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Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa

If you wish to apply for a visa in this category then our team at Hunter Stone Law will be able to guide and assist you throughout every step of the process. In order to qualify for this visa you would have to meet the requirement of the relevant section of the Immigration Rules. However we have attempted to simplify the requirements below.

You can apply for a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa if:

  • your overseas employer has offered you a role in a UK branch of the organisation
  • you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • you meet the other eligibility requirements

Obtaining sponsorship

You need to be sponsored – which means that you must have a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor - before you can apply to come to the UK to work. The work you do in the UK must relate to the work of your sponsor organisation.

Types of Intra-company Transfer visa

There are 4 types of Intra-company Transfer visa. 

  • Long-term Staff - This visa is for transfers of more than 12 months into a role that can’t be filled by a UK recruit. You need to have worked for your employer for at least 12 months.
  • Short-term Staff - This visa is for transfers up to and including 12 months into a role that can’t be filled by a new UK recruit. You need to have worked for your employer for at least 12 months.
  • Graduate Trainee - This visa is for transfers into graduate trainee programmes for specialist roles. You need to be a recent graduate with at least 3 months’ experience with your employer.
  • Skills Transfer - This visa is for transfers that allow people to gain skills and knowledge needed to perform their role overseas, or to pass on their skills to UK colleagues. You don’t need to have been with your employer for a set period of time.

You can come to the UK with a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa for up to the maximum stay allowed for your visa type, or the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 1 month, whichever is shorter.

The maximum stay for each type of Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa is:

  • Long-term Staff: 5 years, 14 days
  • Graduate Trainee: 12 months
  • Short-term Staff: 12 months
  • Skills Transfer: 6 months

Your stay must start no more than 14 days before the start date on your certificate of sponsorship.  You can apply to extend your stay in the UK for the maximum time allowed for your visa type.

You’ll need to make a new application if you want to do a second job that’s not in the same profession as your main job.

Eligibility for a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) visa

You must have all of the following to be eligible for a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa:

  • certificate of sponsorship reference number
  • an ‘appropriate’ salary
  • £945 in savings - this is to prove you can support yourself and you must have had this in your bank account for 90 days before you apply

You don’t need to have £945 in savings if your sponsor is fully approved (‘A-rated) and they can certify that they’ll support and accommodate you for the first month you’re employed.

Certificate of sponsorship

A certificate of sponsorship is a reference number which holds information about the job and your personal details. It’s not an actual certificate or paper document. Your sponsor will give you your certificate of sponsorship reference number.  They must also give you some other information to help you to apply, eg how much you’ll be paid, what you will be doing, etc.

You’ll need to add your certificate of sponsorship reference number to your application form. You can only use this once.

Appropriate salary

You’ll need to earn 1 of the following:

  • Long-term Staff applicants - at least £41,000 or the ‘appropriate rate’ for the role (whichever is higher)
  • Short-term Staff, Graduate Trainee or Skills Transfer applicants - at least £24,500 or the ‘appropriate rate’ (whichever is higher)
  • staff already in the UK on a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa or work permit issued before 6 April 2011 - at least the ‘appropriate rate’

Appropriate rates

Appropriate rates vary by sector. We can advise you of the appropriate rate when you contact us.

Documents you must provide with your application

When you apply you’ll need to provide:

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification
  • a passport-size colour photograph
  • bank statements showing you’ve had at least £945 in savings continuously over the last 90 days, or your sponsor’s certification that they can support and accommodate you for the first month you’re employed
  • your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
  • a blank page in your passport on which to put the visa.

You may be asked to prove you work for your employer outside the UK. The time you must have worked for your employer depends on the visa you’re applying for.

The times you have worked for your employer varies for the type of visa that you apply for.  If you’re applying for a Long-term Staff visa then you must have been employed for 12 months. If you’re applying for a Short-term Staff visa then you must have been employed for 12 months.  If you’re applying for a Graduate Trainee visa then you must have been employed for 12 month.  If you’re applying for a Skills Transfer Visa then there is no minimum time that you must have been employed.

You may be asked to provide 1 of the following showing payments by your employer for the required time period:

  • original printed payslips, or copies of online payslips supported by a letter from your sponsor signed by a senior staff member
  • bank or building society statements
  • building society pass book

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.

Apply for a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Visa

If you’re applying for a visa outside the UK then you must apply online for a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa. You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of your application.

Extend your visa in this category

You may be able to apply to extend your stay in the UK under a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa. You should include any dependants who are on your current visa on your application to extend - including children who have turned 18 during your stay. It’s advisable that you apply before your current visa expires.

Eligibility to extend Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa

In order to extend you must currently have a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa and

you must be in the UK to extend your visa.

You must also:

  • have the same or a similar job to the one you received your previous visa for
  • still work for the employer who provided your certificate of sponsorship
  • still earn an ‘appropriate salary’ - read the full guidance if you’re not sure

A Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer - Long-term Staff) visa can be extended for the shortest of these options:

  • the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days
  • the time needed to extend your stay to the maximum time allowed in the category
  • 5 years

You can extend all other types of Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer visa if your original visa was for less than the maximum stay allowed by that type. You can only extend your visa up to the maximum time allowed.

Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

Switching to this visa from a different category

You can apply to change (‘switch’) from another visa to a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer - Long-term Staff) visa.  You can’t switch to any other type of Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa.  You must ensure that you apply before your current visa expires.

Eligibility

You must already be in the UK under 1 of the following visas or schemes:

  • Intra-company Transfer - Established Staff
  • Intra-company Transfer granted before 6 April 2010
  • Intra-company Transfer Work Permit (except multiple entry work permits)
  • representative of an overseas business (including representatives of overseas media companies)

You must be still working for the same employer named on your previous application.

You can’t:

  • switch into any other Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa type
  • switch into Tier 2 (General) if your Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Long-term Staff visa was granted after 6 April 2011

A Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer - Long-term Staff) visa can be extended for the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, the time needed to extend your stay to the maximum time alllowed in the category or 5 years (whichever is shorter).

You can’t:

  • extend your stay in the UK beyond 5 years
  • re-apply to re-enter the UK under an Intra-company Transfer visa until 12 months after you leave the UK

Family members

Your family members (‘dependants’) can come with you when you come to the UK on this visa. Your family members must have a visa if they’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

A ‘dependant’ is any of the following:

  • your husband, wife or partner
  • your child under 18

Savings to prove that you can support your dependants

You must show that your dependants can be supported while they’re in the UK. Each dependant must have £600 available to them whether they apply with you or separately. This is in addition to the £945 you must have to support yourself. You must have proof you have the money, and that it’s been in your bank account or your dependant’s bank account for at least 90 days before you or they apply.

If your dependants applying from outside the UK then they must apply online. They’ll need to have their fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of their application.

If your dependants are applying in the UK then your dependants can apply to extend or switch their visas to stay with you if they’re already in the UK. They should apply using the dependant application form. Where possible it’s best to send your dependants’ applications at the same time as yours but they can apply at a later date by post or in person at a premium service centre.

Please note that members of your family can’t apply in the UK as your dependant if they hold a visitor visa.

Taking a second job

You’ll need to make a new Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa application if you want to do a second job that isn’t in the same sector as your main job or isn’t voluntary work. You can do a second job (up to 20 hours a week) that is on the shortage list without making a new application.

You’ll need to be sponsored by your second employer and get a new certificate of sponsorship if you make a new application.

Please note that you can’t:

  • apply until you’ve started work with your first sponsor
  • start work with your second sponsor until your application has been approved

Documents you must provide to take a second job

You’ll need to provide some documents with your application.

You must also include a letter with your application explaining that you want to change your current permission to stay.

Your letter must state:

  • your name
  • your date of birth
  • your current certificate of sponsorship reference number
  • the date when your current permission to stay runs out

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
  • do a second job
  • do voluntary work
  • study as long as it doesn’t interfere with the job you’re sponsored for
  • travel abroad and return to the UK
  • bring family members with you

You can’t:

  • get public funds
  • start working before you get a visa
  • apply for a second job until you’ve started working for your sponsor