Intra-Company Transfer Work Permit in Canada: A Guide
Nov 16, 2023
Understanding the ICT Program
When it comes to facilitating the temporary transfer of foreign nationals for employment within their international employer’s Canadian operations, the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) work permit plays a pivotal role.
Key Aspects of the ICT Program
Before delving into the intricacies of obtaining a work permit through the ICT program, it’s essential to grasp two critical aspects:
- LMIA Exemption: Unlike many other work permit categories, the Intra-Company Transfer program is exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) requirement. This means that employers looking to transfer eligible employees to Canada don’t need to undergo the process of proving that the foreign national’s hiring will have a neutral or positive impact on Canada’s labor market.
Note: LMIA is a document employers seek to assess the potential impact of hiring a foreign national on Canada’s labor force.
- Nature of Work: To be eligible under the Intra-Company Transfer program, the applicant’s work in Canada must fall under the categories of “managerial, executive, or involving specialized knowledge.”
Defining Job Categories in Canada
Canada defines the job categories as follows:
- Managerial Positions: Divided into senior and functional managers.
- Senior Managers: Employees managing all or part of the enterprise, supervising/control the work of other managers or professional employees.
- Functional Managers: Employees managing a particular function essential to achieving the company’s goals, without necessarily managing employees.
- Executive Positions: Roles where an employee is primarily tasked with directing the management of either an entire corporation or a major part of it.
- Specialized Knowledge Positions: Jobs performed by employees with advanced expertise and proprietary knowledge of the enterprise’s products, services, processes, and procedures.
Who Is Eligible for an ICT Work Permit?
Eligibility for an ICT work permit spans across various levels, including employees, established companies, and start-ups. The criteria are different for each category:
To qualify for an Intra-Company Transfer work permit, employees must:
- Be currently employed at a foreign multi-national company (MNC) intending to transfer foreign employees to Canada.
- Be transferred to a Canadian company, whether a branch, parent company, subsidiary, or affiliate of their foreign employer.
- Undertake employment at a legitimate and continuing establishment of the company in Canada.
- Be compliant with all temporary entry requirements set for immigration to Canada.
- Have worked full-time for a minimum of one continuous year (in the last three years) in a role comparable to the position they will undertake in Canada.
However, exemptions may apply in certain situations:
- If the employee worked part-time for their foreign MNC, considering factors such as the number of years worked and comparability of positions.
- In the case of a recent corporate acquisition or merger related to the foreign MNC, where the “one continuous year” criterion may be bypassed under specific conditions.
Eligibility for an ICT Work Permit as an Established Company
Established companies aiming for an Intra-Company Transfer work permit must:
- Be a foreign MNC with a Canadian company, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate.
- Send the foreign national employee to a company operational in Canada, engaged in ongoing business transactions with the Canadian company receiving the ICT work permit applicant.
Eligibility for an ICT Work Permit as a Start-up
For foreign MNCs establishing a new business in Canada, specific criteria apply. Start-up ICT work permits are granted to organizations proving their capacity to establish themselves in Canada. The start-up must:
- Showcase the ability to financially support start-up costs, including employee compensation.
- Provide a comprehensive business plan outlining staffing and business operations in Canada.
- Prove the acquisition or active pursuit of a physical location for the start-up.
- Demonstrate that the company’s size will sufficiently support the functions of employees transferring to Canada.
- Showcase an expectation of doing business, with Canadian management responsible for directing work conducted within Canadian borders.
Successful applicants under the start-up segment receive a one-year temporary work permit, with the possibility of renewal if the start-up maintains a qualifying relationship with a Canadian entity, actively does business in Canada, and has staffed the new Canadian operations.
DEV Immigration: Your Partner in Simplifying the ICT Journey
At DEV Immigration, we recognize the complexities of Canada’s immigration landscape. Whether you’re an employee, an established company, or a start-up, our seasoned team provides tailored assistance, ensuring your application meets all requirements. Make your transition to Canada seamless – choose DEV Immigration as your reliable partner on this immigration journey.