ICT directive now in effect
13 Jan 17
IMPACT – HIGH
What is the change? Italy has implemented regulations adopting the European Union directive on intracompany transfers (ICTs) that applies to managers, specialists and trainees transferred within the same corporate group from a non-EU office to an EU country.
What does the change mean? Permits are valid for three years for ICT managers and specialists and one year for ICT trainees, with a three-month cooling off period before one can reapply for a new ICT permit. Individuals holding an ICT permit from another EU country may work in Italy for up to 90 days simply by notifying authorities; if longer than 90 days, they are exempt from applying for a work visa but must apply for an ICT work and residence permit.
- Implementation time frame: Immediate. The rules took effect Wednesday. However, as of now, the online form for filing ICT work permit applications is not yet available.
- Visas/permits affected: ICT permits.
- Who is affected: Multinational companies transferring non-EU employees from an office outside the EU to an affiliated office in an EU country.
- Impact on processing times: Processing will take a minimum of three months, including 45 days for issuing an ICT work permit and 45 days for issuing an ICT resident permit.
- Business impact: In accordance with the EU directive, the Italian regulations create ICT categories that will be common among EU countries and simplify procedures for ICTs working in more than one EU country.
- Next steps: Guidelines are expected soon that will clarify ICT permit application procedures and whether employers may continue to use the existing ICT work permit route when assigning ICTs to Italy. Until further notice, the existing non-quota Highly Skilled Workers scheme for ICTs remains in place.
Key points: The ICT permits apply to managers (senior positions, those directing the host entity or supervising other managers), specialists (employees possessing specialized knowledge essential to the host entity’s business activity, techniques or management), and trainees (recent graduates transferred for career development). The Italian entity must be part of the same company or group of companies as the non-EU sending entity.
- ICT permit applicants must have worked for the same company or company of the same group for three continuous months before the transfer to Italy and plan to continue to work for the company or affiliated office outside the EU after the transfer.
- The maximum validity of ICT permits is three years for managers and specialists and one year for ICT trainees.
- Renewals may only be requested after a three-month cooling-off period at the expiration of an existing ICT permit.
- Family members are eligible for family permits matching the duration of the principal’s permit (even if less than one year).
- Individuals holding ICT permits from another EU country may work for an affiliated office in Italy for up to 90 days upon notification to authorities. If longer than 90 days, the individual must apply for an ICT work and residence permit but is exempt from applying for a work visa.
- ICTs must comply with social security requirements unless a social security agreement applies.
BAL Analysis: Because application procedures have not yet been released, ICTs may continue to apply under the existing ICT work permit route for managers and high-skilled transferees until further notice, but companies should consult with their BAL professional for advice in individual cases.
This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Italy. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.
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