Intra-corporate transfer to the European Union

Companies that are established outside the European Union (EU) can deploy managers, specialists, and trainees to their group company’s entity within the EU. A special program created by the EU called Intra-Corporate Transfers (ICT) offers a legal base for such mobility programs.

What is it?

The ICT Card is a non-permanent residence permit for employees working temporarily in the EU. 

The objective and target group of the ICT Card are employees hired outside of the EU who are seconded to Europe as part of their international assignment or a project. ICT cards will always be issued for one EU country with an option to obtain a mobile ICT for a shorter project in other EU countries.

The permit is always issued where the longest stay is going to take place even if it is not the first place for intra-corporate transferees.

An employee of a large American company based in Europe is sent to Germany as a team leader. Later the company requests changes and requires this employee, this time to be sent to France. 

Is this possible through the ICT Card?

Prerequisites for an ICT card.

  1. employment prior to the EU assignment of at least 6 months
  2. secondment within a corporate group: expatriation to a host unit being a part of the same corporate group as the home unit
  3. retention of the home country employment guarantee for repatriation in case of redundancy in the host unit
  4. application prior to arrival in the EU.
  5. a limited time of the international assignment (at min. >90 days, at max. 3 years with the option to extend for 1 more year, trainee max. one year)
  6. three-party contract (home unit, host unit, employee)
  7.  position in EU: specialist or managing position
  8. qualification meeting the job requirements
  9. a written form of the contract/int ‘l assignment letter
  10.  German employment law is being followed: i.e. min. holiday allowance as per host country rule. The local salary level for a similar position.

Additional Requirements specifically for Germany

  • Proof of professional qualifications
  • Approval by the Federal Employment Agency, normally issued by the local authorities.


The ICT Card increases and supports third-country nationals’ mobility within Europe. Employees may exercise their mobility rights to another Member State for a maximum of 90 days within a period of 180 days and do not need to apply for a new residence permit. The first EU Member State company must send a notification to the responsible authority to the second EU Member State. 

The notification between Member States obviates the need to visit authorities in cases of short-term mobilities. Although, the procedure and conditions may vary depending on the respective EU Member State.

Short and Long-Term mobility ICT Card

Holding an ICT from another member state facilitates the residence permit in Germany for those who want to stay longer than 90 days in Germany.

The host entity in the other EU Member States must send a notification to the National Contact Point of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees for Transferees.

Migration and Refugees for intercompany transfers of up to 90 days within a period of 180 days.

General documents to be submitted 

  • Copy of the title of residence within the meaning of the ICT Directive
  • Copy of passport
  • Proof that the host entity in the second member state and the company in the third state belong to the same
  • company in the third state belongs to the same company or group of companies
  • or group of companies
  • Employment contract and, if applicable, letter of assignment
  • Professional license, if required for this profession
  • For trainees: academic degree

Do you still have questions about this residence permit? You can email us at [email protected]
We will be delighted to assist you in the process.

Beatriz Campos

Beatriz is an academic linguist fluent in Spanish, English, and German supporting ExpatsGuide social media campaigns and administrative tasks. Chilean national who moved to Germany in 2016.

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