If you have spent any time looking into what are the different types of visas in the UK, you may have come across something called a UK Intra-company Visa. This is a type of UK business visa that is available to those who seek to immigrate to the country for the purpose of working at the UK location of an abroad-based business. Read on for answers to general questions such as, “what does the Intra-company Transfer mean?” and for information about how to apply for an Intra-company visa, the different types, benefits, how long it takes to receive one, and associated costs.

UK Intra-company Visa

  • As mentioned above, a UK Intra-company visa is a kind of UK business visa that is available to those who seek to immigrate to the country for the purpose of working at the UK location of an abroad-based business.
  • Applicants who seek Intra-company visas can choose from these two types:
    • Intra-company Transfer Visa (ICT)
      • What does the Intra-company Transfer mean? Pursue this type of visa if you are a worker and your boss is transferring you anywhere in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, or Wales in order to assume a position within the company.
      • To be eligible for the ICT visa, you must have been employed by your company abroad for a minimum of one-year (workers who will receive a salary in the UK that is greater than £73,900 per year are exempt from this requirement).
    • Intra-company Graduate Trainee Visa (ICGT)
      • Pursue this type of visa if you are being transferred to England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, or Wales in order to assume a specialist or managerial position via a graduate training course.
      • To be eligible for the ICT visa, you must have been employed by your company abroad for a minimum of three months prior to applying for your ICGT visa.
  • Please note that the ICT and the ICGT visa have replaced the Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Long-term Staff visa and the Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Graduate Trainee visa, respectively.
  • After looking into what are the different types of visas in the UK, you may be wondering about the difference between the Sole Representative visa and the UK Intra-company visa. While both the Sole Representative and the Intra-company visas are for immigrants seeking to work in the UK for abroad-based companies, Sole Representatives act as the single contact for their employer, and are in charge of setting up the UK branch of the abroad-based company they work for. In contrast, Intra-company Transfer visas are for those who are simply being shifted over to the UK—they are not in charge of setting up the company there and do not necessarily have a highly placed role in the organization.

Intra-company visa holder benefits

  • Intra Company visa holder benefits include the possibility of:
    • Working at another job (i.e. other than the one you have your Intra-company visa for) so long as it is:
      • At the same level and within the same field as your IC visa job OR is classified as a skilled worker shortage occupation.
      • Does not take more than 20 hours per week.
    • Volunteering.
    • Being a student.
    • Having your family join you in the country.
    • Exiting and re-entering the country.

How much the UK Intra-company visa costs? 

  • How much the UK Intra-company visa costs will depend on a number of factors, including your application destination (i.e. whether you are applying from abroad or within the country), the type of visa you are applying for (i.e. Intra-company Transfer vs. Intra-company Graduate Trainee) and the duration of the visa period (i.e. three years or more than three years). 
  •  Ultimately, depending on these factors, a single person can expect to pay between £610 to £1,408 in application costs (applicants from certain countries will receive a £55 discount). 
  • Please note that this price does not reflect the healthcare surcharge (at an average yearly cost of £624), which applicants for both visa types must pay. 
  • In addition to the above costs, you will also likely have to demonstrate your possession of a minimum amount of funds (£1,270), as proof of your ability to cover your cost of living throughout your time in the country.

How to apply for UK Intra-company visa?

  • While all applicants for Intra-company visas apply online, your specific application process will be determined by your application destination (i.e. if you are applying from abroad or from inside the country), which will in turn determine your eligibility requirements.
  • Depending on what kind of candidate you are, you will have to submit certain required documents, and prove your identity, either by having your official UK ID checked, or by having your biometric information collected.
  • Applicants from abroad may apply through this link.
  • If you are applying from within the country, you presumably already are there on some kind of UK visa. If this case, you will be applying to switch from your old UK visa to an Intra-company Transfer Visa. You can apply to do that here.
  • Alternatively, if you are already in the country on an Intra-company visa, you can apply to extend your current visa here.
  • Applicants should lodge their application up to three months prior to their intended first day of work in Britain.

Application processing times

  • How long it takes to receive a decision on your  visa application is determined by your application location. 
  • Those applying from abroad can expect to receive a decision in as little as 21 days; for those applying from within the country, it can take up to eight weeks. 
  • Please note that it may be possible to pay a fee and receive expediated processing times.  

How long can you stay inside the UK on an ICT visa?

  • Holders of ICT visas may remain inside the country for whichever of the below durations amounts to the least amount of time:
    • Five years.
    • The amount of time that is reflected on your certificate of sponsorship, with two weeks on top of that period of time.
    • However long it takes you to reach the “maximum total stay” period.
  • Maximum total stay:
    • Ultimately, if you have an ICT visa, you can remain inside the country for a maximum period of five to nine years (out of a period of six to ten years, respectively) depending on whether you receive a salary that is greater or less than £73,900.
    • Those who receive under £73,900 a year may remain in the country for five years out of 6; those who receive more than £73,900 a year may remain in the country for nine years out of ten.

How long can you stay inside the UK on an ICGT visa?

  • Holders of IC Graduate Trainee visas may remain inside the country for whichever of the below durations amounts to the least amount of time:
    • One year.
    • The amount of time that is reflected on your certificate of sponsorship, with two weeks on top of that period of time.
    • However long it takes you to reach the “maximum total stay” period.
  • Maximum total stay:
    • Five years out of a six-year duration.

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