Intra-Corporate Transfers (“ICT”)
Are you working as a skilled employee for a multinational company or multinational group of companies? Are you supposed to work for a limited time (maximum of three years) for a subsidiary in Austria within the context of an intra-corporate transfer (“unternehmensinterne Transfer”)? In this case, Austria stipulates a special residence permit (“Aufenthaltstitel”) for such cases, which executives, trainees and specialists from third countries can get the Residence Permit – ICT (“Aufenthaltsbewilligung – ICT”). ICT stands for intra-corporate transfer.
The legal foundation for cross-border intra-corporate transfers stems from EU legislation. For this reason, there is also a special case, namely the Residence Permit – Mobile ICT (“Aufenthaltsbewilligung Mobile ICT”). This residence permit targets third-country nationals who have a valid Residence Permit – ICT in another EU member state and who will be sent to work in Austria for a limited period of time.
In both cases, you are permitted to immigrate to Austria together with your family. Your family members (wife/husband, civil partner, children) can apply for the so-called Residence Permit – Family Reunification (“Aufenthaltsbewilligung Familiengemeinschaft”).
What is considered to be an intra-corporate transfer?
The Residence Permit – ICT targets the following third-country nationals:
- Trainees, and
who have been working for a multinational company or multinational corporate group outside of the EU (i.e., in a third country) for at least 9 months (or at least 6 months for trainees) and who are now supposed to work in the same company or corporate group in Austria.
A Residence Permit – ICT is always conceived to be valid for a clearly limited period of time. Afterwards, it must be guaranteed that the skilled worker can return to a subsidiary of the company or corporate group in a third country or in the home country. This must be specified in the employment contract.
As a rule, payroll accounting of the skilled worker is carried out abroad. Nevertheless, the company must ensure that all Austrian regulations pertaining to salaries and social insurance as well as labour laws are complied with.
- Application form
- Passport photo fulfilling EU criteria (not older than six months)
- Work-related documents:
- Work contract (signed by both parties)
- Updated curriculum vitae
- Proof of all qualifications (university diploma, recommendations/references, etc.)
- Proof that you have been working for the company/corporate group for at least nine months (six months for trainees)
- Proof of your quality and suitability as an executive, trainee or specialist
- Employer documents:
- Contract for the intra-corporate transfer
- Schematic representation of the corporate network
- Employer's declaration (“Arbeitgebererklärung”) (link to the form and completion guide)
- Personal documents:
- Birth certificate
- Police clearance certificate (“Strafregisterbescheinigung”)
- Proof of health insurance in Austria for the duration of the transfer
- Proof of housing for the duration of the transfer
- Fees: 160 €
Please note the following:
- You will have to present one or more police clearance certificates depending upon the country in which you live. Here you can see which police clearance certificates you will have to obtain.
- Personal documents must be specially verified so that these documents are officially recognised. This depends upon the country in which the documents were issued. Here you can look to see which type of verification is necessary.
- If personal documents are not available in German or English, they must be translated by a court-certified translator (“gerichtlich beeidete Übersetzerin/beeideter Übersetzer”).
- If you have to show additional personal documents or if you need a Visa D, the fee to be paid may actually be higher than € 160.
After you and your future employer have gathered all the necessary documents, the application has to be submitted to an Austrian public authority. In this case, there are several options:
- Your employer submits the application on your behalf to the Immigration and Residence Authority (“Aufenthaltsbehörde”). This applies regardless of your nationality and your current country of residence. This option has the advantage that your application is submitted directly to the public authority which also processes your application. Moreover, this option usually allows you to submit certain documents per email at a later date (for example, certain verifications).
- You submit the application to the Austrian representative authority (embassy/consulate) in your current country of residence. If you select this option, your application has to be complete. As a rule, you are not permitted to send any missing documents afterwards per e-mail. Your application is then sent by diplomatic post from the representative authority to Austria. For this reason, the immigration process based on this option usually takes considerably longer than with the first option.
Even if you are principally allowed to travel to Austria without a visa you are not allowed to personally submit your application for a Residence Permit – ICT in Austria. Only your employer is permitted to do this.
Before you or your employer submits the application, you have to decide where you want to live in Austria. This is important because Austria does not have one Immigration and Residence Authority but many. Which of these authorities is actually responsible for you depends on your future place of residence in Austria. Once you have selected a particular place, the change is complicated and is not recommended.
Do you want to immigrate to Austria with your family? Please note the following:
- If you apply for a Residence Permit – ICT, your family members can get a so-called Residence Permit – Family Reunification. However, as a rule, your family can first submit the application when your own application for a Residence Permit – ICT has already been submitted and your application process is under way.
- In contrast to you as a skilled worker, your family is generally required to submit the application to the Austrian representative authority (embassy/consulate) in their country of residence. Your employer is not permitted to submit the application in Austria on behalf of your family. In any case, the applications for your family have to be complete.
- Family members who have a Residence Permit – Family Reunification are generally permitted to work in Austria on a self-employed basis. If they want to work as salaried employees in Austria, they must have a specific job offer and show proof of this when applying for the Residence Permit – Family Reunification.
As soon as you or your employer has submitted your application, various public authorities will evaluate your application. The Immigration and Residence Authority (“Aufenthaltsbehörde”)will check to see if you fulfil all the general prerequisites, for example if your passport is valid for a sufficient period of time or if all your documents have the correct verification. The Austrian Public Employment Service (“Arbeitsmarktservice” - AMS) will review the prerequisites under valid labour regulations. The entire evaluation usually takes several weeks, in which you can or must submit certain missing documents if required. At best, the evaluation ends with the formal approval of your application.
All further steps depend upon whether or not you are allowed to enter Austria without a visa.
- Are you allowed to enter Austria without a visa? As soon as you have received approval, you will be allowed to come to Austria and have your fingerprints taken at the Immigration and Residence Authority. Furthermore, you will also have to show your original personal documents (passport, birth certificate, police clearance certificate, etc.). Then, your card will be printed. You are only permitted to begin working as soon as you receive it!
- Are you not permitted to enter Austria without a visa? In this case, after you have received approval, you will receive an invitation from the Austrian representative authority (embassy, consulate) in your country of residence. In this invitation, you will be asked to apply for a so-called Visa D (“VIsum D”) within the following three months and to pick up your Residence Permit – ICT in Austria within a period of six months. In order to receive a Visa D, you will need the following documents:
- Application form
- Passport with a copy
- Invitation of the representative authority
- Approval of the Immigration and Residence Authority
- Travel insurance (coverage of at least € 30,000)
- Flight reservation
Generally, it will take about two weeks until the Visa D is stamped in your passport. During this processing time, the embassy will keep your passport. As soon as you have your Visa D, you can travel to Austria and have your fingerprints taken. Furthermore, you will also have to show your personal documents (passport, birth certificate, police clearance certificate, etc.). Your card will then be printed. You are only permitted to begin working as soon as you receive your card!
Validity and extension
If both your contract for the intra-corporate transfer and your passport are valid for 1 year, your Residence Permit – ICT will also be valid for 1 year. However, as an executive or specialist, you can extend your residence permit for a maximum of up to 3 years to stay in Austria and work at the Austrian company to which you have been transferred. In contrast, as a trainee this only applies until a maximum period of 1 year is reached.
The Residence Permit ICT is based on an EU-Regulation. Thus, for an executive or a specialist it would also be possible to extend the residence permit up to a maximum duration of 3 years (1 year in the case of specialists) in another EU member state.
Whether you are an executive, specialist or trainee – as holder of an ICT - Card issued in Austria, you may stay – but not work – within the Schengen area for 90 within 180 days.
These rules also apply to your family! Your close family members are entitled to apply for a Residence Permit „Familiengemeinschaft ICT“.
If, based on your Austrian Residence Permit ICT, you would like to work in another EU member state (or vice-versa), you would need to apply for a so-called “mobile ICT” permit.
In any case, make sure that you submit your application for extension during the 3-month period before your current residence permit expires!
In any case, make sure that you submit your application for extension (“Verängerungsantrag”) during the three-month period before your current residence permit expires!
What happens if you and your employer decide during your stay in Austria that you will be hired as a salaried employee in Austria? In this case, you can submit an application for a change of purpose (“Zweckänderungsantrag”) to get a Red-White-Red – Card or a Blue Card. Your family can submit applications for the Red-White-Red – Card Plus. These residence permits will allow you to settle down in Austria in the long-term, in contrast to the Residence Permit – ICT and the Residence Permit – Family Reunification.
Submit your application for a change of purpose on time, in any case before your Residence Permit – ICT expires. As soon as your Residence Permit – ICT has expired and can no longer be extended, you will have to leave Austria as well as the EU and the Schengen Area. This is also the case even if you are principally allowed to enter the Schengen Area without a visa. For example, leave at least three months of time when applying for a change of purpose to get a Red-White-Red – Card or a Blue Card.
Special case: “Mobile ICT”
Do you already have a Residence Permit – ICT from another EU member state and will come for a limited period of time to work at the Austrian subsidiary of a company or corporate group? In this case, the Residence Permit – Mobile ICT (“Aufenthaltsbewilligung Mobile ICT”) would be ideal. Furthermore, please remember that as an executive or specialist with a Residence Permit – ICT, you are allowed to stay in the EU or EEA for a maximum of three years and as a trainee for a maximum of one year.
Please submit your application for a Residence Permit – Mobile ICT no later than 20 days before you should begin your work in Austria.
In this case, your family can also come with you to Austria and apply for a Residence Permit – Family Reunification.
- § 20f AuslBG
- § 58 NAG
- § 58a NAG