The Intra-Corporate Transfer Card (ICT Card) allows companies to legally transfer their employees based outside of the European Union to another part of the business inside of the EU in a more straightforward manner. The ICT Card applies to businesses in all EU countries except for Ireland and Denmark. As the United Kingdom has now left the EU (Brexit), the rules concerning the ICT Card now also apply to company employees from the UK. Therefore, if your company wants to transfer a UK passport-holding employee from the UK office to your German subsidiary or German branch, the ICT Card is a suitable residence permit for that move.

In this article, we will outline the requirements involved with the ICT Card application and other aspects of interest following Brexit. If your business requires more assistance with the ICT Card and other Brexit related issues, our lawyers can be reached using our details at the bottom of this page.

If you have a particular issue or legal question concerning German Immigration Law, you can contact our law office anytime. Our lawyers for German Immigration Law can be reached by phone, email and also provide video conferencing options. For more legal information, please visit our Immigration Information Germany Center.

What are the Requirements for the ICT Card?

Following Brexit, UK citizens looking to work in the European Union will need to be aware of the requirements for the ICT Card. At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our attorneys are experienced business immigration lawyers and will guide you through the entire process. When applying for the ICT Card, the applicant should send in their application 90 days in advance. Private individuals or the company they work for can apply. Our lawyers advise both private individuals and corporate clients on these matters.

The below listed are the factors which need to be considered when making the application:

  • 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 (as is the case post-Brexit for those with UK passports) 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).

The applicant in question must be an employee of the company and not an intern. It is a big commitment for the company and the employee to apply for an ICT Card and the duration of time working in Germany needs to be carefully considered in advance of the application. It should be noted that the application can be rejected should it not follow the factors listed above.

The ICT Card is valid for three years for managers and specialists. For those planning on staying in Germany longer, applying for a second ICT Card is possible following the original card’s expiration. However, a cooling-off period of approximately six months is required in Germany before applying for the second ICT-Card.

What is the Difference between ICT Card Requirements and Pre-Brexit Requirements?

Prior to Brexit there was no requirement for UK citizens to hold a visa or residence permit when working in Germany. As a member state of the European Union, UK employees had freedom of movement and the ability to live and work in Germany without such bureaucratic complications. However, with the changes brought about by Brexit, companies need to be aware of their new requirements.

It should be noted that these requirements are for companies in Germany bringing UK citizens from now on. It concerns those who have been brought in after Brexit. However, for UK citizens currently based in Germany looking to extend their stay, they should apply for the Aufenthaltsdokument-GB residence permit. This document is vital for demonstrating that you have the right to work and live in Germany. This document is available from the Ausländerbehörde (foreigner’s authority or immigration authority) and should be filled in before 30 June 2021. When applying for the Aufenthaltsdokument-GB, it is necessary to contact your local immigration authority and to have a valid UK passport.

German Residence Permits following Brexit

For UK citizens to now move to and work in Germany they will need a residence permit to allow them to do so (unless they have an EU passport). With the ending of the UK’s EU membership, their citizens have the same rights and requirements as those from other third countries. As well as the ICT Card other options for residence permit include the EU Blue Card, the visa for self-employment (for investors and entrepreneurs) under § 21 German Residence Act and the Job Seeker Visa.

At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our immigration is widely experienced in all matters relating to visas and residence permits. We specialise in advising entrepreneurs and investors about their options in moving to and establishing companies in Germany. Our lawyers are ready when you are.

Legal Advice for the ICT-Card, Brexit and Other Immigration Issues in Germany

As Brexit has become a reality, our lawyers at Schlun & Elseven are available to provide expert insight and excellent legal advice for private and business clients. On our Lawyer for Brexit Affairs Homepage, you can find out more about the legal services we offer concerning Brexit. Our full-service approach ensures that you can receive all the legal assistance you need from one source.

At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte we advise our clients, across all legal areas, from our offices in Cologne, Aachen and Düsseldorf, as well as our conference rooms around Germany. We advise our clients in English and German. For specialised legal counsel, please contact us directly. Our lawyers are ready when you are.