A guide to aid in the navigation of intra-corporate transfers after the implementation of the Legislative Decree no. 253/2016, which has changed entry and stay conditions for employees from non-EU countries which are employed by intra-EU transfer companies.
This guide addresses how intra-corporate transfers are regulated, along with the specifics of their use such as lengths of contracts permitted, the application and renewal process, and the benefits of intra-corporate transfers to Italy.
Decree 253/2016 has made significant changes to Legislative Decree 286, or The Immigration Text, with specific changes to length of stay permitted to skilled and training employees.
Intra-corporate transfers are those in which foreigners, contracted for a minimum of three months by a company based in a non-EU country, are temporarily moved to work in Italy within the same company or a partner company (on which types of companies fall into this category are specified in article 2350 of the civil code).
The employee must have an ICT (intra-corporate transfer) permit, which allows workers to remain and work in Italy under article 27 sexies Testo Unico Immigrazione.
Under this legislation it is not required for the host company in Italy to have clearance for the worker if they are employed for fewer than 90 days, over a period of 180 days. After 90 days of employment, the employee is considered long-term and must acquire additional clearance, even if the worker was exempted from entry visa processes.
Thus once the 90 days of work has passed, the employee must present him/herself to the public administration office in the city/province they work within 8 days. There it is possible to renew the ICT permit.
Whom the legislation affects is outlined in section no.521 of the article signed by the ministries of Interior, Labour and Social Policies in February of 2017.
The section explains how a worker may take advantage of the intra-corporate transfer permit for business stays longer than 90 days. Those who qualify include:
- Managers, i.e. workers with professional roles, with “decision-making autonomy, responsibility and coordinating powers”.
- Skilled workers, i.e. workers with “specialist knowledge indispensable for their sector of business”.
- Trainees/graduates who acquire a position to deepen their knowledge and practical, hands-on experience within a business.
Researchers, posted workers, self-employed and students/trainees (whose stay is of short duration) are excluded.
Intra-corporate transfers have a maximum duration of 3 years for managers and specialized workers, and 1 year for trainees.
The application must be submitted by the employer who must request permission for the employee transfer in the city/province where the worker will be employed.
The application must be submitted to the ‘One-Stop desk for Immigration’, also known as the ‘Sportello Unico per l’immigrazione’, where it will be processed within 45 days. If the request is approved it will be sent to the consular offices where the appropriate visa will be issued.
From the moment the approval is issued, it must be accepted by the worker within 6 months. This process may be bypassed if a memorandum of understanding exists between the company and the Ministry of the Interior.
The employee may also wait for approval in the territory the application has been submitted.
Once the employee has accepted and is in Italy, they have 8 days to declare their presence at the Sportello Unico per l’immigrazione in the city the application was submitted.
Then, the permit will be valid until the period agreed and then renewal may be considered.
The rights of a transfer-worker
Those employed via the intra-corporate transfer process retain the same rights as regular Italian workers, with such opportunities to join trade unions, associations, and also may be entitled to access goods and services offered to Italian workers. However, some social services may not be applicable to the transferred employee, such as housing and employment services.
Worker’s relatives may take advantage of a visiting permit for the duration of employment, as outlined in art. 29 of the Consolidated Immigration Act.
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