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Eligibility Requirements for ICT Visa Extension

Intra-company transfer (ICT) visas are becoming increasingly popular and even essential in enabling the global mobility of staff within multi-national companies. Many countries now have ICT visas in place, including the UK, allowing staff from a company in one country to temporarily transfer to a branch or subsidiary of the same organisation in another country. If you are in the UK on an ICT visa holder, it is important to keep an eye on the expiry date of your visa to ensure that you take appropriate action before this point. If you plan to return to your home country, you will need to do so by the expiry date of your ICT visa. Likewise, if you plan to apply for a different visa or extend your existing visa, you must do this before the expiry of your ICT visa. In this article, we will outline the eligibility requirements for an ICT visa extension.

ICT visa extension cost

The extension fee for an ICT is slightly different from the initial application fee; the fees to extend an ICT visa are as follows:

  • Intra-company Transfer (up to 3 years): £704 per person
  • Intra-company Transfer (more than three years): £1,408 per person
  • Intra-company Graduate Trainee: £482 per person

This fee is further reduced (by £55) if you are applying from one of the following countries within the European Union.

Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden or Turkey.

Can I extend my ICT visa after five years?

Under the current UK ICT visa rules, it is possible to extend the period of your visa while already in the UK if all of the following are true:

  • you have the same job as when you were given your previous permission to enter or stay in the UK
  • your job is in the same occupation code as when you were given your previous permission to enter or stay in the UK
  • you’re still working for the employer who gave you your current certificate of sponsorship
  • you have not reached the maximum total stay

The key to extending is understanding the maximum total stay permitted under the immigration rules; these state you can stay for up to:

  • Five years in any six-year period if you are paid less than £73,900 a year
  • Nine years in any ten-year period if you are paid £73,900 a year or more

As such, if you have already spent five years in the UK (in a six-year period), and you are paid less than £73,900, you will already have reached the maximum permitted to stay and will not be able to further extend your ICT visa. There are other options available, however, including switching to a different visa type or leaving for 12 months and then reapplying.

ICT visa changes 2021

One of the main changes to the ICT visa scheme for 2021 is that those on an ICT visa can now switch to a Skilled Worker visa if they meet the eligibility requirements to do so. Another change is that rather than having to wait for 12 months (i.e., the cooling-off period) before applying for a new ICT visa, it is possible to make several short trips to the UK as long as the maximum amount of stay is not exceeded.

ICT visa extension processing time

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will typically process an ICT extension application within eight weeks, assuming that all of the information and documents needed are provided. They advise it may take longer if your documents require further verification, you need to attend an interview, or due to factors within your case.

If time is of the essence, you may be invited to use the priority service, which will lead to a decision within five working days for an additional cost of £500. There is also a super-priority service which costs £800 and will provide a decision within one working day.

How long can I stay in the UK on an ICT visa?

As outlined above, the immigration rules impose a maximum stay on ICT visa holders in the UK, as follows:

  • Five years in any six-year period if you are paid less than £73,900 a year
  • Nine years in any ten-year period if you are paid £73,900 a year or more

What Are the criteria for ICT Visa Entry Clearance?

To be eligible for an ICT visa, you must:

  • have a valid certificate of sponsorship from your employer
  • have worked for your employer outside the UK – one year if applying for an ICT visa and you earn under £73,900; or three months if applying under the ICT graduate route. If you earn over £73,900 there is no minimum period of employment.
  • do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations – a list of eligible jobs can be found online.
  • be paid the appropriate salary required for your job - £41,500 or the ‘going rate’ for your job if applying for the standard ICT visa, or £23,000 or 70% of the ‘going rate’ for your job if applying under the ICT graduate route.

Genuine Vacancy

UKVI caseworkers are always on the lookout for applications whereby the job is not genuine. As such, they will not issue an ICT visa if they have reason to believe the role does not exist, is a sham, or has been created mainly so the applicant can apply for immigration permission. Where UKVI have such suspicions, this will typically give rise to a sponsor licence compliance visit to ensure that the employer is working within their sponsorship conditions.

How we can help

Reiss Edwards work with many of the largest multi-national organisations to ensure the smooth and efficient mobility of staff members from around the world to the UK or to another country operating an ICT visa scheme. Our immigration lawyers can handle the whole application process on behalf of employers, including collating the correspondence and documents needed, responding to UKVI, and, where necessary, expediting a decision. In addition, due to our considerable experience and success in securing ICT visas, we can advise on your company’s global mobility strategy.

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O.L

"Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing, as a lawyer myself I can categorically say tha...

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Kiran Sardar

"I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this profes...

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Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was ou...

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Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR applicatio...

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