ICT Card Mechanism For Transferring EU Employees

The Intra Corporate transfer (ICT) card is a non-permanent residence visa that allows foreign companies outside of the European Union (EU) to transfer their employees into a local branch of its company in Germany.
Are you opening a new branch of your company in Germany or seeking to expand your current operations here? Do you wish to transfer your managers, specialists or trainees to your branch in Germany?
If so, this article will be of importance to you. As you read along, we will help you determine what you need to know, the application process, and where you can get help with the process.

What do you need to know?

The first thing you need to know is that the ICT Card is a simplified process for offering temporary residence to managers, specialists, and trainees of foreign companies seeking to relocate to Germany.
These employees tend to be a critical part of the business’s operation and usually need an easy process to get themselves established.
Less cumbersome than the typical residence visa, the ICT Card makes transferring employees much more effortless.
Regular application processes can take a considerable amount of time as the authorities tend to go through detailed verification processes, which can significantly delay the process.
The ICT Card helps to limit the mobility burden for EU states and non-EU members who seek to stay in Germany and visit other EU states.

Why Mobility rights matter within the EU?

Mobility rights allow EU citizens to take advantage of the many economic and social benefits of transferring talent across borders. The EU recognizes that some countries have skills shortages, and the only way to fill these gaps is through the effective movement of human resources. There is also a recognition that sometimes countries must bring talent in from non-EU nations to help with the growth of the various economies. That is why there must be processes in place to make this transfer of resources easier to undertake.

How has COVID impacted travel within the EU?

With the events of the past two years surrounding COVID-19, human mobility has been drastically reduced. As a result of this pandemic, the level of visa applications to EU member states has been significantly reduced.
According to recent data reported by the European Commission, despite this reduction in visa applications, the average refusal rate on visa applications has increased since 2020.
We understand the frustration that comes with submitting visa applications and the uncertainty that comes with the process. For this reason, we specialize in assisting our clients to thoroughly and effectively submit temporary residence applications and ICT card transfers for senior officials and trainees.

What does the ICT Card offer?

Employees of your company (transferring company) are granted the right to freely travel within EU member states for 90 days within 180 days without having to apply for German residency.

ICT Card restrictions:

  1. ICT cards are not issued to individuals in Denmark and Ireland. Someone possessing the ICT card would need to apply separately to enter these countries.
  2. Applications for the ICT have to be done in the home country through a visa procedure.
  3. All non-EU member country nationals, including the USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, and South Korea, must begin the process before arrival in Germany.
  4. ICT Card Holders who are given a chance to work for your branch in other EU states must spend most of their total stay in Germany.

Application conditions and requirements

To be eligible for an ICT Card, the employee has to meet particular conditions. These conditions include:

  1. Proof that they are an existing employee working for at least six (6) months when their application is submitted.
  2. Proof that they have completed their probation with the company.
  3. Confirmation that they will continue working for the company while they are in the EU.
  4. Proof that the employee is not a citizen of an EU state AND is being transferred to the company’s EU branch.
  5. The employee demonstrates proof that they meet the required skills or can show a valid university degree.
  6. The contract terms are adhered to, trainee: [90 days to 1 year] OR Managers and Specialists [90 days to 3 Years]. There is a minimum of 90 days duration.
  7. Employers must ensure that the employees are given the same working conditions as German Workers and salary and terms of work.
  8. The employee must meet the condition of a manager, specialist, or trainee for the receiving branch.
  9. The application should clearly show in the employment contract or through a letter that the employee is on secondment to the German branch.

We offer legal consultation for the countless opportunities to live and work in Germany. We look forward to you reaching out to us!

How an immigration lawyer can help?

When you are opening up a new operation or seeking to expand your business, we can all agree that the last thing you need to battle through is government red tape. We understand the urgency of employee transfers, and we also understand the complex regulatory environment that governs work and mobility rights within the EU for members and non-member states.
As experts in immigration law, we specialize in working with companies, business professionals, and entrepreneurs to ease the burden of applying for residence permits, ICT cards, etc.
The ICT card is an excellent benefit to your company and your employee moving to your German branch.
Our firm can assist in easing the application burden for you. We use our wealth of knowledge and experience of EU and international immigration laws, as well as protocols, to cut through the red tape that could potentially slow down your progress and ultimately cost you profits in the end.

We work with clients on a case-by-case basis and are well-positioned to assist with even the most complex cases.