At Synergy Immigration Solutions, we pride ourselves on being able to provide UK visas for anyone who is interested and qualified to make the UK their home on a temporary or permanent basis. We operate on an individual and a corporate level.
What are ICT Visas?
Known as the Intra-Company-Transfer Visa, it allowed workers who’s company have UK branches, an opportunity to work in the company’s UK branch. This type of visa has since been replaced with a ‘Senior or specialist worker visa’.
To qualify for this Visa you must:
- be an existing employee of an organisation that’s been approved by the Home Office as a sponsor
- have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the work you will do in the UK
- do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations
- be paid at least £42,400 per year
How long you can stay
You can stay in the UK with a Senior or Specialist Worker visa for whichever is shorter of:
- the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days
- 5 years
You can apply to extend your visa or apply for another one as many times as you like up to the maximum total stay.
If you’re already in the UK with an Intra-company visa or a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Long-term Staff visa you can apply to extend your stay as a Senior or Specialist Worker.
The maximum total stay allowed for a Senior and Specialist Worker visa is:
- 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
Any time you spend in the UK on one of the following visas will be included in your maximum total stay:
What Does the ICT Visa Consist of in 2022?
The Intra-Company Transfer has now been replaced with five Tier 2 visas, which all facilitate bringing employees to the UK for temporary work. Designed to help the government make more informed decisions on which visas are approved and to allow a fairer application process, these different visas are the following:
Senior or Specialist Worker
A Senior or Specialist Worker visa allows you to work in the UK at any of your current employers’ branches or UK-based franchises. Whilst the application requirements have largely stayed the same, there are a few differences.
Firstly, employees must earn at least £42,400 per year, which is higher than the ICT visa requirement of £41,500. There is also the added stipulation that if the salary sits at £73,900 per annum or lower, you will also need proof you have worked for the company outside of the UK for over twelve months. The new visa also does not allow any other form of working other than the sponsored post and has discounted several creative roles from the eligibility.
This visa, which allows applicants to work for their employer as a graduate trainee in a UK brand, has mainly stayed the same. The only differences are that the graduate trainee visa now requires a letter of approved sponsorship from a licence holder and is subject to the points-based system requirements.
UK Expansion Worker
The UK Expansion visa is eligible for individuals who have worked for a company for more than a year and are required to support the opening of a UK subsidiary of the same business. Our UK expansion visa blog post shares more insights about this portion of the Global Mobility visas.
You will need to apply for the Service Supplier visa if you are a contractor who has a requirement to provide services for a UK-based company. Eligible for both employed and self-employed professionals, this is intended for longer-term contractor-based work and requires the same sponsorship process as company-employed personnel.
You can apply for the Secondment Worker visa if your overseas employer requires you to work in the UK in either your current or a different company. For the latter, this will cover any form of outsourced contractor work that should directly correlate to the parent companies’ products or services.
How Long Can I Stay?
The maximum time you can stay in the UK on a Global Business Mobility visa is two years, but this will differ depending on the replacement ICT visa you apply for. These visas are only intended for temporary work so if your role is replaced by a permanent one or your type of contract changes; you should let your immigration specialist know.
One of the most common questions we get asked is how Global Mobility visas affect obtaining indefinite leave to remain (ILR) within the UK. With any form of Tier 2 (General) visa, you may well be eligible to apply for ILR as long as you have worked in the UK for more than five years, meet the salary requirements and if your official sponsor needs you to remain in the UK. As standard Global Mobility visas last for around two years, you will need to have had an extension granted promptly to be eligible. This is something that our team can advise you on.
You can also travel around the UK plus enter and exit when you would like during your visa, but you cannot use it to undertake any other permitted activities, such as carrying out other forms of work or setting up your own business.
What Happens if You Lose Your Job on the Tier 2 Visa?
Whilst we hope this never happens, no one is safe from the dreaded risk of losing your job. No matter how stable a company is at the start of a visa process, we understand that the ever-changing landscape of the world and the fluctuations in financials can result in an undesirable situation.
The government does try to avoid this to a certain extent by only granting sponsor licence status to a company that currently has strong operations. However, should your situation change whilst you are working on any of the tier 2 visas which replaced the ICT visa, then your status will change to an invalid visa. As the terms for being in the UK are bound by the ones set out in your sponsorship contract, you would need to return to your overseas locations by the time outlined by the Home Office. It is your company’s responsibility to make the government aware, but you should also take action at this time if you think you are eligible for a different form of visa which would let you stay.
How can Synergy Immigration Solutions help?v
One of the services we provide in order to help those in need of guidance is through our skilled worker & global business mobility routes As the Freedom of Movement from the EU ended on 31 December 2020, both EU and non-EU citizens are now subject to the same immigration rules.
This means that all foreign nationals coming to work in the UK must now apply for permission in advance.
In order to apply for a visa under the Skilled Worker route, migrants need to hold a job offer from an approved sponsor at the required skill and salary level.
The new Skilled Worker route aims to provide a streamlined, simplified sponsorship process with quicker end-to-end visa processing times. Fundamental changes include :
- No cap – The cap that previously applied to Tier 2 (General) visas has been suspended, meaning there is now no limit on the number of skilled workers who can come to the UK.
- No RLMT – Employers are no longer required to undertake a Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) under the new rules.
- Lower thresholds – The minimum skill threshold has been lowered from RQF6 (degree level) to RQF3 (A level) and the minimum salary has been lowered to £20,480.
- No cooling-off period – Intra- Company Transferees can switch to the Skilled Worker Route from within the UK.
As part of the new Points Based System, applicants must score a total of 70 points to meet the Skilled Worker criteria.
The mandatory criteria the applicant must have:
- A confirmed job offer from an approved sponsor (20 points).
- The job must be at an appropriate skill level (20 points).
- The applicant must speak English to an acceptable standard (10 points).
To make up the required 70 points, applicants can earn a further 20 “tradeable” points based on their salary, having a job offer in a shortage occupation or a relevant PhD.
For a full list of details, and to make an enquiry, visit our website today.
Studying in the UK is an enriching experience and a valued opportunity for those who are able to complete their degree at their chosen university.
You can apply for a Student visa if you are over 16 and you have been offered a place on a course by a licenced student sponsor. You must have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course and you must speak, read, write and understand English. We can assist you with the process and simplify things for you.
To receive the best possible chance of studying in the UK, make an enquiry on our website today.
Visit visas – single and multiple
If you’re a visa national and wish to travel to the UK on business or pleasure, you are required to have an entry clearance visa prior to your visit. Visit visas have the highest rate of refusal and so it’s important to get it right the first time. We will ensure that your documentation is in order to strengthen your application and give it the best chance of success.
The UK Start up visa is aimed at ambitious entrepreneurs looking to set up their first business in the UK. The route is open to both graduates and non-graduates and no initial funding is needed to be eligible.
To apply for a start up visa you will require an endorsement letter from one of the UKVI approved Endorsing Bodies. A Start up visa is valid for 2 years and the category does not lead directly to settlement in the UK and so you must switch to an innovator visa to qualify for settlement after five years. Start up visa applications may work in the UK whilst establishing their business.
To know whether or not you qualify for a start-up visa, make your enquiry on our website
Youth Mobility scheme (Tier 5)
Originally called the working holiday visa, the Youth Mobility scheme allows citizens of certain countries which have reciprocal agreements with the UK to experience life here.
It’s a great way to gain international work experience, as well as travel throughout the Europe.
It’s valid for a period of two years and you must be aged between 18 – 30 years to qualify.
It allows you to take up almost any type of work in the UK, including self-employment. Let us guide you through the process.
Global Talent Visa
The Global Talent visa is for talented and promising people who wish to work in specific sectors such as sciences, the humanities, engineering, the arts and technology.
It replaced the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa category in February 2020 and it leads to settlement after 3 years if you have been considered a talented candidate, or 5 years if you have been considered a promising candidate.
You may qualify for permanent residency after you have lived legally in the UK for a certain length of time.
This is known as indefinite leave to remain. In most cases, qualifying for settlement is possible on completion of five years’ residence in the UK.
We will support you every step of the way. Make your enquiry today to see how we can offer our expertise.