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Applying for an Intra Company Transfer Card (ICT) for Germany

Here, we will explain the purpose of the Intra Company Transfer (ICT) card for 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 the purposes of the Intra Company Transfer (ICT) card for Germany, the eligibility criteria, and the application process

What Is The Intra Company Transfer (ICT) Card For Germany?

The ICT scheme is an EU-wide initiative (Directive 2014/66/EU) that enables businesses based outside of the EU to send senior and skilled staff, in addition to trainees, to work for an office of the same organisation in Germany. The ICT is used widely by multi-national organisations to facilitate the global mobility of their valued workers. Using the ICT scheme means that skilled and experienced staff can be relocated where they are needed from outside the EU to inside the EU. The scheme has been implemented in all of the EU Member States, with the exception of Denmark and Ireland. Workers who are sent to Germany through the ICT scheme are given an ICT card by the German immigration authorities. This provides them with temporary residence status in Germany.

If granted, an ICT card is valid for up to three years for managers and specialists and one year for trainees.

If you are planning to work in more than one EU nation during your transfer, you will require an ICT Card for the country in which you plan to spend the longest period of time working for your company.

Am I Eligible For An ICT Card (For Germany)?

In order for a member of staff to be transferred to Germany under the ICT scheme, the following criteria must be met:

  • The worker being transferred must have an employment contract with the sending organisation (i.e. the organisation outside the EU). The contract must have been in place for at least six months prior to the start of the intra-corporate transfer. The contract must also be valid for the whole duration of the transfer.
  • The applicant must have an assignment letter showing the intended place of work, job description, role, working hours, and salary.
  • salary etc
  • The transferee must have an employment contract that has been in place for at least six months before the start of the transfer.
  • The transferee must be working in the EU with an entity of the same undertaking or group of undertakings as their employer.
  • The transfer must be for more than 90 days
  • The transferee must be planning to work for the host business in Germany as a manager, specialist or trainee.
  • The transferee must be able to provide evidence of the professional qualifications needed to undertake the role in Germany/EU.
  • The employer must have applied for pre-approval from the Federal Employment Agency in Germany
  • The transferee must intend to continue to work for their current employer after the transfer has come to an end

Can My Family Members Join Me In Germany?

If you are a non-EU/EEA national in Germany on an Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) card, and you hold temporary residence, 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 ICT Card For Germany?

There are three main steps:

  • The employer needs to apply for pre-approval from the Federal Employment Agency (this will then facilitate the processing of the employee’s visa)
  • The employee needs to apply for a visa
  • The employee then travels to Germany and applies for a residence permit

Your visa application 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 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 at 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 the ICT scheme are valid for up to three years (or one year for trainees) 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.

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