18 January 2018

Transfers within companies or groups

On 1 March 2018, new rules on transfers within companies or groups, the so-called ICT Directive (Intra-Corporate Transfer Directive), will come into force in Sweden. These rules will become a part of the Aliens Act. Persons will be able to obtain an ICT permit if they are a citizen of a country outside of the EU and Switzerland, employed by a company outside of the EU, and coming to work at the company in Sweden. The permit applies to corporate transfers for individuals who will work as managers or specialists, or who will train at the company in Sweden.

Individuals who have already applied for an ICT permit from another EU state but who will perform their duties in Sweden can obtain an ICT permit for long-term mobility. Decisions on ICT permits and ICT permits for long-term mobility are made within 90 days from the time at which the application is received and registered by the Migration Agency.

National rules on work permits are subordinate to these rules. This means that individuals who meet the requirement for an ICT permit cannot be granted a work permit in accordance with chapter 6, section 2 of the Aliens Act.

To obtain an ICT permit, the employee must

  • work as a manager, specialist or trainee at a company in Sweden for more than 90 days
  • possess the professional qualifications and experience required for their role as a manager or specialist, or possess the necessary education required by the trainee placement
  • have taken out or applied for a health insurance policy that covers all risks and is valid in Sweden
  • have been continuously employed by the company for at least three months at the time of the intra-corporate transfer
  • be able to transfer to a company in a country outside of the EU which belongs to the same company or which is a company within the same group
  • be offered remuneration for his/her work which is not worse than that covered by Swedish collective agreements or general practice within the profession or sector
  • be offered employment conditions which are of at least equal conditions to those of an employee stationed in Sweden
  • be offered a position that is sufficient for the employee to support him/herself.

Managers, specialists and trainees

Only individuals who work as managers, specialists or trainees in the host company in Sweden are covered by the ICT Directive.

Manager refers to a person who has a leadership position and predominantly manages administration at the host company. Managers should work under the board or the company’s shareholders in the first instance and should receive guidance from them.

Specialist refers to a person who works within the group and possesses specialist expertise that are important to the host company’s field of activity, technique or administration.

A trainee is a person with a university degree who is transferred to a host company for the purpose of career development or to acquire further training in business techniques or methods and who receives remuneration during the transfer.

The application and permit periods

ICT permit applications should be submitted from the country of origin. If the employee has an ICT permit from another EU country and will work in Sweden, then the application can be made from Sweden. Family members can also apply for residence permits.

ICT permits cannot be granted for periods longer than three years for managers and specialists and for longer than one year for trainees. If the employee has an ICT permit in another EU state, then they can only obtain an ICT permit for long-term mobility that is valid for the same period as the existing ICT permit.

How the Migration Agency is preparing for the new legislation

The Migration Agency is working to make information available on its website. This includes both general information on the application process and the terms which apply, and FAQs regarding ICT permits.

Online applications will be available from April 2018. Before then, employees will only be able to apply via paper application forms. The application form will be available via our website from 1 March.

If you want to read more about the ICT Directive, you can refer to Proposition 2017/18:34 Residence and work permits for intra-corporate transfers – implementation of the ICT Directive. It is available on the website of the Swedish government.

Read the proposition (in Swedish)external link, opens in new window