Netherlands: Intra Corporate Transfer (ICT) Directive11 April 2017
In November 2016, the EU Intra Corporate Transfer (ICT) Directive was implemented in the Netherlands. Permits Foundation had previously successfully advocated to secure the working rights of partners when the ICT Directive was negotiated at EU-level.
A number of our sponsor companies raised concerns relating to the Dutch implementation of certain aspects of the Directive. These were discussed at our sponsor meeting in the Hague on 14 February, when a representative of the Ministry of Security and Justice was also present.
The main concerns expressed related to:
- The need to be able to change to a Highly Skilled Migrant (HSM) permit after an ICT assignment (3 years for managers and specialists and 1 year for trainees), without a break in the assignment;
- The cooling-off period of six months after the expiry of the permit;
- Education qualifications for trainees;
- Building up residence rights after an ICT has changed to an HSM permit.
As a follow-up of this meeting, Permits Foundation wrote a letter to the Ministry of Justice, asking for clarification on these points.
The Ministry of Security and Justice confirmed in its reply that:
- Holders of an ICT-permit can change to the HSM-permit on expiry of the ICT-permit. This essentially resolves the problem with the cooling off period.
- The Ministry is open for further dialogue if the 6-month cooling off period between ICT assignments causes serious problems to employers;
- A master’s degree is required for ICT trainees, according to the Netherlands’ interpretation of the Directive. Trainees without a master’s degree do not fall within the scope of the ICT-directive and would therefore be eligible to apply for a national permit. (e.g. the national highly skilled migrant permit, if they meet the required salary conditions.)
- Third country nationals who wish to apply for permanent residence should hold a national, non-temporary permit (e.g. highly skilled migrant) and have least 5 years legal residence in the Netherlands immediately prior to the application. A part of these five years could be covered by the ICT-permit, including periods in other EU countries under the intra-EU mobility provisions.
The Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service has adjusted the Q&A on its website. If the 6-months period causes problems to you, please let us know.