Those wishing to apply for an intra-company transfer must be possess a skill level which is at par with the post they have applied for as intra-company transfers can play a vital role in the economy of the UK. Employees coming to the UK via this route will need to display the appropriate level of earnings and qualifications.
Prerequisites for an intra-company applicant
To apply for an intra-company transfer, candidates must have:
- A sponsor
- An valid certificate of sponsorship
On application, the candidate will be awarded points based on:
- Available maintenance i.e. their existing funds
- Future expected earnings
- English language proficiency
Ways to apply for an intra-company transfer visa
- Applying for entry through any prevailing sub category of the Tier 2 Intra-company transfer visa.
- Whilst on a work permit or intra-company transfer visa for the same employer, the candidate has the option of applying to switch over or remain in the UK under the Established Staff sub-category.
- Employees already in the UK under the Established Staff sub-category can request permission to stay in the UK.
Time and duration of stay in the country
An Intra Company Transfer visa allows candidates to remain in the UK for up to 5 years or for the duration the sponsoring employer requests. In this instance, the sponsoring company would need to specify the number of years beforehand. However this route does not lead to settlement after the change of rules during April 2011.
Position plays its part
Applicants would need to ensure they have the requisite skills for a job at NVQ level 3 or higher. They would also need to validate in their application that their position or job skills are an asset to the host country.
Impact of sub-category or current location
Sub-categories or current locations are two factors which can play a major role in the length of time an applicant is permitted to stay in the country. Classification aims to segregate the applicants through their sub-categories, their country of origin and their length of stay in the country. The categories are classified as follows:
- Established Staff (Outside the UK)
- If an applicant is applying from outside the UK, they can stay in the country for a period of three years plus one month or the period mentioned in their certificate of sponsorship plus one month; whichever is the shortest.
- Applicants can also apply to extend their stay by another two years or the time period stated on their certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days; whichever is the shortest.
- Established Staff (Inside the UK)
- If a candidate is switching from a work permit, they can apply under transitional arrangements to stay in the country for another two years or a time period that will take their total stay in the UK to five years. Again, the shorter of the two will be considered as the valid tenure.
- Graduate Trainee ( Outside the UK)
- One year
- Skills Transfer (Outside the UK)
- Six months
Any candidate who has applied for intra company transfer prior to 6th April 2010 or has switched over from an intra-company work permit into the foresaid category, is eligible for settlement as and when the their duration of five years in the UK lapses.
Employer’s Responsibilities and Requirements with regards to Intra-Company transfers
A foreign national can qualify for an intra-company transfer if they can satisfy all requirements of the Points Based System and granted a Certificate of Sponsorship stating they are an intra company transfer employee.
It is the employer’s responsibility to verify that the employee has the requisite skill level for the position and that they will be paid an acceptable salary. They will be required to prove that the foreign worker is being paid at the same rate as local workers of the company.
Why the need for Intra-Company transfers?
The main difference in hiring a worker through an Intra-Company transfer and any other category of the Tier 2 work permit is that the employer is not required to go through the mandatory Resident Labour Market Test before hiring a foreign national as an employee. This allows the employer to avoid the necessity to explain why a foreign employee was hired rather than a worker from the UK.
Employer Requirements – Position of the candidate
An eligible applicant’s qualification must fulfil one of the following criteria:
- A recognised degree relevant to the job being offered
- A non-relevant degree plus one year of work experience
- HND qualification relevant to the position being offered
- One year of work experience at NVQ level 3 or above if a HND level qualification is not relevant to the position offered
- Three years of relevant experience if the applicant does not hold a degree