SWEDEN: Intra Company Transfer directive

As per 1 March 2018 the Swedish authorities have implemented the Intra Company Transfer (ICT) directive that has been rolled out in several other European countries starting in 2016. As reported in previous editions of ReloTalk, the ICT directive is a European directive which set out new regulations encompassing the transfer of employees that are employed with a sending entity outside the EU to a receiving entity within the same group of companies inside the EU. To fall within the scope of the directive, the applicant should be based outside of the EU at the time of application.

Similar to other European countries that have implemented the directive, Sweden has also outlined the following criteria that dictates whether an applicant is eligible for an ICT permit:

  • The applicant must have been employed by the sending entity for at least 3 continuous months
  • The applicant must be a manager, specialist or trainee
  • The salary must conform to market standards for the position that is being applied for, at a level that is agreed as per the Swedish Collective Labour Agreement

The terms of the employment will be analysed and determined on whether they meet national standards set by a local Swedish trade union. This might be an influence on the lead time for ICT applications, which is currently estimated to be 90 days, a much longer decision making period than other countries that have implemented the directive.

Currently the applications can only be filed by paper but the authorities are aiming to start online applications in the coming month. Even visa exempt nationals will still have to collect the approval decision at a Swedish embassy or consulate abroad. Both of these factors will also add lead time to a transfer.

The maximum duration of the ICT permit is set at 3 years, however, once this maximum period is reached the Swedish authorities have announced that it will be possible for the holder to submit an application under national law should they meet the conditions for a national permit at the time. 

How does this affect the client?

Employers should take the new changes into account and ensure that their processes are up to date. In case an applicant falls within the scope of the directive, employers should ensure that the correct application is made for them. It is also important to note the lengthy lead time of 90 days; although it has been noted that this lead time might decrease, it is still important for employers to consider this for applications being filed now.

One great benefit of this ICT directive in Sweden is that for holders of an ICT permit from another EU country, who will work in Sweden for a short stay of less than 90 days, will not be required to give notification to the authorities, instead they will be permitted to work immediately as long as the work is performed within the same corporate group.


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