Is Global Business Mobility Visa the Same as Intra-Company Transfer ICT Visa?
Many changes have been made to UK visa names, requirements and costs over the last two years, so it’s important to stay up to date on the changes if you’re going to be applying for a UK work visa or you already have one.
One major change is the replacement of the Intra-Company Transfer visa (ICT) with the Senior or Specialist Worker visa, also known as the Global Business Mobility visa. Luckily, we’re here to help you understand what changes have been made and the differences between the old ICT visa and the new Global Mobility visas.
What’s the Global Business Mobility Visa?
The Global Business Mobility visa is a broad term for five different UK visas that involve moving to the UK to work in various capacities.
Global Business Mobility visas are:
- Senior or Specialist Worker visa
- Graduate Trainee visa
- Secondment Worker visa
- Service Supplier visa
- UK Expansion Worker visa
Each visa has slightly different requirements, including minimum salary, available finances and tuberculosis certificates, however, broadly speaking the Global Business Mobility visas require a sponsor in order to transfer to work in the UK. The Senior or Specialist Worker visa replaced the Intra-Company Transfer visa, so we’ll focus on those requirements in this blog.
Like the ICT visa, the Senior or Specialist Worker visa permits the moving to a UK branch of the company you work for, provided they are approved sponsors by the UK government, and your job title is among the eligible list of jobs.
What Are the Requirements for a Global Business Mobility Visa?
Each of the Global Business Mobility visas has varying requirements, however, for the Senior or Specialist Worker visa, the following requirements apply:
- You must be employed by an organisation approved as a sponsor by the Home Office
- You must provide a detailed sponsorship certificate from your employer regarding your proposed employment
- Your job must be on the list of eligible occupations
- Your salary must be at least £45,800 per year, or the “going rate” for your job, whichever is higher
When you apply for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa, your employer will provide you with a certificate of sponsorship which will have details of your proposed position within the UK and a reference number for you to complete your visa application. Once you have this certificate, you have 3 months to apply for your visa. You can check if your job is on the list of eligible jobs with your job title’s 4-digit code, which you can search for online.
You can also see the going rate for your job in the government’s table, once you have your occupation code.
Additionally, you must:
- have been working for your employer for at least one year at the time of your application if you earn less than £73,900 per year, or
- earn at least £73,900 per year
How Long Can You Stay in the UK with a Global Business Mobility Visa?
Global Business Mobility visas are temporary work visas, so most will only allow you to stay in the UK for up to one year, or for the length of your contract plus 14 days. However, you can extend your visas up to the permitted length of time, which, for Global Business Mobility visas, is generally 5 years in any 6-year period.
The requirements are the same for Senior or Specialist Worker visas, however, you can extend your visa as often as you need to, up to 9 years in a 10-year period if you earn at least £73,900 a year.
How Much Does a Global Business Mobility Visa Cost?
Four of the five Global Business Mobility visas have the same application fee and additional costs.
- The Graduate Trainee visa
- The Secondment Worker visa
- The Service Supplier visa
- The UK Expansion Worker visa
Each of these visas costs £259 to apply for, plus the health surcharge, and applicants must have enough money to support themselves upon arrival. The health surcharge costs £624 per year, while the minimum amount required in your bank account to support yourself is £1,270. So each Global Business Mobility visa costs £883 to apply for, except the Senior and Specialist Worker visa.
To apply for the Senior and Specialist Worker visa from outside of the UK, you’ll need to pay £625 for a visa for up to 3 years, or £1,235 for more than 3 years. To apply for the Senior and Specialist Worker visa from inside the UK, you’ll need to pay £719 for a visa for up to 3 years, or £1,423 for more than 3 years. You will also have to pay the £624 health surcharge and have at least £1,270 available in your account.
You can bring your partner and dependants to the UK with you under Global Business Mobility visas, however, they must each pay the same fees and meet other eligibility requirements.
You will have confirmation of your visa or a rejection letter or email within 3 weeks if you’re applying for your visa from outside the UK, or within 8 weeks if you’re in the UK.
What to Do if Your ICT Visa Expires
Some people will already be in the UK with their Intra-Company Transfer visa, and you can still extend your visa if you still meet the requirements for the ICT, or Senior and Specialist Worker visa. The list of eligible occupations does change from time to time, so if your job code has been removed, you can still extend your visa until you reach your maximum time in the UK, or you can change jobs, providing you meet all the necessary requirements.
If your Global Business Mobility visa expires, you can also extend it from within the UK, provided you haven’t reached your maximum stay limit of 5 years.
Difference Between Senior or Specialist Worker Visa and Skilled Worker Visa
As the names are very similar, it’s normal to be confused between these two types of working visas in the UK, however, there are notable differences that make both visas advantageous for some. The Senior or Specialist Worker visa is generally for more senior roles, while the Skilled Worker visa can be any rank within a company, as long as the job is on the list of eligible jobs for Skilled Workers.
This is reflected in the experience and pay requirements of both visas, as the Skilled Worker visa has a lower minimum salary and lower ‘going rates’ for eligible occupations, and does not require 12 months of experience within a company before moving to work in the UK. The Skilled Worker visa may therefore be a more attractive visa for some, however, it requires proof of English proficiency, while the Global Business Mobility visas do not.
One significant advantage of the Skilled Worker visa compared to the Global Business Mobility visas is that it can lead to permanent settlement in the UK, while people staying in the UK on the Global Business Mobility programme must leave the UK after 5 – 6 years (or 9 – 10 if earning at least £73,900 per year as a Senior or Specialist Worker).
If you have been living and working in the UK under an ICT or Global Business Mobility visa, you can switch to a different kind of visa that will lead to settlement in the UK – known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) – as long as you meet the new visa requirements.
Need Help With Your Application? – Synergy Immigration Solutions
The world of visas and immigration is understandably confusing with many different and similar terms being used to complicate matters further. Fortunately, Synergy Immigration Solutions are here to ensure you apply for the right visa for you, and help you through the application process.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you with your UK visa application.