In an attempt to control the continuing increase in Immigration, the Home Secretary has recently carried out substantial changes to the Immigration rules HC667. The main changes will directly affect the Points Based System (PBS) visas, in particular, workers who apply under the Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) route. These changes will undoubtedly have an impact on UK businesses that primarily rely on overseas professionals and make Tier 2 ICT applications from overseas professionals coming to the UK a cumbersome process.Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) applications can be made by LEXVISA Immigration Solicitors in London
Changes to the Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) visa
Following the Home Secretary’s changes to the current Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa, all applications submitted after 24 November 2016 under the Tier 2 ICT route must now meet the new salary threshold requirement. Previously Applicants were required to meet an obligatory salary threshold of £24,800 per annum but the Home Office has increased the salary threshold to £30,000 per annum for all applications submitted after 24 November 2016.
The increase will evidently affect UK businesses that previously relied upon overseas professionals to bring their expertise to help enhance their business especially businesses who predominantly operate in the IT sector. Earlier this year the Migration Advisory Committee’s research established that 90 percent of visas issued under this route were for IT workers. It is clear the recent changes will directly affect overseas IT professionals coming to the UK from IT prevalent countries such as India.
What is the Tier 2 ICT visa?
The Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa is designed to allow UK businesses who also acquire overseas offices to transfer key members of their team to the UK. This route has four subdivisions: short term, long term, graduate trainee or skills transfer route. There are also drastic changes to the skills transfer route under the latest immigration changes, which will no longer be available from 24 January 2017.
It is important employers select the correct route as Applicants will not be allowed to switch from the long term to the short term route. However, it is possible to switch from the short term to the long term route. For more information on how to submit a successful transfer application contact our expert team of solicitors.
There are currently 4 routes to enter the UK under the Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer route:
- Long-term: Applicants who wish to enter the UK under this category must demonstrate that they have been employed by their overseas employer for a minimum of 12 months and will earn a minimum salary of £41,500.
- Short-term: Applicants who wish to enter the UK under this category must also have been in ongoing employment with their overseas employer for a minimum period of 12 months. Previously Applicants were required to demonstrate they earned a minimum of £24,800 but the recent changes mean all applications submitted after the 24 November will be required to meet an increased threshold of £30,000.
- Graduate trainee: This category is designed specifically for Applicants who wish to join a graduate program in the UK for a specialist role. Previously Applicants were required to demonstrate they meet the minimum threshold requirement of £24,800 but under the new changes, Applicants must now meet a reduced threshold of £23,000.
- Skills transfer: This category allows overseas employees to enter the UK for training purposes. Unlike the other categories, Applicants are not required to be employed by the overseas employer for a specific period of time. As mentioned above, this category has been affected the most under the changes as this route will no longer be available from 24 January 2017.
Under the Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer, it is important that the employer provides sufficient evidence demonstrating that the role cannot be filled by UK settled workers and that there is genuine need and vacancy for the role.
Successful Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Applications
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