On November 29, 2016 the Dutch Royal Decree (the Decree) which implements the European Intra-Corporate Transfer Directive (2014/66/EU) (the Directive), came into force. The Directive applies to secondments of non-EU citizens satisfying certain conditions whose main place of residence is outside the EU (Expats) to an EU Member State. The Directive simplifies the admission procedure for Expats (and their families), in order to make the EU more attractive to international businesses. To enhance these international secondments to the EU between affiliated entities, a special ‘Intra-Company Transfer’ permit (ICT-permit) has been introduced. The ICT-permit allows the individual to work in the EU for a maximum period of three years.

Requirements to obtain an ICT-permit in the Netherlands

The new ICT-permit will apply to applicants who meet the following conditions:

  • The Decree applies to Expats with a position as manager, specialist or trainee (as defined in article 3 of the Directive);
  • The Expat must have a valid employment agreement with a company outside the EUand must have been employed by that company for at least three continuous months before the transfer to the Netherlands;
  • The ‘host-entity’ in the Netherlands must be part of the same enterprise or group of enterprises as the formal employing entity of the Expat;
  • The Expat must possess the skill and experience required by the host-entity or, where the Expat is a trainee, a Masters degree;
  • In principle, there are no minimum salary requirements. However, as the Directive intends to avoid unfair competition, the Expat should receive remuneration in line with market standards;
  • The host-entity in the Netherlands does not have to be registered as a ‘recognised sponsor’ for highly skilled workers. However, if the company is so recognised then an even more simplified admission procedure applies.

Duration of the ICT-permit

The ICT-permit can be granted for a maximum period of three years for managers and specialists. For trainees, the maximum period is one year. At the end of the secondment period, the Expat must relocate to his home country for at least six months in order to be able to re-apply for an ICT-permit in the Netherlands.

Mobility within the EU

The Directive also aims to facilitate mobility of Expats within the EU: ‘Intra-EU mobility’. Distinction is made between ‘short-term mobility’ and ‘long-term mobility’. Short-term mobility means that an Expat can stay and work in a second EU-member state for a maximum period of 90 days in any 180-day period. Depending on the legislation of the second EU-member state, the host-entity may have notify both EU-member states that the Expat intends to work in the second EU-member state.

If the Expat stays in a second host-country for a period of longer than 90-days in any 180-day period, the rules for long-term mobility apply. Depending on the legislation of the second EU-member state, a notification of this period of work may have to be made or a formal application for long-term mobility will need to be submitted.

In the Netherlands, notification should be made at the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV).

Relation to the ‘highly skilled migrant scheme’

The target group of the Directive shows similarities with the Dutch ‘highly skilled migrant scheme’ which applies to highly skilled foreign employees working in the Netherlands. If the Expat meets the requirements of the ICT-permit, he cannot apply for a ‘highly skilled migrant-permit’ and his application must be resubmitted under the ICT-permit scheme. If the parties involved consider that it is more desirable for the employee to obtain a highly skilled migrant-permit, then the Expat will need to enter into an employment contract with the host-entity rather than remaining employed by the foreign company..


Do you work at an international company that is (planning on) seconding employees to the Netherlands? Please feel free to contact Maartje Govaert, Thomas Timmermans or Saskia de Schutter for any advice or further questions in respect of the above.

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