UK Immigration - Tier 2 Work Permit

Tier 2 Work Permits are mainly for working class foreign nationals. There are two main categories, which include persons with an existing job offer or ICTs. ICT refers to Intra-Company Transfer, which happens within a company's personnel all over the world. Employees of British companies or multinational companies can be transferred to the UK with a Tier 2 work permit.

This allows the employers to transfer overseas personnel and fill positions that have been vacant for lack of skilled workforce within the local community. The transferred personnel or non-citizens are allowed to work in the UK for a specific duration. To be eligible for the ICT Tier 2 work permit, candidates should have been employees of the overseas branch or subsidiary of the company for a period of six months or more prior to the application. Furthermore, they are required to demonstrate that they possess the relevant knowledge and experience to fill the vacant spot.

Applications can be made by either the employees or the sponsoring company, depending on the country they are applying for.


There is a certain degree of freedom involved with this an ICT work permit for the employers. There is no reason for them to demonstrate that the vacant position was advertised before applying for an ICT, unlike standard work permit.

The ICT work permit process is not as complicated as it does not involve a point based system like the UK's Highly Skilled Migrant Program or HSMP, now known as Tier 1. However, there are still intricacies that need resolving, one of which is to provide proper reason for transfer to the UK and the duration of stay within.


Depending on the duration applied for by the sponsoring company, an ICT work permit can be valid for duration of between one day and five years. Furthermore, the period of stay within the UK, granted to an Intra-Company Transfer work permit holder is based on the discretion of that particular country's government. The ICT work permit has not been designed for permanent settlement. Work permit holders are obligated to leave the country when their work permit expires.


Employer Requirements

For an ICT work permit, the prime requirement from the employer’s perspective is that the vacant position within their office needs to meet National Vocation Qualification (NVQ) Level-3 or above. It is mandatory for each company to check this before applying or sponsoring a candidate for the ICT work permit.


An applicant must have one of the following:

  • A relevant degree.
  • A non-relevant degree but with one year of experience.
  • No degree but with three years of relevant experience.

Employee history within the organization

Candidates for the ICT work permit ought to have been an employee of the company since the last six months or more before applying for an ICT. Evidentiary document supporting this claim has to be presented with the application.

Furthermore, if the candidate is a member of a specific profession, then he or she may need to register with the appropriate governing body for that profession. For example, it is mandatory for a doctor to register with the General Medical Council before beginning practice. Moreover, the candidate must have a sufficient level of knowledge that is essential to the vacant position within the company.

Spouse Immigration

Spouse or unmarried partners are allowed to join their separated family member with a dependent visa. The only requirement for spouse is to cohabitate with the holder of the Intra-Company Transfer Work permit.

An unmarried partner, however, needs to be able to prove that their relationship with the ICT holder has been in existence for at least two years prior to making the application.

Spouse immigration under the dependent visa category is granted as a temporary visa only. ICTs are not intended as routes to permanent settlement in the UK, unlike a marriage visa or De Facto visa.

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