Intra-Company Transfers to Canada

08 November, 2022

Intra-Company Transfers to Canada

Work for a company with a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate in Canada. You may be able to secure a Canadian work permit through the Intra-company transfer program.

Approved applicants through the Intra-company transfer program obtain a temporary work permit. Work experience gained as an intra-company transferee in Canada may be a springboard to permanent residence in Canada, as Canadian work experience is highly valued under Canada's points-based immigration system.

Accompanying family members may also join the foreign worker in Canada, with the spouse or common-law partner of the intra-company transferee able to work in Canada on an open work permit.

Employers bringing international staff to Canada as intra-company transferees are exempt from the requirement to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

For this reason, the process can be quicker, simpler, and more cost-effective than the LMIA route. In addition, qualified intra-company transferees provide 'significant economic benefit to Canada' by transferring their skills and expertise to the Canadian labour market. 

Employees may apply to get an ICT work permit if they:

  • Are currently employed by a multi-national company and seeking entry to Canada to work in a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate of that company.
  • They are transferring to a company with a qualifying relationship with the company where they are currently employed. They will be used at a legitimate and continuing company establishment in Canada.
  • Have been continuously employed (via payroll or a contract) by the company that plans to transfer them to Canada in a similar full-time position for at least one year in the three years immediately preceding the date of the initial application.
    • If the employee worked part-time, IRCC might consider other factors like the number of years of work experience with the foreign company, there the position with the one in CIn addition, the extent of the part-time job, and whether there are signs the company is looking to abuse the purpose of the ICT work permit.
    • Suppose there is a recent corporate acquisition or merger. In that case, it is not required for the employee to have worked for the company for a year, provided the employee has worked for one of the affiliates for at least one year in the previous three years. However, the successor entity must demonstrate that it has assumed the original company's interests, obligations, assets, and liabilities and continues to operate the same business as the original company.
  • Are coming to Canada for a temporary period only.
  • Comply with all of Canada's immigration requirements for temporary entry.

Also, to be eligible to work in Canada under the Intra-Company Transfer program, foreign workers must fall into one of three defined categories:

  • Executives primarily direct the management of the enterprise, or a significant component thereof, and receive only general (if any) supervision from higher-level executives.
  • Senior managers manage all or part of the enterprise and supervise or control the work of other managers or professional employees.
  • Workers with 'specialized knowledge can demonstrate specialized knowledge of the enterprise's product or service or an advanced level of expertise in the enterprise's processes and procedures.

In all cases, workers being transferred to Canada must have at least one year of full-time work experience with the foreign enterprise and be coming to Canada to perform comparable work. There must be a qualifying relationship between the employer and employee for a work permit to be issued.

Intra-company transferees are often in a solid position to become permanent residents of Canada, should they wish to do so. Permanent residents can reside and work in any location in Canada.

There may also be options to transition to a permanent residence outside the Express Entry system, such as through one of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).

Ultimately, some people who begin working in Canada as intra-company transferees may become naturalized Canadian citizens. This step comes after the granting of permanent residence.

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