT) to Skilled Worker

As explained above, if you are currently in the UK as a Tier 2 (ICT) / Intra Company Transfer migrant, you can switch into the Skilled Worker category. The only requirement is that you must not have, or last have been granted, permission as:

(a) as a Visitor; or

(b) as a Short-term student; or

(c) as a Parent of a Child Student; or

(d) as a Seasonal Worker; or

(e) as a Domestic Worker in a Private Household; or

(f) outside the Immigration Rules.

Requirements to Switch from Tier 2 (ICT) to Skilled Worker

In order to qualify for a Skilled Worker visa, you will also need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

  • You are aged 18 or over;
  • You have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the job you are planning to do;
  • Your job offer is a genuine vacancy;
  • Your sponsor has paid any required Immigration Skills Charge;
  • Your job is at an appropriate skill level;
  • You are competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B1 (equivalent to IELTS 4.0), have a degree taught in English, or are a national or citizen of a majority English speaking country as listed in Appendix KoLL;
  • You have enough money to support yourself without relying on public funds, or, your sponsor has certified your maintenance on your Certificate of Sponsorship;
  • You have provided a criminal record certificate, if required; and
  • You have provided a valid TB certificate, if required.

You will still require a sponsored role that is skilled to the appropriate level and offers the appropriate minimum salary. This can be with your current employer, if your Sponsor has a Skilled Worker licence as well as an Intra-company licence, or it can be with a new employer if you obtain a new offer of employment from a licensed Skilled Worker Sponsor. You will need to be assigned a new CoS for your role as a Skilled Worker.

It should not prove too difficult to switch into the Skilled Worker route, given that you will already be in a role at RQF level 6 (above the new required RQF level 3). You must also be paid at the appropriate minimum salary. The salary must equal or exceed the general salary threshold of £25,600 (per annum), as well as the ‘going rate’ for the occupation – whichever is higher. There are circumstances in which sponsored skilled workers may be paid less than the aforementioned amounts, listed below:

  • If you have a PhD qualification which is relevant to the job, you may be paid a salary which equals or exceeds both £23,040 per year and 90% of the going rate for the occupation;
  • If you have a PhD qualification which is relevant to the job, you may be paid a salary which equals or exceeds both £23,040 per year and 90% of the going rate for the occupation;
  • If you have a PhD qualification in a STEM subject which is relevant to the job, you may be paid a salary which equals or exceeds both £20,480 per year and 80% of the going rate for the occupation;
  • If you have a job offer for a job in a shortage occupation, you may be paid a salary which equals or exceeds both £20,480 per year and 80% of the going rate for the occupation;
  • If you are a new entrant to the labour market may be paid a salary which equals or exceeds both £20,480 per year and 70% of the going rate for the occupation; or 
  • If you are applying for a job in a listed health or education occupation, you may be paid a salary which equals or exceeds both £20,480 per year and 80% of the going rate for the occupation.

For further clarification on the above exceptions, please see our Skilled Worker visa category page on our website.

As a Tier 2 (ICT) Long-term Staff / Intra Company Migrant, you must be paid a minimum of £41,500, which is well above the minimum of £25,600 and the going rates for most (but not all) occupation codes for Skilled Workers. Details regarding how to meet the minimum salary can be located in another of our blogs, here

You cannot fall for the grounds for refusal, and must meet the English language (which you will not have previously had to prove) and maintenance requirements.  If you are applying for permission to stay and have been in the UK with permission for 12 months or more at the date of application, you will automatically meet the financial requirement and will not need to show funds. Additionally, if you are switching in-country a TB and Criminal Record Certificate will not be required. 

Length of Grant when switching from Tier 2 (ICT) to Skilled Worker

As with all Skilled Workers, if successful in your application to switch from Tier 2 (ICT), you will be granted permission to stay until 14 days after the end date of your certificate of sponsorship (which may be up to a maximum of 5 years after the start date of their certificate of sponsorship).

Eligibility to Settle as a Skilled Worker

Once in the Skilled Worker route, you (and your dependents, if applicable) will be on a route settlement. Once you have switched into the Skilled Worker route you must spend a continuous period of 5 years in the UK as a Skilled Worker. Unfortunately, you cannot count your time already spent in the UK as a Tier 2 (ICT) migrant towards settlement. 

You will need to meet the other requirements for settlement, including knowledge of life in the UK, and the sponsorship, salary, validity and suitability requirements.

If you have spent 10 years residing in the UK continuously and lawfully, you may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain on the basis of long residence, instead. 

If you are unable to meet the requirements to settle on the Skilled Worker route, you can continue to extend in the Skilled Worker category, as there is no maximum total stay on this route.

Contact our Immigration Barristers

For expert advice and assistance in relation to an application to switch into the Skilled Worker Visa category please contact our immigration barristers in London on 0203 617 9173 or via the enquiry form below.

SEE HOW OUR IMMIGRATION BARRISTERS CAN HELP YOU

To arrange an initial consultation meeting, call our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or fill out the form below.




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