UK Tier 2 Visas, IT firms and intra-company transfers

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The Association of Professional Staffing Companies a special interest group feels that the Tier 2 (Intra company transfer) visa category of the points-based system has resulted in Indian IT companies bringing in lower paid overseas workers to the UK.

The Government has stated that all employers have to pay the "Going Rate" for the job under the Tier 2 intra company transfer visa. The Government says that it is not true that overseas workers transferred from an overseas office to the UK office are paid less than resident workers. It should be noted that many overseas IT workers who come to the UK are paid very good salaries indeed.

However, the UK Border Agency has also said that the Tier 2 intra-company transfer requirements will become more difficult in the Spring. In future overseas workers would have to have worked for twelve months instead of six months for the same employer abroad before being transferred to the UK. It will also not be possible in future to apply for indefinite leave to remain (permanent settlement) on the basis of having been in the UK on a Tier 2 intra company transfer visa. If you come under the Tier 2 visa intra company transfer category and wish to gain indefinite leave to remain in future it may be advisable to apply now before the rules change.

Immigration Minister Phil Woolas had the following to say:

'Intra-company transfers are an important part of making the UK an attractive place in which to do business, and therefore keep industry and the economy moving.

'Workers that come in via this route must display the appropriate level of earnings and qualifications, and the numbers are strictly controlled by the points-based system - meaning only those the UK needs can come here.'