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New EU directive introduced for intra-company transfers02 January 2017, by Ester de Vreede
De Vreede Advocaten is a young and dynamic law firm specialised in immigration and international employment law for both businesses and individuals.
The recently launched EU directive for Intra-Corporate Transferees is a new form of Dutch residence permit that is set to have a considerable impact on all international companies and originations who transfer their employees and specialists to the Netherlands.
New EU directive for corporate transfers
On November 29, 2016, the European Directive 2014/66/EU came into force for intra-company transfers. Dutch immigration law now has a new purpose of residence for migrants transferred by their employers, known as "Intra-Corporate Transferees" (ICT).
The purpose of this new residence permit is to allow the holder to work in the Netherlands as a transferred employee within the international company where he or she is already employed.
For this group of ICTs, the Dutch national highly skilled migrant scheme is no longer applicable.
ICT directive partly replacing HSM scheme
Since the new European directive overrides Dutch immigration law, no permit for a highly skilled migrant will be issued if the employee falls under the scope of the new directive instead.
Job description and salary are guiding factors in the decision of whether an applicant gains a residence permit as an intra-corporate transferee or as a highly skilled migrant.
Salary conditions for the new ICT permit are linked to the requirements for the highly skilled migrant scheme and must be "market conform".
The directive is applicable to specialists, managers and trainees who are living, and have an employment contract, outside the EU. Each EU member state has its own conditions, while Denmark, the United Kingdom and Ireland are not participating.
Benefits of the new ICT directive
The new permit brings some good news, in the form of the following benefits:
› A European standard ICT permit has a validity of up to three years, and one year for trainees.
› Mobility in the European Union during a company transfer; for more or less than 90 days. The second EU country will grant a residence permit based on the first EU permit (while it’s still valid) without requiring an MVV (provisional residence permit). Instead, a "mobile ICT permit" will be granted.
› Family members are free to work on the Dutch labour market.
› The ICT permit is also available for companies that are not recognised sponsors.
› Smaller international companies are also eligible.
Is there a downside to the ICT directive?
There are a number of limitations to the new ICT directive:
› The permit will be granted for three years and cannot be renewed. Instead, there is a waiting period of six months in which you must stay out of the EU before you can re-apply for the same type of permit.
› It is expected that most employees will, by then, be employed by the Dutch branch of their company, thus becoming a highly skilled migrant.
› During the three years of their permit, ICT migrants are not able to build up residency rights for unlimited stay. In short: the period covered by an ICT permit doesn’t count towards the five years of legal residency required for Dutch permanent residency or citizenship. Instead it will take eight years to be eligible.
First ICT applications submitted
The first applications for the new ICT permit have been submitted to the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service. Despite this, many questions still remain to be answered.
De Vreede Advocaten is following the ICT issue closely and is happy to answer any residence queries you may have.