Intra-Company Transfer Canada (ICT)

Immigration Consultants In Toronto, Ontario

Transfer of Employee – Work Permit

This work permit is designed to facilitate the transfer of employees from a foreign-based company to its related Canadian company. The purpose of this type of visa is to encourage the transmission of knowledge from foreign senior-level or specialized-knowledge employees to Canada. There is a similar Intra-Company Transfer work permit available under the CanadaUnited-States-Mexico Agreement, however under this category, foreign nationals from any country may qualify for an intra-company transfer Canada work permit. Another feature of this type of work permit is that in most cases the applicant will be entitled to have their spouse accompany them on an open work permit.

Intra-company transferees may apply for a Canadian work permit without the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which makes the process simpler, faster and cost efficient.

This LMIA-exemption is based on the “significant economic benefit to Canada” brought by the temporary transfer of qualified employees who will use their expertise to Canadian businesses.

General requirements - Transferee

Intra-company transferees may apply for work permits without an LMIA if they:

  1. Are currently employed by a parent company that has a subsidiary, a branch, or an affiliate in Canada.
  2. Have been employed continuously by the parent company in a similar full-time position (not accumulated part-time) for at least one year in the previous three-year period.
  3. Are being transferred to a position in one of three categories: executive, senior manager, or worker with specialized knowledge.
  4. Are coming to Canada for a temporary period only.
  5. Comply with all immigration provisions for temporary work in Canada.

General requirements - Company

The parent company must demonstrate a qualifying relationship with the subsidiary, the branch or the affiliate in Canada, both of them must be actively “doing business” (regularly and continuously providing goods and/or services).

Intra-company Transfer Categories

  1. Executives
    Executives are employees who direct the management of the company or a major component of it, establishing goals and policies and with a large discretionary power of decision-making.
  2. Senior managers
    Senior managers are employees who primarily manage the company, a department or a component, and also supervise and control the work of other managers and employees. They have authority to manage human, financial and/or material resources.
  3. Workers with specialized knowledge
    Applicants under this category must demonstrate that they possess a high standard of “specialized knowledge” or a “knowledge at an advanced level of expertise”, related to the company’s product or services.

Duration of work permits

  • Initial work permit: one year, but it is renewable
  • For renewals, evidence should be provided that
    • The Canadian and foreign companies still have a qualifying relationship.
    • The new office has engaged in the continuous provision of goods or services for the past year.
    • The new office has been staffed.

Documentation requirements

The following documentation is required:

  • Confirmation that the foreign national is currently employed by a multi-national enterprise outside Canada, and seeking entry to work in a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate of that enterprise in Canada.
  • Confirmation that the foreign national has been employed (via payroll or by contract) continuously (full-time, not accumulated part-time) by the enterprise outside Canada, in a similar full-time position, for at least one year within the three-year period immediately preceding the date of initial application;
  • Outline of the applicant’s position in an executive or managerial capacity or one involving specialized knowledge (i.e. position, title, place in the organization, job description);
  • In the case of “specialized knowledge”, evidence that the person has such knowledge and that the position in Canada requires such knowledge.
  • Outline of the position in Canada (namely, position, title, place in the organization, job description);
  • Indication of intended duration of stay; and
  • Description of the relationship between the enterprise in Canada and the enterprise in the foreign country (the officer may request tangible proof to establish the relationship between the Canadian and foreign organization wishing to make the transfer).

Transfer of Business - Start-Ups

There are additional requirements for multi-national corporations seeking to establish operations in Canada. When applying for an ICT Start-Up visa, applicants must demonstrate their company’s ability to become established in Canada.

The parent company must secure physical premises in Canada and must have the financial ability to start its business activity and compensate its employees. However, where the foreign worker will be an executive or senior manager, then the company may use its counsel’s address until the foreign worker can purchase or lease a premise.

The company must show that:

  • They have realistic plans to staff the new operation.
  • They have the financial ability to commence business in Canada and compensate employees.
  • In the case where managers are being transferred, that they are large enough to support several managerial or executive functions; and
  • Where the transferring entity is a specialised knowledge employee, that the work is being guided and directed by a manager.

Work permits for start-ups are typically one-year, although it is not uncommon for officers to issue work permits valid for three-years where the officer is more than convinced that the operations in Canada will be successful.

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