Intra-company visa guide is split into the following sections:
- Intra-company visa introduction
- Intra-company visa overview
- Intra-company Transfer visa sub-categories
- Maintenance Funds requirements
- Other activities and restrictions
- Intra-Company visa holder taking up new or additional employment
The Intra-Company visa category, formerly Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa, allows multinational companies to transfer workers from their overseas operations to a UK branch. There must be common ownership or control of the overseas business and the UK business.
This may be a better option than the Skilled Worker visa route to transfer existing staff to the UK if the staff member does not have good English. The worker must have a confirmed UK job and a certificate of sponsorship from their employer, who must hold a valid Intra-company sponsor licence. As this category does not by itself lead to indefinite leave to remain it is much less popular than the Skilled Worker visa category. Since 1 December 2020 and the end of the resident labour market test, that removed the requirement to show that you cannot fill the vacancy locally, for many employers and employees there is little point in applying for the Intra-Company visa in preference to the Skilled Worker visa.
There is no English language requirement and no need to obtain a Defined CoS. Like the Skilled Worker visa category there no restriction on shareholdings owned by the Intra-Company visa applicant and so businessmen with any number of shares in the UK business can gain entry. Your occupation must also come under the Intra-company visas eligible occupations list.
However, unlike the Skilled Worker visa category the Intra-Company visa does not lead to indefinite leave to remain at the end of five years in the UK. If you are currently on an Intra-Company visa, and think that you may wish to apply for indefinite leave to remain in future it is probably best, following the changes of 1 December 2020, to switch to a Skilled Worker visa. In most cases the minimum UK salary will need to be £41,500 per year or the going rate for the job. This is higher than the minimum requirements for the Skilled Worker visa category which is many cases £25,600 per year, and can be as low as £20,480 per year in some cases.
Intra-Company Transfer visa For workers who are filling a position in the UK for a year or more. Applicants for this category must have been employed by the company overseas for at least a year, unless the UK job pays at least £73,900 a year.
Length of stay: Length of stay for long term staff is salary dependent. Those earning above £73,900 or more per year can stay for a maximum period of nine years out of a total period of ten years. Those earning less can stay for 5 years in any six year period.
Minimum salary: £41,500 or the "going rate" for the job, whichever is higher.
Intra-Company Graduate Trainee visa For workers with a recent degree level or above qualification who are filling a position in the UK on a graduate trainee program – such as a specialist research or IT role. Applicants for this category must have been employed and/or trained by the company overseas for at least 3 months.
Length of stay: Up to one year.
Minimum salary: £23,000 or 70% of the "going rate" for the job, whichever is higher.
In many cases the sponsor licence employer will guarantee maintenance which will meet this requirement. Most employers are "A rated" and are allowed to do this. Alternatively, Intra-Company visa applicants must show that they have funds of at least £1,270 over a period of 28 days. The end date of the 28 day period must have been in the last 31 days.
Workers on this visa can take part in other work for a maximum of 20 hours a week, and study activity while in the UK. This includes doing voluntary work, and studying outside of their working hours. Unlike the Skilled Worker visa category the Intra-Company visa does not lead to indefinite leave to remain at the end of five years. Intra-Company visa holders will usually need to switch to a Skilled Worker visa if they wish to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
Intra-Company Transfer workers on this visa who wish to leave their job and work for a new employer will need a new UK visa. As you can now switch to a Skilled Worker visa, most likely most visa applicants will apply for this visa. The cooling off period of twelve months before you can apply for another Intra-Company visa is unlikely to be relevant in most cases.
Intra-Company visa holders are free to work for an additional 20 hours per week in the following circumstances:
- In another job on the shortage occupation list or a job in the same sector and at the same professional level as the work for which the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) was assigned.
- Outside the working hours covered by the CoS for the Intra-Company Visa.