The Tier 2 ICT Visa is designed for people from outwith the EEA and Switzerland, and the main requirement for a successful application is that your overseas employer (who holds a Sponsor Licence) has offered to transfer your job to a UK branch of the company or organisation.
You need to be in possession of a Certificate of Sponsorship (essentially a reference number), your proposed job must offer an 'appropriate' salary, and you must also prove that you have sufficient savings to support yourself and your dependants without relying on public funds. Your Sponsor may undertake to maintain and accommodate you, in which case you may not need to prove you can support yourself, otherwise you will need to show that you have had access to sufficient savings for the three month period before your application.
In some circumstances you need to prove that you can communicate effectively in English - you can demonstrate this by sitting a certified test at the required level, or by being a Citizen of one of the countries listed as English-speaking, or by holding a degree-level qualification that was taught in English.
As with the Tier 2 (General) Visa, you need to hold a Certificate of Sponsorship from a licensed Sponsor business or organisation before applying, and the work you undertake must be related to the work of your Sponsor. The same general rule applies that the role you take in the UK could not have been filled by an employee already based in the UK, and that the employer took reasonable steps to advertise the position locally.
To qualify as an 'appropriate salary' your job must pay £41,500 or higher (for Long-Term Staff), or £24,800 (for Short-Term Staff, Graduate Trainee or Skills Transfer). There are exceptions to this minimum level, for instance if you work for an overseas news broadcasting organisation. But in most cases the 'appropriate rate' will be as described or higher, depending on the industry sector.
There are four main types of ICT Visa available - for long-term staff, short-term staff, graduate trainees and to allow for skills transfer.
The Long-Term Staff category is for people who are to work in the UK for a period greater than 12 months, whereas the Short-Term Staff category is for people working for less than 12 months. In both cases you need to have worked for your overseas employer for at least one full year before applying for an Intra-Company Transfer Visa.
The Graduate Trainee option is for people looking to transfer into a specialist graduate training scheme. For this option you only need to have been with your employer for 3 months instead of the usual 12 months, however you need to have graduated recently in order to be eligible.
Finally, the Skills Transfer option is designed to allow people to either acquire skills in the UK that they need for their overseas role, or to allow them to pass their current skills on to the other UK employees of the Sponsor organisation. This option does not require you to have been with your current employer for any particular length of time.
As with the General Tier 2 Visa, you are permitted to apply no more than 3 months before you arrive in the country, and decisions are usually given within around 3 weeks. There is a visa processing fee to be paid, which will depend on the type of ICT Visa you require, as well as your location and other factors. There is also a health surcharge payable.
Most of the rights and restrictions from the Tier 2 (General) Visa apply for the Tier 2 (ICT) Visa too - meaning you can work for your Sponsor in the role outlined in your Certificate of Sponsorship, and you can also do voluntary work or study alongside your main role. You can freely enter and leave the country, and bring family members and dependants with you. But you can't access public funds, for example state benefits.
The maximum length of time you can stay in the UK depends on the type of ICT Visa granted, and in the case of long-term staff on the level of your annual salary. Unless your visa is specifically issued for a shorter duration, the maximum length of time you can stay is 9 years (for Long-Term Staff earning over £155,300 per annum), 5 years and 1 month (for Long-Term Staff earning less than £155,300 per annum), 12 months (for both Graduate Trainees and Short-Term Staff), or 6 months (Skills Transfer).