This Spring 2022, saw the closure of the long-established Intra-Company Transfer route. The route closed officially on 11 April 2022. The Intra-Company Transfer visa (also known as the ICT visa) was designed for UK sponsors to transfer senior and highly skilled employees of overseas branches/linked entities to work for the UK company on a non-permanent basis.
At the same time, the new Global Business Mobility route was introduced. The new Global Business Mobility route has been introduced to facilitate the employment of high-level individuals working in the UK on a non-permanent basis for a UK sponsor.
The new Global Business Mobility route has five subcategories overall, two of which are designed to act as a direct replacement for the former Intra-Company routes (Intra-Company Transfer and Intra-Company Transfer (Graduate Trainee) routes.
In this blog, we will look at how Intra-Company Transfer sponsors might be affected by the change, and what they need to know to help prepare for their future plans.
No, essentially your licence itself will be automatically transitioned from the Intra-Company Transfer category to the Global Mobility category, and you should not feel the impact of the change.
The sponsor management system will initially look and work the same. Just you will not be able to assign Certificates under the Intra-Company Transfer route anymore.
You will only be able to assign Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) under new routes if you were originally registered as an ICT sponsor. If you had an Intra-Company Transfer licence subcategory, you will be able to sponsor staff under the Senior or Specialist Worker new route. If you, at any time, assigned a certificate of sponsorship under the Intra-Company Transfer (Graduate Trainee) route (and the Graduate Trainee’s direct precursor routes), then you will be automatically granted a Graduate Trainee subcategory and be able to sponsor employees under this category.
You will have the same number of Certificates, as available on 10 April 2022.
If you made an application for ICT CoS before 11 April 2022 (for an allocation or increase of ICT certificates) that was not decided before 11 April, then the same request will be considered and decided under the Senior or Specialist Worker route rules.
Note that under the previous rules, there was a maximum quota of 20 ICT Graduate Trainee CoS that could be granted in one year, so you would not be granted more than 20 ICT Graduate Trainee CoS. Under the new Graduate Trainee route, there is no limit on the number of CoS that can be assigned.
If you made a request under the Graduate Trainee subcategory before 11 April 2022, that has not been decided, the request will expire. That means you need to submit a fresh request for a Graduate Trainee CoS allocation, which will be considered on its merits.
The great news is, no, you do not need to assign a new CoS. If you assigned a CoS before the rule change, this Certificate can still be used for a Global Mobility application entry clearance (overseas application) or leave to remain (application made inside the UK, for example, an extension for the same employer).
Salary thresholds have increased for both subcategories. Senior or Specialist Workers must be paid £42,400 per annum and Graduate trainees must be paid £23,100.
In which case, if you were/are sponsoring someone, or had/have a budget for intra-company transfers that aligns with the salary thresholds under the ICT route, you must be sure that your salaries for new transferees/extensions, meet the new minimum thresholds.
For most sponsors, there should be a seamless transition between the old and new routes. Anyone partway through the sponsorship process for an overseas assignee, need to be sure that they have an allocation of CoS under the new routes and must also double-check that their salary offer meets the new salary thresholds for sponsorship as a Global Mobility Migrant (whether Senior or Specialist Worker or Graduate Trainee).
A Y J Solicitors have extensive experience with Points Based applications and have advised a multitude of clients throughout the continuing changes of the UK immigration system.
Whether you need vital assistance with sponsoring an employee under the Global Mobility Route or would just like reassurance on how the changes might affect or benefit your business, do not hesitate to contact us for support.