Intra Corporate Transfer Directive and international assignments: a patchy picture across the EU

January 7, 2017

Many EU member states were due to implement the Intra Corporate Transfer-Directive (“ICT Directive”), into domestic immigration law late last year.  To date, the implementation map remains patchy across the EU.   However, international employers should be aware of the new Directive, as it is a significant development for employers with international assignment programmes into the EU and can have knock-on effects in member states even where it has not been implemented.

The ICT Directive applies to third-country nationals  who are employed by an entity outside the EU and who are temporarily seconded as manager, specialist or trainee to an entity in the EU within the same group of companies for a period of more than 90 days, whilst remaining employed by the non-EU entity.  It sets conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in this context, including limiting secondments to a three-year period. 

A summary of the current position across a selection of EU states is below:

What does this mean for employers sending international assignees into the EU?

Employers from outside the EU seconding staff intra-group to within the EU will need to ascertain the up to date position in the destination country.

Even if the destination country has not implemented the ICT Directive (or not yet), the Directive could still have an impact. For example, a residence permit issued under the ICT Directive in one member state will allow the employee to work for other host entities in the same corporate group in other member states in some circumstances.  See our case study of implementation in the Netherlands for further information. Employers who send international assignees intra-group to an EU state from outside the EU should therefore be aware of the new rules. 


Further information

For further information please contact any member of the CELIA Alliance in relevant jurisdictions.


CELIA Alliance
CELIA Alliance members are identified here. Members of the CELIA Alliance are each independent law firms and do not practice law jointly with any other member of the CELIA Alliance. “CELIA Alliance” and “CELIA” are not trading names. For more information about the CELIA Alliance click here.

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