By Peregrine

Effective 12 February 2018, Poland has introduced a new combined work and residence permit category for intra-corporate transfer (ICT), transposing into national law European Union (EU) Directive 2014/66 “on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer”.

EU ICT Permit

The new ICT residence permit is available to third-country nationals transferred to work in Poland within the same group of companies as managers or specialists with suitable professional qualifications, or as trainees with a university degree. The foreign employee must have worked for their sending company at least twelve months (six months for trainees) and be paid at least 70% of the average remuneration in the relevant region.

Applicants must be outside the EU when the application is submitted.

The combined work/residence permits are issued for a duration of up to three years for managers and specialists, and up to one year for trainees.

Intra-EU Mobility

A holder of an ICT permit issued in Poland will be able to work in another EU member state for a company of the same group, for stays of up to 90 days in a 180-day period, without a separate work permit, although the host country may require a notification. For stays of more than 90 days, a “mobile ICT permit” for that country may be required.

A holder of an EU ICT permit issued in another EU member state can work at a company of the same group in Poland for up to 90 days without obtaining a separate permit. A notification must, however, be filed with the authorities.

For assignments of more than 90 days in Poland, a holder of an EU ICT permit issued in another EU member state can apply for a long-term mobility permit. The applicant can enter Poland while this application is pending, but cannot start work until the permit is approved. This permit cannot be issued for longer than the validity of the original EU ICT Permit from the first EU member state.

Existing Work Permit for Intra Company Transfer

The intra-EU mobility features of the new ICT permit will be useful for multinational employers who need assignees to work in several EU countries.

However, for employers seeking to post an employee to Poland only, the existing intra-company transfer work permit route is likely to remain the preferred option, as the new ICT permit has more extensive document requirements, cannot be renewed and may have longer processing time.

Background

Directive 2014/66/EU of 15 May 2014 “on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer” aims to create a consistent EU-wide system for non-EU nationals sent on assignment within a group of companies to EU Member States. Please see our previous alerts on the transposition of the EU ICT Directive in SwedenCyprusAustriaPortugalLithuaniaCroatiaGermanyCzech RepublicSlovakiaItalyNetherlandsBulgaria and Spain.

Action Items

  • Employers intending to transfer third-country nationals to Poland from outside the EU within the same group of companies should consult an immigration expert for advice on the best route to follow.