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Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permits

The Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit is designed to facilitate the transfer of senior management, key personnel or trainees who are non-EEA nationals from an overseas branch of a multinational corporation (Foreign Employer) to its Irish branch (Connected Person).

In particular, Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permits can be invaluable in the initial establishment of a foreign direct investment company. Therefore, they have a role in contributing to Ireland’s achievement of its job growth ambitions.

The main attraction of this permit is that it facilitates the temporary injection of corporate or HQ personnel and also provides for such employees to stay on the foreign payroll. This can be desirable for the employee as it can ensure they retain certain benefits (e.g. foreign pension contributions).

Criteria for Eligibility

The Department recognises that there may be situations where an Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit is necessary in order for the Irish based branch of the company to grow or successfully achieve an important project. However, it cannot be used to permanently substitute the filling of a vacancy which otherwise would have resulted in a job opportunity for the labour market. The Department’s preference is for all Employment Permit holders to be employed, salaried and paid under an Irish employment contract and therefore in the case of Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permits it applies strict criteria in these situations as employees are remaining employed by a foreign based employer.

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation examines a number of criteria when assessing an Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit application. The full details of what is required are set out on the prescribed relevant application form.

Where the transfer is short-term (i.e. up to 3 months) the applicant may wish to consider applying to Department of Justice and Equality under the Atypical Working Scheme.

An Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit is not available for positions which are listed on the list of Ineligible Categories of Employment for Employment Permits.

Foreign National Criteria

In terms of the criteria relating to the foreign national, Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permits are strictly limited to the following eligible positions:

  • Senior management earning a minimum annual remuneration of €40,000;
  • Key personnel earning a minimum annual remuneration of €40,000; or
  • Personnel undergoing a training programme earning a minimum annual remuneration of €30,000.

See “Remuneration Criteria” below for additional information on what remuneration means for the holder of an Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit.

Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permits will not be considered in respect of applications where the minimum remuneration requirement for the position is not met.

Senior Management refers to persons primarily having one of the following functions:

  • Management of the organisation, or a department, subdivision, function or component of the organisation;
  • Supervision or control over the work of other supervisory, professional or managerial employees, or management of an essential function within the organisation, or a department or subdivision of the organisation;
  • having the authority to hire and terminate employees or recommend same, as well as other human resource functions; or
  • Exercise discretion over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which the foreign national has the authority.

Key personnel refers to persons working within an organisation who possess specialist knowledge essential to the establishment’s service, research equipment, techniques or management. In assessing such knowledge, account will be taken of whether the person has a high level of qualification or experience relating to the type of work or trade requiring specific technical knowledge, including membership of an accredited profession. Upon making an application the company would have to show how the employee fits into this category in terms of the employee’s qualifications and experience.

Personnel participating in a training programme refer to persons transferring for training purposes for a maximum of 12 months, provided it is adequately demonstrated that a detailed training programme will be undertaken.

Minimum periods of employment with Foreign Employer prior to transfer

In relation to Senior Management or Key Personnel the foreign national in question must have been working for a minimum period of 6 months with the overseas company prior to transfer in order to support the contention that the person is integral to the organization.

If the application is in respect of Training the foreign national must have been working for the Foreign Employer for a minimum period of 1 month prior to the transfer.

Where the foreign national ceases to be employed by the foreign employer or ceases to carry out duties for, or participate in the training programme, or when the permit expires the foreign national in question must return to their country of origin.

In accordance with Section 12(1)(e) of the Employment Permits Act 2006 as amended, a new Employment Permit (for a different employer) cannot be considered if less than 12 months has elapsed since the permit holder first commenced employment in the State pursuant to an Employment Permit. However, the Department will permit a Trainee on an Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit to apply for a Critical Skills Employment Permit or a General Employment Permit during the 12 month period.

Spouses/partners/dependants of Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit holders are not eligible for a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit and must apply for a separate Employment Permit in their own right e.g. a Critical Skills Employment Permit or a General Employment Permit in line with the normal applicable criteria and rules for the Employment Permit type.

Foreign Employer and Connected Person Criteria

In terms of the criteria relating to the foreign employer and ‘connected person’ [Irish branch]:

  • The connected person in question must be bona fide (registered with the Company Registration Office as a company and with the Revenue Commissioners as an employer) and, other than start-ups, it must be trading and engaged in substantive business operations in Ireland. Proof may be requested of an applicant to show that it is trading - a simple “representative presence” in Ireland will not be sufficient.
  • The foreign branch of the organisation (“foreign employer”) in question must also be engaged in substantive business operations in the foreign country in question.  
  • The connected person must be linked with the foreign employer i.e.
    • Either one is a subsidiary of the other;
    • Both are subsidiaries of a holding company; or
    • Have entered into an agreement with another person whereby each of them agree to carry on business or provide services with each other in more than one state and to carry on business or provide services in the manner provided for in the agreement.
  • Documentary evidence of this link will be required.

Remuneration Criteria

Components

In order to achieve the minimum annual remuneration threshold of €40k (or €30k in the case of an Intra-Company Transfer trainee) for an Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit, the following components are deemed to be remuneration:

  • Basic salary to achieve at least National Minimum Wage or a rate of pay fixed under or pursuant to any enactment, as the first component of the remuneration package.
  • In addition, the following components may be added to bring the proposed remuneration to the appropriate Employment Permits threshold of either €40k or €30k:
    • A payment for board and accommodation, or either of them, or the monetary value of board and accommodation directly provided by the connected person or foreign employer
    • Health insurance payments made to a health insurer registered with the Health Insurance Authority on its Register of Health Benefits Undertakings under Section 14 Health Insurance Act, 1994 or what the Minister is satisfied is the equivalent.

Who pays what elements of the remuneration package?

The foreign employer is solely responsible for payment of salary to achieve National Minimum Wage or a rate of pay fixed under or pursuant to any enactment. Having achieved that, it is then a matter for either the foreign employer or the connected person to pay the additional components for board and accommodation, and health insurance, in order to achieve the minimum annual remuneration of €40k (or €30k in the case of an Intra-Company Transfer Trainee).

Required documentation/evidence

It is a condition of the grant of the Employment Permit that the following amounts are included in the non-EEA national’s payslips:

(a) The amount of the basic salary that is paid at the time of the making of the application by the foreign employer to the foreign national,
(b)  where the amount of basic salary is less than National Minimum Wage or a rate of pay fixed under or pursuant to any enactment, the additional payment to be made by the foreign employer to the foreign national,
(c) The total amount of the amounts referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b),
(d) All deductions to be made by the foreign employer on the amounts referred to in (a) and (b) above, (if any),
(e) in respect of the total amount referred to in (c) above, the amount to be paid to the foreign national during the period for which the employment permit is to be granted net of the deductions referred to in (d) above.

Payslips are required to be submitted at time of renewal of an Employment Permit. Payslips that do not clearly set out the basic salary as set out above will affect the application for renewal.

Information that clearly demonstrates either the payment or monetary value of the board and/or accommodation component of the remuneration package and/or the payment of health insurance will also be required at time of application for renewal of the Employment Permit.

Renewals of current Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permits

The revised definition of remuneration above has implications for those Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permits due for renewal post-commencement of the Employment Permits (Amendment) Act 2014. Further information can be found in the following Important Notice about the transitional arrangements for the renewal of Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permits. Failure to make the necessary changes could adversely affect an application for renewal.

The Process

The connected person, i.e. the Irish branch, must make the Employment Permit application for an Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit.

An application can be made online on the Employment Permits Online System. There is a User Guide available on the online system which guides the applicant through the process and details the documentary requirements for each employment permit type.

There are up to three stages in the passage of an employment permit application:

  1. Application Received (Awaiting Processing): Once an application is submitted and the associated fees, if appropriate, are recorded the application is then placed in the relevant processing queue depending on the Employer type i.e. Trusted Partner or Standard.  Please note that applications are processed strictly in date order by Employer Type and applicants can keep track of our current processing dates.  They can also check the progress of their specific application online on our new Online Status Update Enquiry facility.  
  2. Processing Stage: This stage is where the application is considered by a decision maker, an official with decision making authority. The processor may request additional information, if required, which should be returned within 28 days.   The processor will then either grant an application or refuse it for specific reasons.
  3. Review: Where an applicant wishes a refusal decision to be reviewed then he/she may do so within 28 days on the prescribed Submission of a Decision for Review Form. The review will be considered by a separate and more senior official. The confirmation of a refusal decision on review does not preclude the applicant from submitting a new application following all of the relevant procedures for the specific employment permit type.

The processing fee for a new Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit, which must be paid by the connected person, is:

  • €500 for an Employment Permit of 6 months or less duration or
  • €1,000 for an Employment Permit from 6 months up to 24 months duration.

The processing fee for a renewal of an Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit is:

  • €500 for an Employment Permit of 6 months or less duration
  • €1,000 for an Employment Permit from 6 months up to 24 months duration,
  • €1,500 - for an Employment Permit from six months, up to 36 months duration.

If an application is unsuccessful then 90% of the fee will be refunded. While the fee may be paid by a third party, current policy restricts refunds to applicants only (e.g. if the applicant was the connected person and their agent paid the fee, then the refund will still issue to the connected person). Detailed information on fee requirements and certain waivers can be found on our Fees for Employment Permits page.

In accordance with section 23 of the Employment Permits Act 2006, the connected person or the foreign employer, as applicable, may not make any deductions from the remuneration of, or seek to recover from, the holder of the employment permit concerned any charge, fee or expense related to the application.

Residency

Following a successful application for an Employment Permit, and if visa required, an applicant should apply to his/her local Irish Embassy/Consulate for an entry visa. An online visa application form may be found at www.inis.gov.ie. Contact details for Irish Embassies/Consulates and a list of visa required countries may be found on the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at www.dfa.ie.

Any persons wishing to enter the State, whether visa required or not, are subject to the usual immigration controls at the port of entry. Therefore, all relevant and supporting documentation, including the original Employment Permit, must be available for inspection by an Immigration Officer. Entry to the State is always at the discretion of the Immigration Officer.

An Employment Permit is not a Residence Permission. In order to be lawfully resident in the State, it is a requirement that all non-EEA nationals in possession of an Employment Permit must register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau. It is in the best interest of the persons concerned to register as soon as possible following arrival.   Immigration permission to remain should, where applicable, be renewed at least one month before the expiry date in order to avoid unlawful presence in the State.

Holders of Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permits do not accrue rights for long term residency purposes as the Employment Permit is available on the basis that the employment is temporary.

Renewals

This policy also applies to the holders of current Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permits which issued before the 1 October 2014.

The duration of an Intra-CT Employment Permit is for the defined period given with regard to the transfer.

Applications may be granted for a maximum period of up to 24 months in the first instance and may be extended upon application to a maximum stay of five years.  

An application in respect of the renewal of a permit can be made online on the Employment Permits Online System within 16 weeks prior to the expiry of the existing permit on the requisite form and supplying the information and documentation requested therein.

Transfer of Undertakings

The holders of Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permits may change employers where a transfer of employment has taken place under the European Communities (Protection of Employees on Transfer of Undertakings) Regulations 2003 (S.I. No. 131 of 2003).

Where pursuant to a transfer of undertaking, there is a change of name in the foreign employer (if within the EEA) or the connected person, the foreign employer or connected person (i.e. those whose names are on the existing Employment Permit) as applicable must arrange for the completion and submission to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation the prescribed Transfer of Undertaking form.

Where the change of name is pursuant to a transfer of undertaking, and it is confirmed that the terms, conditions, description and location/s as specified in the existing Employment Permit remain the same, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation will issue a new permit to the permit holder/s and certified copy/ies to the connected person. Failure to notify the Department of a Transfer of Undertaking could affect the application for renewal.

Cancellation of Employment Permits

In accordance with section 24(1A) of the Employment Permits Act 2006 as amended, should a non-EEA national, for whatever reason, cease to be employed by the foreign employer or the foreign national ceases to carry out duties for, or participate in the training programme, during the period of the Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permits validity, the permit and the connected person’s certified copy must be returned to the Department within 4 weeks from the date of termination or cessation. A connected person or a permit holder who fails to comply with this subsection is guilty of an offence.

All such permits which are returned to the Employment Permit Section in line with this will be changed to a Cancelled status on the Employment Permits Management System and these permits will no longer be valid.

2 September 2017

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