On November 29, 2016, an EU Intracompany Transferee (ICT) Permit will become available for qualified foreign managers, specialists and trainees who are sent from a company outside the European Union to a company in the Netherlands in the same corporate group.
Companies will no longer be able to use the Knowledge Migrant Scheme for such transfers, but the Scheme will still be available for local hires and transferred employees under a Dutch employment contract.
Foreign nationals who hold an EU ICT Permit in one EU Member State will more easily be able to work in other EU Member States under the permit.
ICTs already under a Knowledge Migrant permit may still apply for a renewed Knowledge Migrant permit. There are no changes in the application process for ICTs transferred only to the Netherlands for under 90 days.
This new permit is related to a 2014 EU Directive aimed at harmonising immigration rules for ICTs and introducing intra-EU mobility rights. EU Member States (except Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom) are required to transpose this Directive into their national legislation by November 29, 2016.
General Permit Requirements
The EU ICT Permit will be available to managers and specialists with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or five years experience at that level and trainees with a Master’s degree.
Managers, specialists and trainees must have been working in the sending company for at least three months to qualify for an EU ICT Permit, and cannot have their main residence in the Netherlands when applying for the permit.
Although there will be no strict salary threshold, the salary has to be similar to Dutch nationals in the same position. The government has indicated that the Knowledge Migrant salary threshold of EUR 4,240 gross per month for those over 30 years old and EUR 3,108 gross per month for those under 30, excluding holiday pay, is suitable for the EU ICT Permit.
Allowable Stay Duration
The EU ICT Permit can be issued from 90 days up to three years for managers and specialists and up to one year for trainees. Extensions are allowed within this timeframe, after which an EU ICT Permit holder must leave the Netherlands for six months before applying for a new EU ICT Permit.
Recognised sponsors can apply for EU ICT Permits to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) and can expect a three- to four-week processing time.
Non-recognised sponsors can also apply to the IND, which will forward the application to the Dutch Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) for an assessment. The overall processing time for non-recognised sponsors is up to 90 days.
Knowledge Migrant Scheme as Compared to the EU ICT Permit
Companies must fulfil more requirements to send employees to the Netherlands under an EU ICT Permit than under the Knowledge Migrant Scheme. However, since recognised employers will only be required to declare that ICT conditions are met, as in the Knowledge Migrant Scheme, their EU ICT Permit applications will be subject to the same processing time as those under the Knowledge Migrant Scheme.
The IND will automatically check if applications submitted after November 29 under the Knowledge Migrant Scheme fall within the scope of the EU ICT Permit Scheme, and may ask for additional documents if an application qualifies for an EU ICT Permit.
The EU ICT Permit allows holders to stay in other EU Member States for up to 90 days in a 180-day period per Member State, which is more relaxed than the Schengen rules. During their stay, EU ICT Permit holders can work for any company in the same corporate group, although they may be required to notify immigration authorities of their stay.
EU ICT Permit holders who perform work for over 90 days in a 180-day period in another EU Member State may need to apply for a Mobile ICT Permit as well, but they can start working as soon as the application is filed and will not require a separate entry visa. In some EU Member States, a notification to immigration authorities may suffice.
ICTs who hold an EU ICT Permit in an EU Member State other than the Netherlands who need to perform work activities in the Netherlands must submit a notification to the UWV for work activities under 90 days. Those who seek to work for over 90 days must apply for a Mobile ICT Permit at the IND.
Both the EU ICT Permit and Mobile ICT Permit allow dependents to work in the Netherlands without a separate work permit.
What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals
The EU ICT Permit will allow ICTs to work in multiple EU Member States under one scheme. Interested applicants should work with their immigration professional to determine the specific requirements for ICTs in each EU Member State where they plan to work, as these could vary.