The intra transfer is a category that allows international firms to transfer competent employees to Canada on a temporary basis to improve management efficiency, expand Canadian exports, and boost competitiveness in foreign markets.
In order to be qualified for transfer under the ICT category, foreign nationals must have previously worked in Canada under this category and have been assigned to a branch of the same company in a foreign country for at least 12 months.
Furthermore, the home company must have been in operation for a minimum of 12 months (though it is preferred to have been operational for at least three years) before expanding to Canada.
The ICT category is applicable to all countries, and the employee must be employed by a multinational company seeking to enter Canada to work at the parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate of the company.
The intra-company transfer stream of the International Mobility Program allows foreign nationals to obtain a work permit without the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). In other words, a work permit acquired through an intra-company transfer program is exempt from the requirement to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
There are 4 main requirements for being eligible for this program.
- registered Canadian company
- office space under the name of this corporation
- business plan with financial forecasts
- future recruitment plan.
In general, if the above-mentioned requirements are met, a one-year work permit will be granted to the applicant (owner of the company). If the business owner provides proof of his/her organization’s ability to be established in Canada, this one-year work permit renews by the end of the year.
As an intracompany transferee, both the individual and the firm must fulfill several requirements in order to be eligible for an LMIA exemption.
General Requirements for the Employee
- In order to work in Canada, you must be hired by a multinational company looking to come to Canada
- In order to be eligible, Canadian businesses and foreign companies must have one of the qualifying relationships listed below.
- There must be a job offer from a Canadian employer that requires specialized knowledge for the foreign national to be eligible for the visa
- Must have been employed with the company for at least 1 year (full time employment) with the company within the previous 3 years
Transferees must have at least 12 months of full-time work experience with the foreign enterprise before coming to Canada to perform comparable work. Important to point out that work in Canada must fall under one of three categories of executive or managerial capacity or specialized knowledge for foreign workers.
A position must have some or all of the following qualities in order to meet the criteria of executive capability:
- Guides the management of the organization or a core part or functions within the organization; creates the organization’s goals and policies
- has broad autonomy in determining decisions
- and gets only general supervision or direction from higher-level executives, the board of directors, or the organization’s stockholders.
A position must have some or all of the following conditions in terms of meeting the criteria of managerial capacity:
- supervises the organization as a whole, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of it
- administers a vital function inside the company, such as executive or management function, or a department or subdivision of the organization, or supervises and regulates the work of other supervisory, professional, or management workers
- has the right to recruit and fire, as well as suggest other personnel activities (such as promotion and leave authorization)
- Functions at senior managers level within the organizational hierarchy or with relation to the function controlled if no other employee is immediately overseen
- and has authority over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which he or she is responsible
A position must need both proprietary knowledge and advanced competence to match the criteria of a specialized knowledge worker. These are specified under NAFTA as the following:
Proprietary Knowledge is defined as “company-specific knowledge relating to a company’s product / service.” It suggests that the corporation has not disclosed details that would enable other firms to copy the product or service.”
Advanced Expertise is defined as “specialized knowledge acquired through substantial (i.e., the longer the experience, the more likely the knowledge is indeed “specialized”) and current (i.e., within the last 5 years) experience with the organization and used by the person to make a significant contribution to the employer’s production efficiency.”
General Requirements for the multi national company
The relationship between the business outside of Canada and the enterprise inside Canada must be one of the ones that follow: parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate. To begin operations in Canada, the company must have the financial resources to compensate employees.
The two companies must be conducting business on a legitimate and continuing establishment. This means that they provide products and services on a regular and ongoing basis. The mere existence of a site in Canada will not be enough to fulfill this condition.
To apply for a Canada Intra Company Transfer visa, you will need to gather several documents to submit with your application. These may include:
- Completed and signed forms for an LMIA-exempt work permit
- An online offer of employment submitted through the Employer Portal
- A business plan for the transfer to Canada (if applicable)
- Documentation for both foreign and Canadian companies, such as articles of incorporation, business tax returns, profit and loss statements, licenses to do business, partnership agreements, and registration with tax authorities
- Evidence of current employment, such as pay stubs, dividend payments, and shareholder certificates
- An invitation letter from a Canadian company
Please keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list of all required documents, but rather a general overview.
How to apply for intra company transfer?
it’s important to confirm that you meet the eligibility criteria and develop a solid strategy for presenting your case to the immigration authorities.
To ensure the success of your application, follow these steps:
- Have your company registered in Canada as a parent, subsidiary or affiliate of your home company
- Confirm that you meet the eligibility criteria for the immigration program you are applying for. This may involve reviewing the requirements and gathering any necessary documentation to support your application.
- Develop a strong strategy for presenting your case to the Canadian immigration authorities. This may include conducting market research and creating a detailed business plan outlining your proposed business activity and how you plan to operate profitably in Canada. Make sure to include your hiring plan and cash flow projections for at least 2-3 years.
- Gather all of the required documents for your application, such as bank statements, articles of incorporation, and evidence of investment funds.
- Prepare your work permit application and submit it to the appropriate authorities.
It’s important to note that the process may vary depending on your nationality, and citizens of some countries may be able to apply for an ICT Work Permit at the port of entry if their country has an agreement with Canada.
Intra company transfer Canada processing time
The processing time for Canada’s intra-company transfer work permits is typically 1-2 months, but due to COVID-19, it may take 3-4 months to receive a decision on the application. The processing time may also vary depending on the visa office responsible for your country, so it is best to check with the IRCC specific to the Visa Office for your country for more accurate processing time estimates.
Duration of Intra-Company Transfer Work Permits in Canada:
The initial work permit is usually granted for 1 year, although in certain cases it may be issued for 2 years if the company in Canada is a subsidiary of the established foreign company. The maximum duration of the work permit depends on the employee’s role, with executives and senior managers eligible for a work permit that is valid for up to 7 years, and specialized knowledge workers eligible for a work permit that is valid for up to 5 years. After reaching the maximum work permit duration, intra-company transferees must complete one year of full-time employment outside of Canada in order to re-apply as an intra-company transferee.
Intra Company Transfer Visa to PR
The Canada intra company transfer (ICT) visa is a great option for foreign business owners who want to transfer their businesses to Canada and work in their company as an executive, manager, or skilled worker in a specialized field. This immigration pathway, which is part of the International Mobility Program, allows qualified individuals to obtain a work permit and eventually permanent residence (PR) in Canada. If you are interested in applying for the ICT visa and becoming a permanent resident of Canada, you will need to meet the eligibility requirements and provide all necessary documentation in your application.