A Tier 2 intra-company transfer visa is a type of UK work visa for people who work for an international company and are transferring to a UK branch. To apply for this visa type, you must be employed by a licensed sponsor, be from a country outside of the European Economic Area and Switzerland, and meet the other eligibility requirements outlined by the Home Office.
Your employer must also have to prove that the salary that they will be paying you is appropriate for your role, and that they cannot fill the role with a UK resident. This might be because you are a specialist in your field, or because the skills you possess are not available to learn in the UK.
Types of intra-company transfer visas
There are three subcategories of the Tier 2 intra-company transfer visa, however one of them – the short term staff category – is currently closed. The two subcategories that remain open are:
The long term staff intra company transfer visa – this is intended for people who will be transferring to the UK within the same company for more than twelve months. You will have needed to have worked for the company you are transferring within for more than twelve months at the time of your application in order to be eligible for this visa subcategory.
Graduate trainees – this is intended for transfers into a graduate trainee program for specialist roles. In order to be eligible to apply for this visa subcategory, you will need to be a recent graduate with at least three months of employment with the company you are transferring in.
As is the case with all other UK work visas, there are general and financial requirements that you must meet in order for your application to be considered by the Home Office. The general requirements include:
- Having a valid certificate of sponsorship
- Being paid an ‘appropriate salary’
- Having personal savings that allow you to support yourself upon arrival in the UK
- Being able to prove that you can travel
- Showing your travel history for the past five years
- Having tuberculosis test results, if you are from a country where this is required
- Being able to prove that you have worked for your current employer outside the UK
You also must be able to prove that you will be paid at least £41,500 per year in the UK if you are applying for the long term staff subcategory, or £23,000 per year if you are a graduate trainee.
When you apply for the visa you will have to provide certain documents, including:
- Certificate of sponsorship reference number
- Bank or building society statement showing your personal savings balance
- Current passport or travel document, and a blank page in your passport for your visa
- Original payslips
How long you can stay and what you can do in the UK
Like with all other UK visas, the Tier 2 intra-company transfer visa has certain limits on how long you can stay in the UK for and what you can do whilst here. For example, if you apply for the long term staff subcategory and will earn less than £120,000 a year, you can stay in the UK for five years and one month. for up to nine years, but if you earn more, then you can stay for nine years. As a graduate trainee, your visa will expire after twelve months.
If granted the Tier 2 visa, you will be able to work for your sponsor, do voluntary work, bring family members with you on UK dependent visas, travel abroad and return to the UK, study and have a second job in the same profession for 20 hours or less per week. However, you will not be able to get public funds or start working before your visa is granted.