December 9, 2016
The UK Immigration Rules changed on 24 November 2016 and saw the closure of the Tier 2 subcategory, Intra-company Transfer (ICT) Skills Transfer.
But what does this mean for UK employers?
The Tier 2 (ICT) Skills Transfer route facilitated the transfer of overseas staff to the UK for a maximum period of 6 months in order for them to acquire skills and/or knowledge necessary to performing their overseas role, or to pass on their skills and knowledge to their UK colleagues.
Now that this visa route is closed to new applications, however, UK companies will have to look to other visa routes to enable such transfers. This will not be easy as the next most-suitable route (Tier 2 (ICT) Short Term) has far steeper requirements, including a minimum salary threshold of £30,000 and 12 months of previous employment with the sponsor organisation overseas.
Sponsors who previously used this route to send over new hires for training in the UK will therefore find it difficult to continue using this approach.
It may be possible, in a few cases, to facilitate this kind of employee move under the Business Visitor visa route, however this should in no way be relied upon as a default solution and legal advice should be sought before any action is undertaken.
To find out more about how this closure could affect your sponsor organisation, or to explore the wider impact of the new Immigration Rules, contact us today.
More on the Immigration Rules, November 2016: