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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
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Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Tier 2 General or ICT? Dear Solicitor, SITUATION: My

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Tier 2 General or ICT?

Dear Solicitor,

SITUATION: My current employer is planning to relocate me and my family to their branch in London with a view to offer me a permanent position there. Because Tier 2 ICT holders are no longer eligible for settlement route and need to leave UK due to the new cooling-off period, this visa type is a complete non-starter. My employer is an A rated sponsor with authority to issue both General and ICT CoS.

QUESTION: If I apply for Tier 2 General visa category, will it be refused on the grounds that I am being sponsored by my current employer - regardless of the employer's intent to keep me there permanently? Put differently, are multi-national companies only allowed to apply for ICT visas to relocate their existing employees to UK, or, given the intention to keep me in UK for a long period on a permanent basis, General visa category application will still be accepted (as clearly ICT is too restrictive for what my employer needs)?

Thank you kindly for your enlightening advice!!
Hi,

How long will you be placed in the UK please?

TOm
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
More than 6 years with a view to permanent settlement
Hi

Thanks for your reply.

The first difficulty is to persuade the UKBA that an ICT is not appropriate. This will turn on whether or not they accept that your company requires you in the UK for a period longer than three years since long term staff on ICT are subject to this maximum time length:-
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/working/tier2/ict/workingandconditions/

Your employer would have to be heavily involved in the application by providing appropriate supporting documentation to show that the length of time required is longer than this from a business need perspective.

The second difficulty is in respect of eligibility for a Tier 2 sponsored skilled worker visa. In order to apply you must either by on the jobs in shortage occupation list, or provide evidence that they have carried out the Resident Labour Force test to show that there is no member of the existing UK workforce that can be employed to do the job at the salary offered. I presume the job is not on the list and so therefore the test would have to be carried out.

This would be difficult because the job would have to be offered in Jobcentre plus and then shown that no suitable candidates were available. If there are genuinely no other candidates then my view is that you are not excluded from applying under this visa category if you can show that you are genuinely required there for that length of time.

I would say that if time is a pressure then I would apply under the ICT. If you meet the above and have time and money then you could attempt to apply under the Tier 2 sponsored Skilled worker category, but the UKBA may take the view that in three years you should be able to train another employee who is part of the resident labour force to take over the job.


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Kind regards,


Tom
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