The Intra-Corporate Transfer Card (ICT Card) in Germany

The Intra-Corporate Transfer Card (ICT Card) in Germany

The Intra-Corporate Transfer (ICT) Card is derived from European legislation and is regulated by § 19 German Residency Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz). The ICT card allows companies to legally transfer employees from one part of their business to another more straightforwardly.

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The Application Procedure for the Intra-Corporate Transfer Card

The ICT Card should be applied when the company wishes to send non-EU workers from branches outside the EU to those inside the EU. This measure must, however, be used in cases where the posting extends beyond 90 days.

The validity of the ICT Card depends on the applicant’s level in question, as in the case of managers and specialists; it applies for between 90 days and 3 years, whereas for trainees, it is between 90 days and 1 year. The benefit of the ICT Card is that it increases the ease of movement for professionals.

Compared to the more complicated requirements for other visa forms, the ICT Card is much more straightforward. It also permits workers (within set limits) to work across European borders.

Another option available is the Mobile ICT Card. The Mobile ICT Card will be outlined in more detail below. Essentially, the Mobile ICT Card is in place to allow non-EU citizens employees to move between EU countries easily should their company send them to a branch of the business in another country. An example of this is when a company wishes to send a manager with Canadian citizenship from a company branch in France to Germany. The Mobile ICT Card streamlines this process.

In applying for the ICT Card, one should know the requirements involved. Although the application may be processed before this deadline, one should apply for their card 90 days in advance. The individual or their company can be the ones to make the application. Here are some of the requirements to bear in mind when applying for the ICT Card:

  • The company’s employee has been employed for a minimum of 6 months,
  • The applicant in question is not in the probationary period of their work contract,
  • The employee is a non-EU citizen and is being sent to a branch of the company in the EU,
  • The company will continue to employ the applicant throughout their stay,
  • The employee has a university degree/other proof of the required skillset,
  • The contract is for between 90 days and one year (in the case of a trainee) and 90 days and three years (for a specialist/manager).

It is to be noted that the ICT Card is not designed for internships. Therefore, the transferee in question must be an employee of the company. The duration of the assignment is also essential to bear in mind. Applications can be rejected if they do not fulfil the requirements as outlined.

Furthermore, the employee must also be provided with working and salary conditions that apply to German workers. Thus, the ICT Card should not be used to undercut the workforce by providing below-regular German working conditions.

The ICT Card is valid for three years for managers and specialists, whereas it is only valid for one year for trainees. Availing of a second ICT Card is possible following the expiration of the original. However, a cooling-off period is required before an applicant can re-apply. When doing so in Germany, the cooling-off period is for six months.

The Mobile ICT Card: Legal Advice

As mentioned above, there is also the option of the Mobile ICT Card. This card is designed to further increase the mobility of workers within the European bloc. This card allows a worker who has been stationed with their company in one European country to work in a different subsidiary in another European country.

The Mobile ICT Card is intended for workers who will be residing in the second country for a period of over 90 days. For example, a manager from the USA who has an ICT Card to work in France can work in Germany for over 90 days using a Mobile ICT Card.

However, the period of time that the worker in question is based in the second country (for which the Mobile ICT Card is valid) must not spend more time there than the country for which they received the original ICT Card. In the example above: the American manager cannot spend more time in Germany (for which they have a Mobile ICT Card) than they do in France (for which they an ICT Card).

Furthermore, the subsidiary with which the employee is based must notify the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) in advanceIn cases where the worker will be stationed in the other subsidiary for under 90 days in a 180-day window do not require the Mobile ICT Card.

Germany as a Business Location: Full-Service Support

For those facing assignment in Germany, you can rest assured that Germany is a pro-business environment. With major cities like Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Cologne and Düsseldorf, many cities in Germany are popular for companies to establish European bases.

The workforce is well-educated and has a reputation for productivity. Those without German can rest assured that English is widely spoken. Many language schools and other institutions offer German classes for those interested in learning German.

For companies looking to establish offices in Germany, our law firm assists clients worldwide with their business immigration needs. If you are relocated to Germany through the ICT Card mechanism, you can contact our firm for more information about our relocation services which we offer to business professionals relocating to Germany.

Germany has numerous benefits, whether you are arriving by yourself or with your family. There is something for everyone, from a very diverse and active social scene throughout the cities to good schools and other facilities.

If you require any assistance with the ICT Card application procedure, our lawyers are available to assist, but we also provide continuous support while in Germany.

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Practice Group:
German Immigration Law

Practice Group:
German Immigration Law

Aykut Elseven

Lawyer | Managing Partner

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