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

The Intra-Corporate Transfer (ICT) Card is derived from European legislation. It was brought in to German law by the Bundestag legislating for the European Directive (Directive 2014/66/EU of the European Parliament) on the issue. It is regulated for under German law by section 19b of the German Residency Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz). The ICT card allows for companies to legally transfer employees from one part of their business to another in a more straightforward manner. In particular, it refers to non-EU citizens assigned to European parts of the company structure. The aim is to ensure that there are fewer complications when it comes to bringing managers, specialists and other business professionals to Europe. The ICT Card applies across the Schengen Zone with the goal being to allow for ease of transfer within the business world.

Another option is the Mobile ICT Card which allows for non-EU workers to work across the European Union thus in different countries within the bloc. In order to avail of the Mobile ICT Card one must have an ICT Card with another European country and then require the Mobile ICT Card to work in a different subsidiary in another European state.

This article will outline the general benefits relating to the Intra-Corporate Transfer Card and will also provide an explanation regarding its requirements and who it applies to. Furthermore, it will provide assistance with the requirements in the application procedure. However, it is of note that this is only an outline. Therefore, if you seek to avail of legal assistance in this area make sure to contact our office directly. Our legal team will be able to provide you with comprehensive and personalised assistance concerning the issues specific to your case.

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Availing of the Intra-Corporate Transfer Card

The ICT Card should be applied for in cases where the company wishes to send non-EU workers from branches outside of 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 level of the applicant in question as in the case of managers and specialists it applies for between 90 days and 3 years whereas for trainees it is for a period of between 90 days and 1 year. The benefit of the ICT Card is that it increases ease of movement for professionals. Compared to the more complicated requirements for other forms of visas, 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 for employees who are non-EU citizens to easily move between EU countries should their company send them to a branch of the business in another country. An example of this is: a company wishes to send a manager with Canadian citizenship from a company branch in France to one in Germany. The Mobile ICT Card streamlines this process.

Application Procedure for the Intra-Corporate Transfer Card

In applying for the ICT Card one should be aware of the necessary requirements involved. Although it is possible that the application will be processed prior to 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 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 important to bear in mind. Applications can be rejected if they do not fulfil the requirements as laid out for. Furthermore, the employee must also be provided with working and salary conditions that are applicable to German workers. Thus, the ICT Card should not be used as a means to undercut the workforce by providing below regular German working conditions.

The ICT Card is valid for a period of three years for managers and specialists whereas for interns it is only valid for one year. Availing of a second ICT Card is possible following the expiration of the original, however a cooling-off period is required before the new one can be applied for. When doing so in Germany the cooling-off period is for six months.

The Mobile ICT Card

As mentioned above there is also the option of the Mobile ICT Card. This card is designed to further increase 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 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 America 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 for) 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 advance. In 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.

Practice Group for Immigration Law

Rechtsanwalt Aykut Elseven

Aykut Elseven

Rechtsanwalt Dr. Tim Schlun

Dr. Tim Schlun

Samir Muratovic

Samir Muratovic

Jens Schmidt

Jens Schmidt

Contact our Practice Group concerning Immigration and the ICT Card

Sandra Zimmerling Lawyer

Sandra Zimmerling

Rechtsanwalt Daniel Schewior

Daniel Schewior

Abschira Hassan - Lawyer

Abschira Hassan

Legal Representation in Immigration Issues

Availing of legal representation in issues concerning immigration is of vital importance. Even in issues where everything seems straightforward, legal barriers can appear to disrupt events. At Schlun & Elseven we specialise in the field of immigration law. We have extensive experience and knowledge in dealing with issues such as the EU Blue Card, residency permits for doctors and in cross-border commuter residency as well as in cases with the Intra-Corporate Transfer Card.

As a comprehensive law firm we harness our knowledge from a range of legal areas such as employment law and corporate law to ensure that you have full legal representation. Furthermore, our lawyers are aware of the value of open and clear communication. For this reason, our legal team are able to communicate in a clear manner in languages such as English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish and Arabic. If you or your company are having difficulties with the Intra-Corporate Transfer Card or any other issue relating to business immigration please contact us today.

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