What is the change? The European Parliament has voted to adopt standardized rules governing non-EU intracompany transferees, or ICTs, posted to a European Union member state.

What does the change mean? The legislation will simplify entry procedures and provide one set of rules for all of the EU, giving ICTs greater rights and movement throughout the EU.

  • Implementation timeframe: The legislation must be adopted and implemented in each member country, which could take some time.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits.
  • Who is affected: Non-EU intracompany transferees posted to a branch or subsidiary in an EU member country.
  • Impact on processing times: None.

Business impact: Business will greatly benefit from a common scheme for ICTs assigned to any EU country.

However, it may not be adopted across the board, and implementation timeframes will be slow.

Background: The legislation, passed by the European Parliament on April 15, will unify the rules for intracompany transferees posted to a branch or subsidiary in an EU member country. Currently, each member state has its own rules governing an ICT’s stay, limitations on activities in other member states, and rights of family members.

“Companies that try to bring highly qualified experts here from abroad are currently facing 28 different kinds of rules and red tape. … The new legislation establishes a common set of rules for a new fast-track entry procedure for non-EU transferees and an easier system to facilitate their mobility within the EU,” said EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström in a statement after the vote. The legislation will allow an ICT to enter, live and work in an EU country other than the one that initially admitted him or her. The proposal also requires that an ICT have the same rights as nationals of the host country, including earning a salary on par with those occupying similar jobs for the life of the transfer.

The proposal follows an EU Directive in 2010 that aimed to make it easier for multinational companies to transfer key staff to EU member states. The EU predicts the legislation will draw an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 ICTs per year. As with the EU Blue Card, some exemptions may be granted, and the U.K. (among others) is likely to want to avoid implementing this directive.

BAL Analysis: The legislation, if adopted as written, will greatly improve the mobility of ICTs among EU countries. It will allow them to live and work in any EU country, earn salaries comparable to local counterparts, and obtain more attractive benefits for family members.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact

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