Category Archives: Tier 2

Changes to Rules for Some Tier 2 Intra-Company Transferees (ICT)

Mark Harper, the Immigration Minister, has announced that executives known as Tier 2 Intra-Company Transferees (ICT), who are paid more than £152,100 pa, will be exempt from the rule that forces non-Europeans to spend a year outside the UK if they wish to switch between temporary and permanent visas.

In practical terms this rule meant that staff who transferred to the UK headquarters of multi-national companies could not be taken on as permanent employees in Britain at the end of their temporary contract. These executives will be exempt from taking an English test if they want to extend their leave in the UK and the amount of documents they must provide in order to show they have worked for their company for over a year are also being reduced.

Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills had lobbied the Home Office on this issue after receiving complaints from the business community. It was seen as a bar on highly skilled migrants who have valuable global and UK business experience which we need in order to encourage growth and international trade links.

If you are working in the UK on a Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Visa and you would like to ‘switch’ to Tier 2 General Commonwealth Contractors may be able to help. We partner with Tier 2 Licensed employers and consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual under Tier 2 General.

To find out more call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

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Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Expansion | 1000 Extra MBA Places

While most areas of UK visa policy are getting tighter, the red carpet is still rolled out for the world’s high flyers.

In December 2012 Theresa May, UK Home Secretary, announced that

  • Phd students will be given 12 months from completing their course to seek work or  as entrepreneurs to start businesses in the UK
  • An extra 1000 Tier 1 ‘Exceptional Talent’ visas will be for MBA students.

The announcement followed London Mayor Boris Johnson’s public support for expat students coming to learn in the UK, and reports that British business schools thought overseas students had been reluctant to study here for an MBA as a direct result of the tightening on the immigration rules that limit their stay after graduation.

It remains to be seen if these very selective freedoms for top postgraduates will alter the perceptions created by generic UK government and opposition statements that the UK wants fewer immigrants.

Certainly the 28th January 2013 FT Business Education supplement, looking at global MBAs highlighted the extra 1000pa Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visas being released from April 2013, and it is to be hoped that prospective MBA students will be able to see that the UK really wants them.

So where in the UK should you study for your MBA?
According to the FT’s MBA 2013 college rankings there are 11 schools in the global top 100 with the London Business School at the top of that 11.

Other interesting points made in the supplement include:

  • People are thinking more carefully about taking two years off work to complete an MBA.
  • Students are not interested in learning about business in isolation. For example at Oxford Said Business School 6% of their 200 students are on their 1 + 1 MBA programme which combines the in-depth study of a specialist masters degree with the breath of a one year MBA.
  • Contacts made through MBA Alumni networks are important for opening doors to the future and networking is often an important factor when decided to study for an MBA.
  • The inclusion of trips immersing students in other cultures are now a key part of an MBA. The FT has teamed up with the Global Fund for Children (GFC) and created a challenge for teams of students where there is an intenational mix i.e. One student has to be studying in Europe, a second in the Americas and a third in Asia and Africa. See link below.

If you are an expat studying for a PhD or an MBA, we, and our partners can help you

* Obtain a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa.

or

* Find an employer able to employ you on a Tier 2 (general) work visa.

Call Commonwealth Contractors on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you. We are ready to help smooth the path to your future.

FT Links: FT Education and FT and Global Fund for Children MBA 2013 Challenge

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Tier 2 Visa Sponsorship for Contractors

Do you have a contract offer and require Tier 2 Visa Sponsorship, but the client can’t or does not want to sponsor you?  Our Partners may be able to help if:

  • The daily rate is >£250.00 + vat
  • The client is prepared to give a deliverables-based (and not an agency worker based) contract
  • The role is not one that can be readily filled by an EU resident

UK Sponsorship visa solutions can be particularly relevant if you already have a contract you are performing on a temporary visa such as Tier 1 post study work visa, Tier 5 Youth Mobility (working holiday) visa, or even a Tier 4 Student visa. There are a limited number of companies that will give Tier 2 visa sponsorship.

If you have not yet secured a contract offer, don’t worry.  Often it can be difficult to even see a company until they know your visa will not be their responsibility.

We can also help with advice on marketing yourself so that you get the offer that may unlock sponsorship, and so you talk to people who don’t just discard expat CVs.

These solutions work particularly well in the IT, Engineering and Finance spheres.  If you are in another sector, don’t worry, we can discuss your individual situation.

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To find out more about our solutions call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

Check out our immigration guides for details on how Tier 2 visa sponsorship can lead on to Indefinite leave to Remain (permanent residence) and then British nationality / passport.

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UK Tier 2 Visa

This guide is directed at individual skilled professionals who would like to work in the UK on a sponsored Tier 2 visa work permit .

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If you are a skilled individual wanting to work in the UK, our OISC registered partners can help your employer sponsor a Tier 2 work permit for you. If you have a contract offer, but the client can’t or does not want to sponsor you,  Our Partners may be able to help if:

  • The daily rate is >£250.00 + vat
  • The client is prepared to give a deliverables-based (and not an agency worker based) contract
  • The role is not one that can be readily filled by an EU resident

The solutions work particularly well in the IT, Engineering, and Financial spheres.  If you are in another sector, don’t worry, we can discuss your individual situation.

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To find out more about our solutions call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details now and we will get right back to you

Listed below is the index to our detailed guide to UK Tier 2 visas (work permits)

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Transferring from Tier 4 to Tier 2 General

Although possible, transferring from a Tier 4 Student Visa to Tier 2 General (formerly UK Work Permit) is very difficult. Not because the transfer is especially complicated but because (1) the prospective sponsor must conduct a Resident Labour Market Test AND (2) ‘switching’ is only allowed once the individual has graduated from their course of study. (more…)

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Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa

Tier 2 Minister of Religion visas are for those who have been offered employment or a post as a minister of religion, a missionary or a member of a religious order in the United Kingdom.

Pastoral and Missionary Duties

  • Tier 2 Pastoral duties can include:
  • Leading worship regularly and on special occasions
  • Giving religious education to children and adults by preaching or teaching
  • Officiating at:
    • Marriages
    • Funerals
    • Other special services
  • Offering counselling and welfare support to members of the congregation
  • Recruiting, training and co-ordinating local volunteers and lay preachers

Tier 2 missionary duties can include:

  • The organisation of missionary activity
  • Supervising staff
  • Co-ordinating the organisation of missionary work
  • Being in charge of a particular activity (e.g. accounts, finance, IT etc)
  • Translating religious texts

Tier 2 Minister of Religion Points

To qualify under Tier 2 Minister of Religion you must score 70 points from 3 categories.

Attributes (50 Points)

To gain 50 points for a Certificate of Sponsorship you must be coming to the UK to:

  • Preach or perform pastoral duties, OR
  • Work as a missionary, OR
  • Work in a religious order within a community which involves a permanent commitment like a monastery or convent

English Language Requirement (10 Points)

As with any other category of Tier 2 you must be able to speak English to a satisfactory level in order to qualify for the visa. In order to validate the requirement you must either:

  • Be a national of a majority English speaking country, OR
  • Pass a UKBA approved English language test, OR
  • Hold a degree qualification that was taught in English and is equivalent to a UK Bachelor’s Degree as verified by UK NARIC

Maintenance Requirement (10 Points)

To meet the Maintenance requirement you must either:

  • Have at least £800+ in personal savings which has been in your account for every single day of the 90 days immediately prior to application, OR
  • Have been issued with a Certificate of Sponsorship through with the sponsor has validated the Maintenance requirement for you

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To find out more about our solutions call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

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Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa

The Tier 2 Sportsperson visa is a sub-category designed to allow UK based sporting organisations to employ elite sportspeople and coaches who are ‘Internationally established at the highest level’. Please note that the category is not designed for amateur or junior professional sportspeople.

If you are interested in applying for Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa or you would like to sponsor an elite sportsperson please contact Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

Qualifying under Tier 2 Sportsperson

To qualify under Tier 2 Sportsperson you must score 70 points from 3 categories:

  • Attributes Requirement (50 Points): You must have:
  • English Language Requirement (10 Points): You must be able to speak English to a satisfactory level
  • Maintenance Requirement (10 Points): You must be able to maintain yourself and your dependents without requiring access to public funds

 Attributes Requirement (10 Points)

Attribute

Requirements

Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) + endorsement from a governing body In order to meet the requirement the endorsement must confirm that:

  • You are Internationally established as a player or coach at the highest level, AND
  • You will make a significant contribution to the development of your sport at the highest level in the UK, AND
  • The post could not be filled by a suitable resident worker

English Language Requirement (10 Points)

As with any other category of Tier 2 you must be able to speak English to a satisfactory level in order to qualify for the visa. In order to validate the requirement you must either:

  • Be a national of a majority English speaking country, OR
  • Pass a UKBA approved English language test, OR
  • Hold a degree qualification that was taught in English and is equivalent to a UK Bachelor’s Degree as verified by UK NARIC

Maintenance Requirement (10 Points)

To meet the Maintenance requirement you must either:

  • Have at least £800+ in personal savings which has been in your account for every single day of the 90 days immediately prior to application, OR
  • Have been issued with a Certificate of Sponsorship through with the sponsor has validated the Maintenance requirement for you

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To find out more about applying for a Tier 2 Sports person visa call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

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ILR | Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer

If you hold a Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Visa (ICT) issued before the 6th April 2010 you may be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (otherwise known as Permanent Residence) on completing 5 full qualifying years.

However, if you were approved an Intra Company Transfer visa after the 6th April 2010 time spent on the visa will not qualify towards Indefinite Leave to Remain (Permanent Residence).

Are you currently working in the UK on a Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Visa? Would you like to switch to Tier 2 General? If so Commonwealth Contractors may be able to help!

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with Tier 2 Licensed employers and consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual under Tier 2 General. To find out more call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

Tier 2 ICT Sponsors and Indefinite Leave to Remain

Each year thousands of highly skilled professionals come to the UK on Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Visas, many with multi-national employers such as; Infosys, Tech Mahindra, Tata, IBM, Accenture, Sapient etc.

Many companies benefit from utilising those on ICTs as they are able to reduce delivery costs while still charging a premium for services delivered. Often employers will apply for the maximum term ICT available in respect of a consultant but will happily cancel a secondment in an instant if:

  • A project is cancelled, OR
  • They need to scale back delivery, OR
  • If an individual is approaching Indefinite Leave to Remain.

If you are on an ICT which qualifies for ILR and you believe that your current employer will allow you to reach 5 years please be aware that this might not be the case. It is not in an employer’s interest to invest in an individual simply for them to secure Indefinite Leave to Remain and then leave for a better paid opportunity.

If you are on an ICT which qualifies for ILR (and qualifies to ‘switch’ in country) you are advised to concentrate on finding a prospective employer who will be willing to sponsor you under Tier 2 General. Once a transfer has been completed you will be free to work towards ILR without the threat of having your leave curtailed by the employer.

Applying for ILR

For detailed information on applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain please see our UK Settlement and Citizenship section.

Other Pages That May Interest You:

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To find out more about our solutions call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

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Tier 2 ICT to Tier 2 General

It is possible to ‘switch’ from Tier 2 ICT to Tier 2 General, in country, in a limited number of cases. If you do not possess a status that allows you to switch you will need to return to your home country in order to submit a fresh application in respect of the prospective employer.

Tier 2 ICT to Tier 2 General

Over the last few years Tier 2 of the Points Based System has seen many changes (due to factors including a change of government). At certain times it has been possible to ‘switch’ from Tier 2 ICT to Tier 2 General in country and at other times it has not. At the moment it is possible to switch from Tier 2 ICT to Tier 2 General where an individual holds either;

  • A Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Visa issued before the 6th April 2010, OR
  • A Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer ‘Established Staff’ Visa initially applied for before 6th April 2011

If you hold one of the visas detailed above and you would like to switch to a new UK employer Commonwealth Contractors may be able to help!

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with Tier 2 Licensed employers and consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual under Tier 2 General. To find out more call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

Switching from a Tier 2 ICT Visa issued before the 6th April 2010

If you hold a Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Visa issued prior to the 6th April 2010 you will qualify to switch in country. If you currently hold an old style ICT Work Permit you will also qualify to switch in country.

If you were approved an ICT visa after the 6th April 2010 you will only be able to qualify if it was approved in the category detailed below.

Switching from a Tier 2 ICT ‘Established Staff’ Visa initially applied for before 6th April 2011

On the 7th April 2010 the UK Border Agency divided the Intra Company Transfer route into a number of different categories. The main category was titled ‘Established Staff’ and was for those individuals who were required in the UK for up to 3 years.

On the 6th April 2011 the UK Border Agency changed the categories once more and cancelled in country switching applications for those issued with an ICT after this date.

Therefore, if you hold a Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Visa which was approved in the ‘Established Staff’ category in place between the 7th April 2010 and the 6th April 2011 you are allowed to switch in country. If however you hold any form of ICT visa issued after the 6th April 2011 you will not qualify to switch in country.

Go To Tier 2 ICT Visa or to Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer and ILR.

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To find out more about our solutions call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

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Tier 2 ICT Visa | Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Visa

Tier 2 ICT (Intra Company Transfer) Visas are designed to allow multi-national companies to transfer overseas employees to the UK to fill specific roles which they have not been able to fill with resident workers (except in the case of Graduate Trainee and Skills Transfer ICTs).

ICT visas are very popular in the technology sector and also with law firms. Each year companies such as Tata, IBM, Wipro, Accenture, Sapient, Infosys etc send thousands of employees to the UK to deliver service contracts with UK clients further to ICT visas.

In this section we have provided detailed information on Tier 2 ICT Visas, including;

If you are working in the UK on a Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Visa and you would like to ‘switch’ to Tier 2 General Commonwealth Contractors may be able to help. We partner with Tier 2 Licensed employers and consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual under Tier 2 General.

Types of Tier 2 ICT Visa

There are four types of Intra Company Transfer Visa which have been detailed below.

 

ICT Category

ICT Details

Long Term Staff

Long Term Staff ICTs are used where an employer wishes to send an overseas employee to work in the UK for a period of longer than 12 months. In order to meet visa requirements the sponsor MUST conduct a Resident Labour Market Test before assigning the Certificate of Sponsorship.

Short Term Staff

Short Term Staff ICTs are used where an employer wishes to send an overseas employee to work in the UK for a period of less than 12 months. In order to meet visa requirements the sponsor MUST conduct a Resident Labour Market Test before assigning the Certificate of Sponsorship.

Graduate Trainee

The Graduate Trainee ICT allows a company to send a recent graduate to the UK as part of a structured graduate training programme which clearly defines progression towards a managerial or specialist role. A Resident Labour Market Test is not required.

Skills Transfer

The Skills Transfer ICT allows a recent graduate employee to come to the UK to learn the skills and knowledge required to perform their job overseas. A Resident Labour Market Test is not required.

Periods of Grant

The periods of grant in the ICT subcategory of Tier 2 depend upon the type of visa approved. The following table sets out current approval periods.

ICT Category

Entry Clearance Period

ICT Extension Period

Long Term Staff

Up to 3 years and 1 month Up to 2 years

Short Term Staff

Up to a maximum 12 months None

Graduate Trainee

Up to a maximum 12 months None

Skills Transfer

Up to a maximum 6 months None

You may like to vist our main page on:
Tier 2 General Visa Information

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To discuss switching from Tier 2 ICT to Tier 2 General call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

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