Immigration

Migration Advisory Committee call for evidence on intra-company transfers – Law Society response

Overview

In September 2020, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) was commissioned by the government to undertake a study of the intra-company transfer (ICT) immigration route, and advise on its operation and effectiveness.

The ICT route currently sits alongside the route for skilled workers.

It's designed to enable employers in the UK to easily move existing senior employees and specialists, who have been employed by the company for at least 12 months, from overseas offices to roles in the UK.

The proposals

The MAC has been asked to advise on the points below:

  • the salary threshold for entry to the ICT route
  • what elements, if any, beyond base salary should count towards meeting the salary requirement
  • whether, as now, different arrangements should apply to the very highly paid
  • what the skills threshold for the route should be
  • the conditions of the route, in particular where they differ from the skilled worker route

Our view

Any changes to ICTs or other routes should be carefully considered within the global business context and international business reputation of the UK.

The new global business mobility route marks a significant change to UK immigration, and so we hope that a formal consultation is published on this in due course.

The ICT route is a useful tool for firms to transfer employees internationally where relevant. However this could be significantly improved by removing arbitrary requirements and being brought into line with other business routes.

As changes to immigration law are being considered in a climate of significant upheaval and uncertainty, caution is needed to ensure that Britain’s global standing as a leading hub for legal services is upheld.

Next steps

We recommend that a common-sense approach is undertaken in relation to the upcoming global business mobility route, as well as any changes to the ICT route. This will enable effective cross-border working across a range of scenarios.

We have provided initial comments and will provide a more detailed response to a future consultation on this route.

The MAC is due to report back to the government in October 2021.

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