Can I swap my Tier 2 ICT visa to the new Skilled Worker Visa?

London skyline at sunset which UK Visas serves with its immigration services

With the new Skilled Worker visa now having replaced the old Tier 2 (General) visa there are a number of changes which will be relevant to those present in the UK on the old Tier 2 system. One of the most common questions we get asked is whether individuals currently present on a Tier 2 (ICT) visa will be able to switch to the new Skilled Worker visa.

Under the previous system it was generally not possible to switch from a Tier 2 (ICT) visa to a Tier 2 (General) visa in-country and applicants hoping to make the switch were also subject to a 12 month cooling off period which must be spent outside the UK. Tier 2 (ICT) also contained no route to settlement, unlike the Tier 2 (General) route and the new Skilled Worker visa which allow individuals to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK after 5 years of continuous residence.

Thankfully under the new system the 12 month cooling off period has been abolished and applicants will be able to apply to switch in country provided they have not spent more than 5 out of the past 6 years present on a Tier 2 (ICT) visa. Most applicants present on a Tier 2 (ICT) visa will easily meet the requirements for the new Skilled Worker visa given that they will have had to have been in a role at RQF level 6 (the Skilled Worker visa only requires RQF level 3) and will have had to have been paid a minimum of £41,500 which is well above the Skilled Worker threshold of £25,600.

Applicants hoping to switch will still have to be sponsored in their new role and must meet the English Language requirements, which they may not have had to demonstrate when they applied for their Tier 2 (ICT) visa. It should be noted that time spent on a Tier 2 (ICT) visa will not be counter towards the 5 year residence period required for settlement in the UK on the Skilled Worker route. The clock will start from the date of issue of the Skilled Worker visa.

If you have a job offer in the UK and your company requires help with either the visa application process or the sponsor license application process we can help. Get in touch with us on 01403 801 801 [email protected] for a consultation.

Sponsor Licences – What’s the Difference Between a Small Company and a Large Company?

 

If you want to sponsor overseas workers (including those from the EU after 01/01/2021) you will need a sponsor licence. The fees and costs associated vary depending on whether you are a small, large or charitable sponsor. Here we’ll explain how to determine which category you fall into and what difference it makes.

 

Small Companies and Charitable Sponsors:

Companies fall into this category if they are either registered charities or meet two of the three following requirements:

-They have a turnover of £10.2 million or less

-They have a balance sheet total of no more than £5.1 million

-They have 50 employees or fewer.

 

Medium or Large Sponsors:

Companies that do not meet the above requirements will be classed as medium or large sponsors (for the purpose of obtaining a sponsor licence there is no distinction between medium and large). The following organisations are automatically classed as a large company regardless of actual size:

-Public Companies

-Insurance Companies

-Banking Companies

-E-Money issuers

 

What’s The Difference?

There are a few fees which differ depending on the size of your company:

Sponsor Licence Application Fee – This is the fee you will need to pay in order to apply for your initial sponsor licence. It will cost £536 for a small or charitable organisation and £1476 for a small organisation. The licence will cover you for 4 years after which it will need to be renewed.

Immigration Skills Charge – (Unless the individual is switching from a Tier 4 (student) visa to a Skilled Worker visa, will do a job with a PhD level standard occupational classification, or has a Tier 2 (ICT) Graduate Trainee visa).

Small or charitable sponsors – £364 for the first 12 months and then £182 for each 6 month period after that.

For medium or large sponsors it will cost £1000 for the first 12 months and £500 for each additional 6 month period.

This will be refunded if the worker’s visa is refused or they do not start working with you. You will get a partial refund if they leave their job before the end date on the CoS.

 

In Conclusion

It is important to make sure you have assessed the size of your organisation prior to applying for a sponsor licence and are aware of the costs. For a more comprehensive view of the costs associated with sponsoring overseas workers, please see our blog here.

 

We are experienced in advising both employers and individuals in relation to the sponsorship process. Should you require any further information about this please get in touch with one of our experts on 01403 801 801 or email us at [email protected].

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UK VISAS NO WIN NO FEE PROMISE

We provide a ‘No Win – No Fee’ guarantee for all points-based system visa applications unless expressly stated at the time of appointment. We will guarantee our service for these applications by offering a full refund on our fee should it be unsuccessful.

These guaranteed terms are conditional upon the client being able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Home Office that they have earned the income claimed or that they have the necessary funding in place for maintenance or are fully conversant with their business plan in the case of Tier 1 Entrepreneurs.

It also presumes that neither the applicant nor their dependants have previously come under scrutiny or been under investigation by the Home Office for any immigration matter. In order that we can do our job properly the necessary information and details required should be made available and they must genuine as well as accurate.