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Understanding the International Personnel Exchange for Germany

Here, we will explain how the International Personnel Exchange programme works in Germany, the eligibility criteria, and the application process. For expert assistance with your immigration matter, contact Reiss Edwards, immigration lawyers and solicitors in London.

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In our highly globalised world, being able to transfer staff within the same organisation or group of companies from one country to another is highly advantageous. Doing so can enable a multi-national business to move workers with expertise and senior management experience where they are most needed. If you plan to move staff within your organisation to work in Germany, you have two main options; the intra-company transfer (ICT) permit route and the international exchange programme. Here, we will explain how the International Personnel Exchange programme works in Germany, the eligibility criteria, and the application process.

What Is The International Personnel Exchange In Germany?

Unlike the ICT scheme, the International Personnel Exchange involves, as the name suggests, the exchange of employees. This way, a member of staff from a multi-national organisation based in another country can come to work for a branch or subsidiary in Germany, and in exchange, a worker from Germany is posted overseas. The idea of doing so is to enable skills and expertise to be moved where they are needed while simultaneously removing any impact on the German labour market. The ICT route enables the one way flow of staff from overseas to Germany on a temporary basis. For either route, permission is required from the Federal Employment Agency before a person can be transferred to work in Germany.

If you are successful in applying for an International Personnel Exchange permit for Germany, it will be granted for up to three years.

Am I Eligible For The International Personnel Exchange In Germany?

In order for a foreign member of staff to be exchanged with an employee in Germany, the following criteria must be met:

Employer Requirements

To qualify to use the International Personnel Exchange in Germany, the employer has to:

  • Be registered with the ‘personnel exchange’ department of the German labour office
  • Have a branch located in Germany
  • Exchange staff with their offices in other countries
  • Gain permission for an exchange from the Federal Employment Agency in Germany
  • Be based outside of the European Union

Employee Requirements:

The employee who will be coming to work in Germany must:

  • Have a degree-level education
  • Retain their employment contract with their non-German employer
  • Remain on the payroll of the non-German employer

Can My Family Members Join Me In Germany?

If you are a non-EU/EEA national in Germany on an International Personnel Programme, and you hold either a work permit, temporary residence, permanent residence, or an EU Blue Card for Germany, then your spouse and children will be able to join you. In order for your spouse and dependant children to join you, you will need to prove that you:

  • Have suitable accommodation in Germany – evidence will be needed to show that you have suitable accommodation in Germany for you and your family. You will need to show that the property you have purchased or are renting has enough space/bedrooms. Specifically, you will need to show that each member of your family who will be joining over the age of six has as least 12 square metres of space. Where your children are below the age of six, evidence of at least ten square metres of living accommodation is required.
  • Have sufficient health insurance and funds – the immigration authorities in Germany will want to see that you have sufficient health insurance for all of the family members who will be joining you in addition to sufficient living funds.

How Do I Apply For An International Personnel Programme Residence Permit For Germany?

There are three main steps:

  • The employer needs to gain approval from the Federal Employment Agency
  • The employee needs to apply for a national D visa
  • The employee then travels to Germany and applies for a residence permit.

Your application for a D visa will be made through the German embassy in your home country. The embassy will book a time and date for your appointment and will explain the documents you will need to bring; these may include:

  • completed permit application form
  • passport for you and any dependants, valid for six months
  • degree or qualification certificate relevant to the job
  • CV
  • job description for the role you will be carrying out in Germany
  • signed assignment agreement with your employer
  • ‘legalised’ (apostilled) birth certificate for any children
  • ‘legalised’ (apostilled) marriage certificate, if married health insurance cover in Germany for you and any dependants

You will also need to pay the application fee for your visa; this is currently EUR75.00 (and EUR37.50 for children). If approved, the German immigration authorities will grant the required visas, at which time you can make arrangements for your travel to Germany.

Having arrived in Germany, you will then need to apply for a residence permit within three months with your local immigration office.

The steps involved in applying for a residence permit are as follows:

  • Make an appointment with your local foreigner’s authority office in Germany
  • Complete the application form for a residence permit for the required purpose (i.e. work).
  • Request a list of documents from the foreigner’s authority office; these documents must then be prepared and submitted – these may include:
    • passports
    • birth certificates
    • marriage certificate
    • evidence of sufficient funds to support the family – this may include copies of payslips
    • details of the family’s accommodation in Germany
  • Pay the application fee of EUR100.

Permits under this scheme are valid for up to three years and can’t be extended beyond this period. If you need further information regarding your visa and permit options, speak to an immigration lawyer who will be able to advise you.

Reiss Edwards have the resources and expertise to assist with all aspects of Germany immigration. If you need assistance with applying for an International Personnel Exchange route for Germany or any other immigration matter, feel free to contact our Immigration Solicitor for help.

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"Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing, as a lawyer myself I can categorically say tha...

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Kiran Sardar

"I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this profes...

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Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was ou...

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Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR applicatio...

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