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Senior or Specialist Worker visa UK (Intra Company Transfer visa UK)

The Senior or Specialist Worker visa is one of the Global Business Mobility immigration strategies available to employ overseas workers. It replaced the former Intra-Company Transfer (“ICT”) visa.

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Senior or Specialist Worker Visa UK is intended for existing employees of an overseas business with a branch or subsidiary in the UK, who are assigned to work for that UK branch or subsidiary for a temporary period.  

Before starting the visa application, it is important to assess the candidate’s eligibility and understand the application requirements.  

Requirements for the Specialist Worker Visa UK

Who is eligible for global mobility visa UK?

To qualify for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa, you must:   

  • Be an employee of an overseas organization with a UK branch or subsidiary
  • Be invited for an assignment at the UK branch or subsidiary. The UK company must be a licensed sponsor (i.e. holding the necessary sponsorship license) who has obtained a “Certificate of Sponsorship” (CoS) for the employee; 
  • Do an eligible job;  
  • Meet the minimum salary required for this visa type.

If the requirements are not met, candidates can check if they are eligible for other UK visa types.

What counts as an eligible job for Senior or Specialist Worker Visa UK? 

To check if the job is eligible, it is possible to have a look at the list of eligible occupations published by the Home Office.  

Each occupation is identified by an occupation code and has its own annual going rate.  

What is the minimum salary for ICT in UK?

To prove their eligibility, candidates must be paid at least £48,500 or the “going rate” for their occupation, whichever is higher.

What is the difference between ICT and Skilled Worker visa? 

The Skilled Worker visa is applicable to those candidates who received a job offer by a UK licensed sponsor and possess a minimum level of English language proficiency. It is valid for 5 years and it leads to permanent residency in the UK.  

For Global Mobility strategies like the Senior or Specialist worker visa, instead, the English language proficiency is not required, however they are more temporary visa types.  

What is the benefit of ICT visa in UK?

Employers may decide to use an intra-company route, instead of a Skilled Worker, for several reasons like for instance:

  • To fill technical or specialist roles more easily by make use of the already existing talent and not having to search and hire new employees;  
  • To bring over employees who can use their skills to act as a point of contact between their home company and the UK company;  
  • To promote employees by giving them an international career;   
  • To control costs, including pension costs in the home country, considering that the employee did not have to have a permanent salary uplift.

What are the advantages of ICT visa in the UK?

Employees too can get several benefits to the ICT visa, like for instance:  

  • The lack of English language requirement;  
  • The opportunity to travel and experience a different quality of life; 
  • The benefits offered by their employer in terms of accommodation. 

Last but not least, the intra-company assignment would offer them the opportunity to build an international curriculum which reflected positively on their future career prospects.

Application process for the Senior Worker Visa UK

Once you’ve assessed that you meet all the requirements specific to your case, you can start your visa application.  

What is the ICT visa process in the UK?

If you are resident overseas you will have to apply online by registering on the relevant Home Office website and complete the application. Alternatively, you can decide to avail of the support of an immigration advisor who will usually complete the application for you and guide you on the next steps.

To complete your application, you will also need to prove your identity either by using the “UK Immigration: ID Check” app or by provide your biometrics attending a visa application center (VAC). You can usually select the VAC that is closer to your residency address, and you will have to register your fingerprints and facial photograph there.  

What are the documents required for the visa application?

During the visa application process, you will be required to provide:  

  • Your CoS number;
  • Your valid passport;
  • Your job title, annual salary and job’s occupation code;  
  • The name of your employer and their sponsor license number
  • Evidence that you have worked for your employer outside the UK

Depending on the specific case, applicants may also be asked to provide:

  • Evidence that they have enough personal savings to support themselves in the UK;
  • Proof of family relationships for dependent family members;  
  • A tuberculosis test result;
  • Other documents depending on your circumstances.  

What is the minimum amount of personal savings to have?

When it comes to show savings, candidates must usually have at least £1,270 on their bank account to prove they can support themselves in the UK. The money must be available for at least 28 days in a row.  

In case a partner and children will relocate with the Skilled Worker, additional amounts must be available, that are: 

  • £285 for the partner; 
  • £315 for one child;
  • £200 for each additional child.

Alternatively, the UK business inviting you can declare on the CoS to cover for yours and your family costs during their first month in the UK. In this case, you do not need to prove financial resources personally.  

What are the documents needed to prove your work experience?

The documents to be provided vary according to your specific circumstances.  

If you are an overseas employee, you can show documents such as:  

  • Printed payslips; 
  • Online payslips supporting by a letter from your sponsor;  
  • Bank or building society statements;
  • Othe documentation according to your circumstances. 

If you are self-employed, instead, you can show: 

  • Invoices for the work you have done; 
  • An accountant’s letter confirming the business activity and profits; 
  • Business or personal bank statements to prove the business income;  
  • Other documentation according to your circumstances.  

What is the processing time for GBM?

You can apply for the visa up to 3 months before your work starting date and the UKVI starts processing applications only after candidates have proved their identity. This can be done either using the UK Immigration: ID Check app or attending the appointment at the visa center.  

Then, the authorities usually release a decision on your visa in 3 weeks (for applications from outside the UK).  

Once the application is approved, the authorities send a decision by letter or email. 

What is UK ICT Tier 2 dependent visa?

Partner and children can apply for family visas as dependents of the main applicant. Under the UK immigration rules, are considered dependent:

  • The husband or wife, civil partner or unmarried partner;  
  • The child under 18 or over 18 if they are already in the UK as dependent of the main applicanty. 

In the absence of a civil partnership or marriage officially recognized in the UK, you will have to prove that you have been living together in a domestic relationship for a minimum of 2 years prior to the visa application.

Can a dependent work in UK Tier 2 ICT?

Partner and children of the main applicant can work any job except as a sportsperson or coach.  They can also study if they wish, but they cannot apply for public funds.

Visa duration

How long is the global business mobility visa valid for in the UK?

The Senior or Specialist Worker visa is a temporary visa. In fact, on this type of visa you can stay in the UK for whichever is the shorter of:  

  • 5 years;   
  • The time given on your CoS plus 14 days.

Can ICT visa be extended?

It is possible to extend the Senior or Specialist Worker visa or to apply for another one as many times as you like up to the maximum total stay allowed. 

The maximum total stay allowed is:  

  • 5 years in any 6 year period if the salary is less than £73,900 per year;
  • 9 years in any 10 year period if the salary is £73,900 per year or more.

Furthermore, any time spent in the UK on one of the following visa types is counted in the maximum total stay:

  • Intra-company Graduate Trainee visa  
  • Intra-company Transfer visa  
  • Graduate Trainee visa (Global Business Mobility) 
  • Secondment Worker visa (Global Business Mobility) 
  • Service Supplier visa (Global Business Mobility) 
  • UK Expansion Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)

Visa costs

How much does it cost to apply for ICT visa in the UK?

Government application fees for a Senior or Specialist worker visa depend on the visa duration and on whether you are applying for a new visa or for a visa extension.  

For instance, the standard application fee for a visa for up to 3 years is £719 per person. Additionally, you will have to pay an healthcare surcharge of £624 per year.  

On top of that, candidates must show to have a minimum balance of savings, unless their employer declares to cover for them.  

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Regulatory Framework

Home Office – UK Visas and Immigration


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