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 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 fewer complications in 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.
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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 help with the requirements in the application procedure. However, this is only an outline and therefore, contact our office directly if you seek legal assistance in this area.

Getting the Intra-Corporate Transfer Card

The ICT Card should be applied when 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 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 visas 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 employees who are non-EU citizens 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 that 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.

Application Procedure for the Intra-Corporate Transfer Card

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 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 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 interns. 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 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 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 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.

Germany as a Business Location

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 in. The workforce is well-educated and has a reputation for productivity. For those without German, they can rest assured that English is widely spoken. There are also many language schools and other institutions which offer German classes for those interested in learning German. For companies looking to establish offices in Germany, our law firm assists clients from all over the world 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's application procedure, our lawyers are available to assist, but we also provide continuous support while in Germany.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.