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D-Visas: Intra-Corporate Transfer (ICT) and Personnel Exchange

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Under the European Union ICT scheme, businesses or undertakings established outside the EU may second managers, specialists and trainees to subsidiaries/ branches within the EU.

Visa-free travel

All nationalities require a visa prior to travel to Germany.

General Information

The ICT Card is a non-permanent residence permit. In Germany, the maximum stay is limited to three years (managers and specialists) or one year in the case of trainees. The ICT Card also facilitates intra-corporate transfers and mobility within Europe.

Your employer can facilitate visa processing by applying for pre-approval from the Federal Employment Agency (information for your employer is available here - in German).

How to apply for your visa:

1. Complete the online application form, print the form including the barcodes twice and sign both copies (application forms are required for each applicant separately; all children require separate forms).

2. Compile your supporting documentation:

  • 2 printouts of the online application form including barcodes
  • Valid passport signed by the holder, issued within the last 10 years and valid for at least 3 months beyond the validity of the visa applied for. The passport needs to have at least 2 subsequent blank pages.
  • 2 photocopies of the passport biodata page
  • Current UK residence permit (BRP)/ visa (foreign residents only).
  • 2 photocopies of the permit/ visa
  • 2 fully biometric passport photos, 35 x 45 mm, no older than three months. Digitally altered passport photos cannot be accepted.
  • Employer’s declaration (“Erklärung zum Beschäftigungsverhältnis”, download form here and Annex B (“Zusatzblatt B”, download form here) to be completed by your employer - in 2 copies each
  • Professional curriculum vitae plus copies of relevant academic or vocational qualifications – in 2 copies each.
  • Confirmation of health insurance cover commensurate with the level of statutory German public health insurance (“gesetzliche Kankenversicherung”).
  • Prepaid, self-addressed Royal Mail Special Delivery return envelope (up to 500g) in order to return your passport after processing.
  • Visa fees apply
  • Processing time: For some visa categories, we will require approval by other German government agencies, such as the Federal Employment Agency (“Bundesagentur für Arbeit”) or the local immigration office (“Ausländerbehörde”). If you have previously lived in Germany this will add to processing times, as the immigration office may need to look into your previous immigration record. Once a decision on your application has been taken, we will contact you.
  • In this visa category, based on previous experience most applications will usually be processed within 4 weeks. This also applies to accompanying family members.

  • Although we will provide you with a file number, please understand that we cannot respond to questions regarding the status of your visa application. Should we have any questions or should we require additional documentation to process your application, we will contact you.

3. Book an appointment to apply for your visa.

Where to book your appointment/ apply for your visa:

Should you hold a confirmation of pre-approval (“Vorabzustimmung”) by the Federal Employment Agency (“Bundesagentur für Arbeit”) naming both you and your prospective employer you need to apply for your visa with a Visa Application Centre run by our external service provider, TLScontact. Visa applications for family members accompanying you will also be accepted by TLScontact.

TLScontact operates from both London and Edinburgh with two distinct jurisdictions and your place of residence determines which Visa Application Centre you will need to contact to apply for your visa. Please refer to our consular district map for details.

If you do not hold any confirmation by the Federal Employment Agency (“Bundesagentur für Arbeit”) please apply directly with the German Mission having jurisdiction for your place of residence.

Additional information

Accompanying spouses of ICT Card holders are usually exempt from the requirement regarding basic German language proficiency.

If your application is successful, you will be issued a limited validity entry visa - similar to a UK entry clearance. Once you have arrived in Germany please register your new residence with the local authorities (“Meldebehörde”) within 2 weeks of having moved in and apply for your Electronic Residence Permit with your local immigration office (“Ausländerbehörde”).

Further information on living and working in Germany is available here.

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