The Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa (ICT for short) is an excellent option for multinational companies to transfer staff from other countries to work in a UK based branch of their business. For employees, this is an excellent option for moving to the UK to live and work for the period defined by the visa. The route is significantly easier and faster to apply for than the standard Tier 2 General Visa, as many of the restrictions which apply to that visa are different in the case of the ICT. So in this article, we're going to look at the Tier 2 ICT Visa to look at your options if you are looking to switch businesses and work for a different company while in the UK.
As you are very much tied to the company you work for, it is not possible to switch out from the Tier 2 ICT Visa. This does not mean you have no options whatsoever, but it does mean switching directly from the Tier 2 ICT Visa to any other UK visa is impossible. One option, if you have a spouse with you in the UK is for them to apply for a Tier 2 General Visa. If they are successful then you will be able to apply as a Tier 2 Dependant spouse and remain in the country that way, avoiding the mandatory 12-month cooling-off period that comes with the use of the Tier 2 ICT Visa.
There are several reasons as to why you can't switch from a Tier 2 ICT Visa to another UK visa. One of the main reasons is that by using the Tier 2 ICT Visa, you have circumvented many of the obstacles put into place by the Tier 2 General Visa. The standard Tier 2 General Visa applies obstacles such as the resident labour market test and the Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship scheme. This means that Tier 2 ICT Visa holders can gain access to the country very quickly and are not subject to the same requirements as Tier 2 General Visa holders.
One obstacle which does apply to Tier 2 ICT Visa holders is the so-called 12-month cooling-off period. This cooling-off period means that after using a Tier 2 ICT Visa, you must return to your country of origin for at least 12 months before applying for a Tier 2 General Visa in the UK. This is one of the more off-putting aspects of the visa, as many other visa options give you the chance to switch once you are in the UK. In many respects, the Tier 2 ICT Visa is very restrictive - though, as we stated earlier, there are other potential options that exist.
The cooling-off period didn’t always exist - before 2011 Tier 2 ICT Visa holders were able to apply to switch visas and could gain Indefinite Leave to Remain (ICT), the removal of these have caused considerable controversy and made the Tier 2 ICT Visa less desirable than it once was. The changes were just one of a number of recent visa changes that are seen as somewhat damaging to British businesses.
Realistically there is only one other option available to Tier 2 ICT Visa holders who are looking to make a change (apart from leaving the country and waiting out the 12-month cooling-off period), which is gaining a Tier 2 Dependent Visa. To do this, you will need to have a spouse in the UK. They, as a Tier 2 ICT Dependent, can find work with a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder and gain their own Tier 2 General Visa. Once they have done this, you can be added to their application as a dependent. This is actually, for many people, an ideal situation as you will have significantly better options as a Tier 2 General Visa Dependent than you would have had as a Tier 2 ICT Visa holder.
The real beauty of using this option is you will be able to work for whoever you like as a Tier 2 Dependent Visa holder. This is a huge change from the restrictive Tier 2 ICT Visa and is the only realistic alternative for those who are in the UK on a Tier 2 ICT Visa and wish to change employers and even have the opportunity to gain ILR - an option not currently available to Tier 2 ICT Visa holders.
Unfortunately, as we’ve already stated, it is not possible to gain ILR on the Tier 2 ICT Visa anymore. The removal of this option in 2011 was deeply unpopular and has helped to make the Tier 2 ICT Visa a far less desirable option than it once was. As we stated in the previous section, the only real option for long-term stay in the UK is to use the Tier 2 Dependent Visa option. For this, you will need a UK based spouse. If you do not have a spouse in the UK then your options are very limited. In this instance, you will be far better off returning to your country of origin and waiting out the 12-month cooling-off period before applying for a Tier 2 General Visa.
If you need more help with a Tier 2 ICT Visa issue then please get in touch. Our team have extensive experience helping Tier 2 ICT Visa holders in the UK and can help you with your situation. So if you need advice, call today and a member of our team will be happy to help you with a free, no-obligation consultation.
481 ReviewsREAD ALL REVIEWS
Tier 1 Investor Visa - Business Immigration
Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind.
Indefinite Leave to remain - UK Settlement and
I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards.
Citizenship Application - UK Naturalisation
TI have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, i was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that i wasnt disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle thier case, contact Reiss Edwards.
Spouse Visa - Appeals and visa refusals
My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them.
Immigration Visa - Citizen of United Kingdom
The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help.
UK Settlement Visa
I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife�s UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly.
Cheap Immigration Lawyers in London
I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation.
Top Notch Immigration Service
Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them.
Best Immigration Solicitors
I used Reiss Edwards� immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them.
Indefinte Leave to remain - Individual Immigration - UK Settlement
It's a shame that you dont have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards.
Tier 2 Visa application - UK Work Visas
This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again.
I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle.
Tier 1 Investor Visa - Business Immigration
My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team.