Intra Company Transfer (ICT) visa does not lead to settlement in the UK. If you wish to stay in the UK permanently and settle, you should apply for Skilled Worker visa. Another important point to note when choosing between ICT and Skilled Worker visa, is that the ICT visa requires higher skill level for the job (broadly speaking ‘Graduate’ level) and for the Skilled Worker visa it is sufficient for the job to be at least High School/A-level. Finally, the minimum salary for ICT visa is £41,500 and for Skilled Worker is £25,600. On the other hand, an advantage of ICT visa is lack of English language requirement. For Skilled Worker visa the required level of English is B1 in each of the four components: reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Types of Intra Company Transfer (ICT) visa
There are two types of ICT visa: Intra Company Transfer visa and Graduate Trainee visa. You cannot apply under Intra Company Transfer route if you are applying for permission to work as a Sportsperson or a Minister of Religion. Home Office guidance for ICT visas is here.
What are the main requirements for the ICT visa
- The sponsor employer holds Intra Company Transfer (ICT) sponsor licence from the UK Home Office. The Home Office register of licenced sponsors is here.
- The applicant must have at least 12 months employment with the overseas company unless the salary is £79,300 or above.
- The job is skilled to NQF Level 6 or above (graduate level jobs).
- The minimum salary offered to migrant is £41,500 OR the minimum for the particular job (SOC CODE), whichever is higher. The Home Office has a list of jobs (SOC CODES) that qualify for the ICT visa and each of this SOC CODEs has a minimum salary assigned to it. The minimum salary for the job (SOC CODE) may be higher than £41,500 and in such cases the SOC CODE minimum has to be paid to the migrant.
- The sponsor employer must issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) to the migrant visa applicant. The COS is an electronic work permit setting out the terms of employment and personal details of the migrant.
- The job role must be genuine and the migrant must have the skills, qualifications and experienced required for the role.
- The migrant must meet the minimum maintenance requirement (if not certified by sponsor employer on the COS).
- The migrant has TB Test certificate from an approved Home Office clinic (if applying from a country where TB test certificate is required).
- There are no general grounds for refusal of the visa (i.e. the applicant’s criminal record, involvement in terrorism etc.).
What is the maximum total stay in the UK allowed for ICT visa holder
- 5 years in any 6 year period if you’re paid less than £73,900 a year
- 9 years in any 10 year period if you’re paid £73,900 a year or more
Intra-company Graduate Trainee visa
This visa is for transfers to the UK as part of a graduate training programme for a managerial or specialist role. You will need to have worked for your employer overseas for at least 3 months immediately before the date you apply. This visa requires 3 months employment with overseas employer.
You can stay in the UK with an Intra-company Graduate Trainee visa for whichever is shorter of:
- the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days
- 12 months
- the length of time that takes you to the maximum total stay allowed
Can you extend your Graduate Trainee visa?
You cannot extend your visa, but you can apply for another Intra-company Graduate Trainee visa from outside the UK. You have to have been working for your sponsor outside the UK for at least 3 months immediately before the date you apply.
What is the maximum stay allowed on Graduate Trainee visa?
The maximum total stay allowed for an Intra-company Graduate Trainee visa is 5 years in any 6 year period. If you have already been in the UK with an Intra-company visa before your application, that time will be included in your total stay.