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Tier 2 ICT Switching Jobs

1st January 2021 was freedom day for many staff on ICT visas.  Since April 2011 the dreaded 'cooling off' period had turned lots of professionals into almost bonded staff, unable to leave underpaying employers without spending 12 months out of the UK.   The change  in 2021 has resulted in several big names paying much better salaries (from £60k without a car to >£100k plus company SUV in one memorable case).  We can help if you want to change jobs (or if you're a company hiring an ex ICT)

New freedoms for ICT visa holders

Tier 2 ICT visa holders now have the freedom to switch jobs, and progress to Settlement (also called Indefinite Leave to Remain, or 'Permanent Residence').


When the 2010 coalition government tried to cut net migration to the UK, they stopped Tier 2 ICT visa holders from qualifying for settlement, and, in April 2011, made it impossible for them to switch jobs (unless their salary was over £150k pa). This unpopular rule allowed unscrupulous multinationals to treat posted workers as bonded staff.


On 1st January 2021, the hated rule was abolished. If you are on a Tier 2 ICT visa, you can now:


  • Be re-sponsored for a new Skilled Worker visa, without having to leave the UK

  • Leave the UK and return on a Skilled Worker visa, without any 'cooling off period'


These changes mean that you can put yourself on a path to settlement. And, a year after that, to naturalisation (UK passport) if that is what you want.


If you are on a Tier 2 ICT visa, and, so far, you have been in the UK for under 5 years, then your route to settlement is: get a new job, and do 5 years on a Skilled Worker Visa.

If you are on a Tier 2 ICT visa, and, have already been in the UK for more than 5 years, then your route to settlement is: get a new job, use the '10 year long residence' route. (Time in the UK on Tier 2 ICT, Tier 4, or Tier 5, does not count towards the 5 year settlement route that is available to Skilled Workers, Tier 1 visa holders, and old Tier 2 (general) visa holders, but it does count towards the 10 year route).


If you are on a Tier 2 ICT visa, and want a new challenge, with a route to sponsorship and settlement, by all means send in your CV, and we will see if any clients are interested (there is no fee charged to look at a CV and, if appropriate, circulate it).

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