From 6 April 2011 the Tier 2 rules underwent a major change and this included the ICT category.
There are two types of Tier 2 categories – “restricted” and “unrestricted”. ICT visas fall under the “unrestricted” category and the criteria are:
1. In the ICT Established Worker sub-category, the migrant must be employed overseas by the same group for at least 12 months immediately prior to coming to the UK.
2. The Sponsor must specify whether e.g. in the “Established Worker” sub-category of the ICT the post is for “long-term” or “short-term” staff.
3. “Long-term” and “short-term” staff have to be paid a minimum of £41,500 or £24,800 respectively.
4. “Long-term” ICT Established workers can be given visas for 3 years initially and these visas are extendable for another 2 years.
5. “Short-term” ICT staff can remain in the UK for a maximum of 12 months and after that are barred from returning to the UK under the “short-term” category for the next 12 months.
6. There are complex rules governing how much of the minimum salaries may be structured in terms of “accommodation” allownces where, for instance, the employer has a tax “dispensation” scheme in place.
7. There are also complex rules in place regarding the criteria and documents required to extend Tier 2 visas.
RKG Consulting will be pleased to advise regarding all aspects of the Tier 2 ICT scheme including employer compliance and audit issues.
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