As the global economy continues to expand, multinational companies are increasingly seeking ways to transfer their top talent to new markets. One such way is through the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) program, which allows entrepreneurs to appoint and relocate employees in Canada to work for their company’s Canadian subsidiary.
The Canadian ICT program is designed to facilitate the transfer of senior executives, managers, and specialized knowledge workers to Canada, providing them with valuable work experience while also benefiting Canadian companies and the economy.
If you are employed by an organization that has a parent-subsidiary, branch, company, or affiliate in Canada You may be eligible for a Canadian working permit by utilizing an Canada Intra company Transfer program.
Intra-company transfers from Canada are a common method for workers from abroad to relocate to Canada. Approved applicants under the Canada Intra-company transfer program will receive temporary work permits.
The experience gained through an intra-company transferee in Canada could be used as a way to gain permanent residency in Canada since Canadian work experiences are highly valued in the points-based system of immigration in Canada.
In this article, we will explore the details of the Canada Intra Company transfer program, including its eligibility requirements, the application process, benefits, and limitations.
What is Canada Intra Company Transfer
Canada Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) is a program that authorizes international firms to move talented workers from their domiciliary offices to their Canadian branches.
This program is designed to facilitate the transfer of specialized knowledge and expertise within multinational corporations, while also supporting the growth of the Canadian economy.
Under the Canada Intra Company Transfer program, foreign workers who have been employed by their company for at least one year can be transferred to a Canadian office for a period of up to three years. The worker must hold a senior executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge position, and their transfer must be to a related Canadian entity.
To be eligible for the Canada ICT program, the Canadian branch of the company must provide evidence of the need for the transferred employee and must ensure that the employee will be paid the same wage as a Canadian employee in a similar position.
The program is managed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and there are specific requirements and application procedures that must be followed by both the company and the employee.
Overall, the Canada ICT program provides a pathway for multinational companies to bring specialized knowledge and expertise to their Canadian operations, while also providing opportunities for foreign workers to gain valuable international experience.
Categories that fall under Intra-company transfers
If you want to become able to work for Canada through the Intra-Company transfer program, foreign workers must fit into one of the three types:
Executives: The primary ones in charge of the administration of the business or a significant component of the enterprise, and receive general (if they have any) oversight from executives at a higher level.
Managers: The senior ranks control all or a part of the company and supervise or oversee the work of the other professional employees or managers.
People with “specialized expertise’: Ones who can demonstrate a specialized understanding of the company’s products or services, as well as a high level of understanding of the business’s processes and procedures.
In all instances, employees transferring to Canada must have at the minimum an entire year’s full-time working experience in the foreign business and have come to Canada to do similar work.
How to Apply for Canada Intra Company Transfer Work Permit?
To apply for an Canada Intra Company Transfer (ICT) work permit, the foreign worker and the Canadian company must follow a specific process.
Here are the general steps:
The foreign worker and the Canadian company should review the eligibility requirements for the Canada ICT program to ensure they meet all the criteria.
Obtain a job offer
The Canadian company must provide the foreign worker with a valid job offer. The job offer should include details about the position, the duration of the transfer, the salary, and other terms and conditions of employment.
Gather supporting documents
The foreign worker and the Canadian company must gather all the necessary supporting documents, such as proof of employment, educational credentials, and proof of language proficiency.
Submit the application
To apply for a work permit, foreign workers must apply online or via a document to a Canadian visa office in their nation of residence or country of legal status.
Pay the fees
The foreign worker must pay the application fee for the work permit, as well as any other fees required, such as biometrics.
Obtain the work permit
If the application is approved, the foreign worker will be issued an ICT work permit, which will allow them to work in Canada for the duration of the transfer.
Eligibility Criteria for Canada Intra-Company Transfer
To apply for an Canada Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) work permit, both the Canadian company and the foreign worker must meet certain requirements and provide specific documents.
Here are some of the key requirements and documents needed for the Canadian ICT program.
Requirements for the Canadian company:
- The company must be a multinational corporation with a Canadian office that is a subsidiary, branch, or affiliate of the foreign company.
- The company must provide evidence that the foreign worker is being transferred to Canada for a specific and temporary purpose related to the company’s business.
- The company must comply with Canadian immigration and employment laws and regulations.
- The Canadian company must offer a valid employment proposal to the foreign employee.
- The company must submit the appropriate processing fees.
Requirements for the foreign worker:
- The foreign employee should be hired by the foreign company for a minimum of 1 year within the previous 3 years.
- The foreign worker must hold a senior executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge position in the foreign company.
- The foreign worker must be repositioned to a related entity in Canada, such as a subsidiary, branch, or companion of the foreign firm.
- The foreign worker should possess a legit employment offer from the Canadian entity.
- The foreign employee should fulfill the conditions for admissibility to Canada, such as passing a medical inspection and acquiring a police certification, if mandated.
Document Requirements for ICT Program in Canada
Down below we’ve listed some of the key document requirements for the Canada Intra company transfer program:
- A copy of the foreign worker’s passport or travel document.
- A copy of the employment letter from the Canadian entity.
- Proof of the foreign worker’s qualifications and work experiences, such as a resume, educational credentials, and employment letters.
- Proof of the foreign worker’s ties to their home country, such as evidence of family ties or property ownership.
- Evidence of the Canadian company’s business activities and financial standing, such as financial statements or business plans.
- Proof of payment of the processing fees.
It’s essential to remark that further documents may be required relying on the precise occurrences of the case.
Cost for Intra Company Transfer Program in Canada
The cost for the Canada Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) program can vary depending on several factors, such as the specific circumstances of the transfer and the fees charged by the Canadian government for processing the application.
The following are a few of the primary expenses and fees attached to the program:
- Application fees: The foreign worker must pay a fee to apply for a work permit in Canada. As of 2023, the expense for an employment visa application is CAD 155.
- Biometrics fee: In addition to the application fee, the foreign worker may also be required to pay a biometrics fee to provide fingerprints and a photo. As of 2023, the biometrics fee is CAD 85.
- Legal fees: It’s recommended to work with an immigration lawyer or consultant to ensure a smooth application process. The cost of legal fees can differ as per the complexity of the issue and the services provided.
- Travel and relocation expenses: The foreign worker may need to cover the costs of travel and relocation to Canada, such as airfare, temporary housing, and shipping of personal belongings.
- Salary and benefits: The Canadian company must provide the foreign worker with a competitive salary and benefits package, which may include relocation expenses, health insurance, and other benefits.
Canadian ICT Work Permit Duration
A Canada Intra company transfer permit to work is typically issued for a period of 1 to 2 years. If applying for an entrepreneur-in-the-making, the work permit is only valid for a year. However, some of the citizens of visa-free countries can benefit from a three-year WP.
The Canadian work permit can be renewed for an additional two to three years to a maximum of five years for specialist workers, and seven years for managers and executives.
However, immigration authorities can issue work permits for just one year to those who are employed by companies that are newly established in Canada. US nationals as well as other citizens from countries with visa exemptions (like Australia, the UK, EU, Japan, etc.) can benefit from Free Trade Agreements their nations share with Canada and can obtain a three-year ICT working permit.
As part of the program, it’s possible to get a WP by obtaining the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemption (C12). In certain instances, LMIA will be required.
Canadian Residency for Indian Business Owners
The Canada Intra Company Transfer (ICT) program can provide Indian business owners with a pathway to Canadian residency if they meet the eligibility requirements.
To qualify for the Canadian ICT program, the business owner should be hired by the same multinational firm for a minimum of 1 year in a senior executive, administrative, or technical proficiency role. Additionally, Canadian and foreign entities should possess a qualifying relationship, such as a parent, subsidiary, or companion connection.
If the business owner is approved for a work permit under the Canadian ICT program and meets certain requirements, they may be able to apply for permanent residency in Canada through other immigration programs.
For example, the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program is designed for foreign workers who have gained skilled work experience in Canada and can demonstrate language proficiency and other qualifications.
The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is another option for skilled workers who meet specific requirements like language expertise, education, and job experience.
Open a branch office in Canada as per the Intra company transfer program
Opening a branch office in Canada under the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) program involves several steps, including:
The initial process is to decide if your company is qualified for the ICT program. To be eligible, your company must be a multinational corporation with a Canadian office that is a subsidiary, branch, or affiliate of the foreign company.
Establish a Canadian entity
If your company does not already have a Canadian office, you will need to establish a Canadian entity. This may involve registering your company with the appropriate federal and provincial authorities, obtaining a business number, and opening a Canadian bank account.
Develop a business plan
You will need to develop a business plan for your Canadian office that outlines the purpose of the transfer, the activities of the Canadian entity, and the financial projections for the operation.
Identify the foreign worker
Once you have established the Canadian entity, you can identify the foreign worker who will be transferred to Canada under the ICT program. The foreign worker must hold a senior director, administrative, or specialized mastery position in the foreign firm, and should be employed by the firm for a minimum of 1 year within the previous 3 years.
Prepare and submit the application
You will need to prepare and submit an application for the foreign worker’s work permit under the ICT program in Canada. The application should include all required documents and fees and should demonstrate that the foreign worker meets the eligibility requirements for the program.
Facilitate the transfer
Once the work permit is approved, you can facilitate the transfer of the foreign worker to Canada. This may involve arranging for travel, temporary housing, and other logistics.
Once the foreign worker is in Canada, you can commence operations of the Canadian entity and start realizing the benefits of the Canadian ICT program, such as the transfer of specialized knowledge and expertise within the company.
It’s important to note that the process of opening a branch office in Canada under the ICT program can be complex, and may require the assistance of professional advisors such as immigration lawyers and accountants.
Get a guaranteed work permit through the Canada Intra-Company Transfer program
While the program is designed to facilitate the transfer of foreign workers to Canada, each application is evaluated on a case-by-case basis and must meet certain requirements.
The immigration officer who reviews the application will consider various factors, such as the job duties and qualifications of the foreign worker, the labor market conditions in Canada, and the overall benefit to the Canadian economy.
It’s also important to note that the ICT program is a temporary work permit program and does not provide a direct path to permanent residency in Canada. While foreign workers might be capable to lay for permanent living through other immigration schedules, such as the Express Entry system.
To be qualified for a work permit under the ICT program, the foreign worker should be hired by the same multinational firm for a minimum of one year in a senior director, administrative, or specialized proficiency role.
The procedure of filing for a permanent living could be tricky and competitive and may require the assistance of professional advisors such as immigration lawyers and consultants.
Benefits of Canada Intra Company Transfer Program
The Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) program in Canada offers several benefits for both Canadian companies and foreign workers who participate in the program.
Here are some of the main benefits:
- Facilitates the transfer of specialized knowledge and expertise: The Canada ICT program allows multinational corporations to transfer qualified employees from their foreign offices to their Canadian branches, which helps to facilitate the transfer of specialized knowledge and expertise within the company.
- Supports the growth of the Canadian economy: By bringing in skilled workers from other countries, the ICT program supports the growth of the Canadian economy by filling critical skills gaps and contributing to innovation and competitiveness.
- Streamlines the immigration process: The ICT program offers a streamlined immigration process for foreign workers and Canadian companies, which can save time and reduce paperwork compared to other immigration programs.
- Offers a temporary pathway to work in Canada: The ICT program offers a temporary pathway for foreign workers to gain valuable international experience and work in Canada for a period of up to three years.
- Provides opportunities for career development: By participating in the ICT program, foreign workers can gain exposure to new markets, develop their skills and expertise, and potentially advance their careers within the multinational corporation.
Limitation of Intra company Transfer Program
While the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) program offers many benefits for multinational companies and their employees, there are also some limitations to consider.
Here are some key limitations of the ICT program:
- Limited to certain job categories: The ICT program is only available for senior executives, managers, and specialized knowledge workers. Other types of workers, such as entry-level employees or skilled tradespeople, are not eligible for the program.
- Temporary work permit: The ICT program only provides a temporary work permit, which is valid for up to three years for managers and executives, and up to one year for specialized knowledge workers.
- While the work permit can be renewed, there is no guarantee of approval, and the foreign worker may eventually need to return to their home country.
- Limited to certain types of companies: To be eligible for the ICT program, the foreign and Canadian business should possess must a qualifying connection, such as a parent, associate, or companion relationship. This means that standalone companies or companies without a qualifying relationship with a Canadian entity are not eligible for the program.
- Limited to certain countries: The ICT program is only available to foreign workers from countries that have a free trade agreement with Canada, such as the United States, Mexico, and many European countries. Workers from other countries may be eligible for other types of work permits, but not the ICT program.
- No direct path to permanent residency: While the ICT program can provide valuable work experience in Canada, it does not provide a direct path to permanent residency. Foreign workers may be able to appeal for permanent residency via distinct immigration ways, but there is no guarantee of approval.
Overall, the ICT program can be a useful tool for multinational companies to transfer their top talent to Canada. However, it’s important to be aware of the limitations and to explore other options if the ICT program is not a good fit.
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With the ongoing expansion of the global economy and the increasing demand for skilled talent in various industries, the ICT program is likely to remain a relevant and effective tool for multinational companies to expand their operations and for foreign workers to advance their careers in Canada.
Furthermore, for Indian business owners and other foreign workers who meet the eligibility criteria, the Canada ICT program can provide a pathway to Canadian residency through other immigration programs.
This not only benefits the foreign workers themselves but also helps to address Canada’s labor market needs and contribute to the country’s overall social and economic development.
It is crucial to seek assistance from professional advisors such as immigration lawyers from Odint Consultancy to navigate the process and increase the chances of success.
The applicant must be seeking employment within Canada in a job at the executive level, the senior manager, or in a position that requires specific expertise.
The typical duration of processing for an intra-company transfer is between 2 and 10 weeks however there are options for processing priority.
ICT can be described as an immigration path that permits eligible foreign business owners to move their businesses to Canada and obtain work permits. The ICT route will permit you to apply for ICT Work Permits, and then eventually permanent residency (PR).
Once intra-company transferees have reached their maximum working permit duration which is 7 years in the case of senior executives and managers or five for employees with knowledge.
The primary benefit of this permission is it permits the temporary introduction of HQ or corporate personnel and allows these employees to remain on the payroll of a foreign company.