Intra corporate transferees

Since 29 November 2016, there has been a new purpose of residence: intra corporate transferees. This follows from European Directive 2014/66/EU for Intra Corporate Transferees (ICT).

This purpose of residence comes with a permit that allows the holder to work in the Netherlands as a transferred employee of an international group. Under certain flexible conditions, the holder of this permit may also be transferred to a branch of this undertaking within another EU Member State. Each Member State has its own conditions. Denmark, the United Kingdom and Ireland do not participate. 

Which employees fall under the Directive?

The Directive applies to employees who:

  • Are not a national of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland or and
  • Perform work as a manager, specialist or trainee, and
  • Have an employment contract with an undertaking established outside the EU, and
  • Are transferred to a group member within the Netherlands, and
  • Live outside the Netherlands at the time of submitting the application.

ICT Directive versus highly skilled migrants scheme

Before 29 November 2016, this specific group was able to obtain a residence permit as a highly skilled migrant, for example. This is no longer possible after the introduction of the Directive.

If an employee from a group member from outside the EU now comes to the Netherlands to work here as a manager, specialist or trainee, this European Directive will prevail over Dutch residence schemes such as the highly skilled migrants scheme. This means that an application must be submitted for a residence permit for ‘intra corporate transferees’.

If, however, an application is submitted for a residence permit for ‘highly skilled migrant’, there will be an official check against the conditions of the Directive and no permit as a highly skilled migrant will be issued if the employee falls under the scope of the Directive.  

The permit

The permit for ‘intra corporate transferees’ (ICT permit) is a single permit. Work is permitted within the context of the transfer; a work permit will be required for other work.

The ICT permit may be issued to managers and specialists for a maximum of 3 years and to trainees for a maximum of 1 year. Any earlier residence within another EU country under this Directive will be taken into account when this maximum period is determined.

After expiry of the maximum period, a new ICT permit can only be obtained after a 6-month break. During these 6 months, the employee must reside outside the EU.

Family members

Family members may apply for a residence permit in order to stay with the employee for the duration of the transfer. During their stay, they will be free to work on the Dutch labour market.

More information

More information about this purpose of residence, such as the conditions to be met, can be found under Work / Intra-corporate transfer.​


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