UNITED KINGDOM – Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer) Changes from 13 December 2012
A number of changes to the UK Immigration Rules have been laid before Parliament and will come into force on 13 December 2012. These include changes to Tier 1 (Entrepreneurs and Investors) routes, Tier 2 (Skilled Workers and intra company transfers), Tier 4 (Students), Tier 5 (temporary workers and private servants in diplomatic households). This alert covers the changes to Tier 2, of which the most significant are the extension of maximum period of stay for applicants earning at least £150,000 and a re-definition of the start date of the “cooling off period”. To read the UKBA issued Statement of Changes click here.
Extension of Maximum Period Of Stay
The Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer (ICT) Long Term route previously allowed a maximum duration of stay in the UK of five years in total.
The rule changes from 13 December extend this to nine years in total for senior employees earning £150,000 or more.
After these five (or nine) years are up, the applicant must leave the UK and may not enter the UK again under the ICT route until a 12 month “cooling off period” has elapsed.
Applications under Tier 2 (General) are not subject to the five or nine year limit.
If a migrant in the UK under Tier 2 leaves the UK and wishes to re-enter under Tier 2 for a different employer, a minimum "cooling-off period" of 12 months applies before re-entry in this category is permitted.
Previously, the 12 month period started from the date of expiry of the applicant’s leave to remain in the UK, meaning for applicants who had left the UK prior to the expiry of their leave to remain, the “cooling off” period was in effect extended beyond 12 months. The changes make it possible to count the 12 months from the date of the last exit from the UK, although note that the onus is on the applicant to demonstrate that they have left and remained outside the UK earlier than the expiry of leave.
Changes are being made to the Codes of Practice regarding barristers. The Resident Labour Market Test is amended for pupillage positions for barristers, exempting these positions from the requirement to be advertised in Jobcentre Plus (or JobCentre Online in Northern Ireland) and extending the validity of the RLMT from six months to two years. Additionally, the appropriate salary rates and advertising media for barristers applying under Tier 2 have now been included in the Codes of Practice.
- Note that maximum period of stay under Tier 2 (ICT) is extended to nine years for applicants earning £150,000 or more
- Note the adjustment to the date from which the “cooling off” period may be counted