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INTRA-COMPANY GRADUATE TRAINEE VISA

This route is now closed to new applicants.  If you are an overseas worker being transferred to the UK by your employer for a work placement in the UK as part of a graduate training course leading to a senior managerial or specialist role then you should apply for a Global Business Mobility – Graduate Trainee Visa instead.

The Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa is for workers who are being transferred to the UK by their employer as part of a structured graduate training programme for a managerial or specialist role.

You will need to have worked for your employer overseas for at least 3 months immediately before the date of application.

Requirements for an Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa 

In order to qualify for an Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

  • You are aged 18 or over;
  • You are currently employed by an organisation that has been approved by the Home Office as a sponsor;
  • You have worked for your sponsor, or a business linked to your sponsor by ownership, outside the UK, for at least 3 months;
  • You have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship issued by your sponsor for the job you are planning to do;
  • The job you are planning to do is genuine;
  • The job you are planning to do is at an appropriate skill level;
  • You will be paid at least £23,000 or 70% of the ‘going rate’ for your job, whichever is higher;
  • Your sponsor has paid any required Immigration Skills Charge;
  • You have enough money to support yourself without relying on public funds;
  • You have provided a valid TB certificate, if required.

The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

To discuss your Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa application with one of our immigration barristers, contact our business immigration team on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.

Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa Duration of Employment Requirement 

If you are applying for an Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa, you will need to have worked for your employer overseas for at least 3 months immediately before the date of your visa application.

This 3 month period of work must have been continuous with no breaks and cannot include time spent working in the UK. 

Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) Requirement

In order to obtain an Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa you must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the job you are planning to do.  Your Certificate of Sponsorship will need to have been issued by an employer that is authorised by the Home Office to sponsor the job in question under the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route.

Your sponsor must be listed as A-rated on the Home Office’s register of licensed sponsors, unless you were last granted permission under the Intra-Company routes and are applying to continue working for the same sponsor as in your last permission.

Your Certificate of Sponsorship must have been issued not more than 3 months before the date of your Intra-Company Graduate Trainee visa application.

Your Certificate of Sponsorship must include certain mandatory information, including:

  • Details of your name, job and salary;
  • Confirmation that you have worked for your employer outside the UK for at least 3 months immediately before the date of application;
  • A start date which is no more than 3 months after the date of your Intra-Company Graduate Trainee visa application;
  • Confirmation that the Certificate of Sponsorship has not been used in a previous application which was either granted or refused and has not been withdrawn by your sponsor or cancelled by the Home Office.

Genuine Job Requirement

In order to be granted an Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa, you will need to satisfy the Home Office that you are being sponsored to undertake a genuine job.

If there are reasonable grounds to believe that the job you are being sponsored to do does not exist, is a sham or has been created mainly so that you can apply for an Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa then your application will be refused.

The Home Office will also want to be satisfied that you have not entered into an arrangement whereby you will fill a temporary or permanent position, or undertake contract work which involves undertaking an ongoing routine role or providing an ongoing routine service to a third party who is not your sponsor.

Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa Job Skill Level Requirement 

In order to qualify for an Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa, the job you are being sponsored to do must be an eligible job at or above a minimum skill level.

The Home Office has published a list of jobs that are eligible for an Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa.  The list includes the relevant occupation code, job type and related job titles.  

You will usually meet the job skill level requirement if the job you are being sponsored for is on the list.

However, your sponsor must choose an appropriate occupation code.  If the Home Office has reasonable grounds to believe that your sponsor has not chosen the most appropriate occupation code then your application for an Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa will be refused

In assessing whether your sponsor has chosen the most appropriate occupation code, the Home Office will consider factors such as whether they have shown a genuine need for the job as described, whether you have the appropriate skills, qualifications and experience needed to do the job as described and the sponsor’s history of compliance with the immigration system.

In order to qualify for an Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa, the job you are being sponsored to do must be part of a structured graduate training programme, with clearly defined progression towards a managerial or specialist role within your sponsor organisation.

Your sponsor must also not have assigned more than 20 Certificates of Sponsorship to Intra-Company Graduate Trainees, including your own, in the financial year in which your CoS was assigned.

Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa Salary Requirement 

Employers seeking to transfer an employee under the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route must pay their skilled workers a salary which equals or exceeds both a general salary threshold and 70% of the ‘going rate’ for the occupation (as set out in the relevant occupation code mentioned above), whichever is higher.

The general salary threshold under the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route is £23,000 a year.  Therefore, in most cases an applicant for an Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa must be paid a salary which equals or exceeds £23,000 a year or 70% of the going rate for the occupation, whichever is higher. 

The assessment of salary is based on guaranteed basic gross pay (up to 48 hours per week) plus allowances which are guaranteed to be paid for the duration of the employment in the UK or are paid as a mobility premium or to cover the additional cost of living in the UK.

The Home Office has published a list of going rates for eligible Intra-Company Graduate Trainee occupation codes.  The annual salaries stated are based on a 39-hour working week and must be pro-rated for other working patterns.

Immigration Skills Charge Requirement

Your sponsor must also have paid in full any required Immigration Skills Charge.

The Immigration Skills Charge is a charge for each foreign worker that a sponsoring employer seeks to employ.  The Immigration Skills Charge must be paid each time a sponsoring employer assigns a Certificate of Sponsorship to a migrant.

Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa Financial Requirement

Subject to the exemptions below, you will need to have cash funds of at least £1,270 available.

You will need to have held the money for at least 28 consecutive days ending not more than 31 days before the date of your Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa application.

You will be exempt from the financial requirement if your sponsor is willing to meet your maintenance costs up to the end of the first month of your employment, to an amount of at least £1,270, if necessary.  Your sponsor will need to confirm this on your Certificate of Sponsorship.

If you are applying for permission to stay and have been in the UK with permission for 12 months or more at the date of application, you will meet the financial requirement and will not need to show funds.

Switching into the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Route

If you currently have leave to remain in another immigration category, you may extend your stay by switching into the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route unless you have, or were last granted, permission as a Visitor, Short-term student, Parent of a Child Student, Seasonal Worker, Domestic Worker in a Private Household or outside the Immigration Rules. 

Duration of an Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa

If your application for an Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa is approved, you will be granted entry clearance or permission to stay for either the time given on your Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days, a period of 12 months, or the length of time that will take you to the maximum time period allowed in the category (see below), whichever is shorter.

Maximum Time in the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Route

If your application for an Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa is successful you will be able to stay in the UK for a total maximum period of:

  • 5 years in any 6 year period

It is not possible to extend an Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa from within the UK, but it is possible to apply for a new Intra-Company Graduate Trainee visa from overseas. You will need to have worked for your sponsor outside the UK for at least 3 months immediately before the date of application and any time already spent in the UK on the Intra-Company route will be taken into account when calculating your total permitted stay.

Conditions of Stay on an Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa

Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa holders are permitted to work for their sponsor in the job described on their Certificate of Sponsorship.  They may also do a second job up to 20 hours per week, provided the same is either in the same profession and at the same level as the main job or on the Skilled Worker shortage occupation list.  They may also undertake a course of study.  Access to public funds is not permitted.

Settlement on the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Route

The Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa does not lead to settlement in the UK.  However, you may be able to switch into another immigration route which does lead to settlement.

You may also be eligible to extend your stay until you qualify for settlement on the basis of Long Residence.

Dependants of Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa applicants

Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa holders can be joined or accompanied by a dependent partner over the age of 18 and/or dependent children under the age of 18.

How Our Immigration Barristers Can Help

Our team of business immigration barristers has experience in assisting employers and skilled workers across a variety of industries in companies of all sizes. Our barristers can help you with planning to ensure that you meet your start date and ensure that your career progression will fit your immigration goals.

We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to employees of multinational employers as part of a professional and friendly service.

 

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As specialist immigration solicitors, we pride in having one of the best team of specialist immigration solicitors  with wealth of knowledge and experience to deal with all types of UK visa and immigration matters. Our top rated immigration solicitors have successfully helped thousands of clients with all types of UK visa and immigration applications, immigration appeals, Administrative Review, Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) and Judicial Review.

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