On this page, we will explain the purpose of the Italian Intra-company transfer permit system for non-EEA nationals, the eligibility criteria, and the application process. For expert assistance with your immigration matter, contact Reiss Edwards, immigration lawyers, and solicitors in London.
In our increasingly globally mobile society, it is common for skilled workers in one country to transfer to a branch or subsidiary in another jurisdiction. Intra-company transfers offer considerable benefits to multinational organisations, including the ability to move technical resources where they are needed to coordinate new projects, provide training, or implement new technology. Indeed, there are many reasons why intra-company transfers may be required. On this page, we will explain the purpose of the Italian Intra-company transfer permit system for non-EEA nationals, the eligibility criteria, and the application process.
An intra-company transfer (ICT) permit is granted to workers based in countries outside the EEA who wish to transfer to a branch or subsidiary of their employer in Italy for longer than 90 days. By allowing intra-company transferees to come to Italy, multinational organisations with interests in Italy can relocate staff with specialist skills and management experience where they are needed the most. Intra-company transfers may be carried out where there is a need to implement new projects in Italy that have been delivered by teams in other countries, to provide training, to implement new technology or roll out new products and services.
The Intra-Company Transfer Permit (Directive 2014/66) scheme was implemented in response to the EU’s 2014/66 directive. The directive relates to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and was intended to put in place measures to ensure consistency when it comes to intra-company transfers. As the directive states, “The TFEU provides that the Union is to develop a common immigration policy aimed at ensuring, at all stages, the efficient management of migration flows and fair treatment of third-country nationals residing legally in Member States”. The directive implements “Measures to make it easier for third-country managers, specialists and trainee employees to enter the Union in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer have to be seen in that broader context”.
The Intra-Company Transfer Permit (Directive 2014/66) scheme for Italy is open to non-EEA/EU workers who wish to work for a subsidiary or branch of their employer in Italy for more than 90 days. The length of the intended transfer should not exceed the maximum total duration of stay of three years for managers or specialists. The maximum length of stay for trainees is one year.
The scheme is open to:
Senior Executives – typically those in senior roles who possess the experience and skills to make executive decisions regarding the operation of the organisation, subsidiary, or branch.
Specialist Workers – typically those with specialist skills and experience required to carry out certain duties on behalf of their employer. Specialist workers must have the qualifications necessary to perform the role, and this will be assessed by using the European Qualification Framework (EQF) as a basis for evaluating the professional qualifications.
Trainees – this includes those on graduate training schemes who are on a career development pathway.
To make a successful ICT permit application for Italy, applicants must have been working for at least three months with the ‘sending’ company (or group of companies) prior to applying.
Applicants must also have the necessary qualifications to fulfil the role in Italy. The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) must be used to ensure that the qualifications held are comparable to those required in Italy.
There are two main stages to the application process for an Intra-Company Transfer Permit (Directive 2014/66) in Italy:
In order to apply for an Intra-Company Transfer Permit, the hosting subsidiary or branch based in Italy must first complete an application for an ICT permit using the Italian Ministry of Affairs online application portal. They will then upload any required supporting documents within ten working days.
The permit will then be processed by the Sportello Unico per l’Immigrazione and a permit granted. It can take up to 45 days for the permit application to be processed and the permit issued. Once issued, the worker can then apply for an Italian entry visa with the Italian diplomatic mission in their country of residence. Your local mission will provide the application form and list of documents to be submitted. Once these are provided and the application fee paid, a visa will then be granted. At this stage, the ICT permit/visa holder can travel to Italy to commence work.
ICT transferees are required to register with their local Sportello Unico per l’Immigrazione within eight days of arrival in Italy. The immigration office will then grant a residence permit within 45 days.
You will be advised which documents to provide to support your application. This may include:
Your ICT residence permit will most likely be granted for one or two years, however, this can be extended while you are in Italy. To renew your residence permit, you will need to submit a new application, including copies of the latest certificate of incorporation for the Italian branch or subsidiary, your new/extended employment contract, and proof of your income in Italy. Unfortunately, it is not possible to switch an ICT visa to a different visa type.
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