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What is Intra Company Transfer to Canada?

Canada Intra Company Transfer Work Permit, sometimes called Canada ICT Visa, is suitable for key workers and owners of multinational corporations who will be transferred to work in the affiliated Canadian company, either start-up or established one. There are many advantages of intra company transfer to Canada, as compared to applying for a regular work permit. In addition to transferring expertise of key staff to the Canadian affiliate, getting ICT Work Permit is facilitated. It does not require LMIA [labour market impact assessment], qualifies for 2-week processing time under the Global Skills Strategy, as well as experience gained on ICT Work Permit can be used to facilitate immigration to Canada after one year of working for Canadian affiliate. Canada company transfer visa is frequently compared to a work permit based on the Owner Operator LMIA [labour market impact assessment], i.e., another option for business people to come, work in Canada as owner and operator of the business, and eventually immigrate benefiting from 200 points. If you meet the requirements under both programs, for a start-up company – better to first come via intra company transfer, and, once the Canadian operations are running (6-8 months later) apply for Owner Operator LMIA. A comparative analysis of ICT WP and OO LMIA requirements can be found here.

Canada Intra Company Transfer Rules

To be eligible for Intra Company Transfer Work Permit, there are four main requirements for:

Foreign nationals/ transferees – at the time of transfer to Canadian affiliate must have been working for a foreign entity continuously (i.e., no breaks in employment), full-time (i.e., 30 hours per week), in a similar position, for at least one year. Importantly, not all positions are eligible for ICT Canada visa. Only executives, senior managers, functional managers, and specialized knowledge workers (advanced knowledge in the job and proprietary knowledge about an international business's service or product) who will be transferred in a similar capacity to Canada. Executives and Senior Managers' job description, common duties, and responsibilities can be found in NOC 0013, NOC 0014, NOC 0015, NOC 0016. Often, the co-owners and owners/shareholders are acting as executives and general business managers, as long as they are not just passive investors. For example, a work reference letter, pay stubs, dividend payments, shareholder certificates, and other documents can be used to prove the employment requirement for Canada Intra Company Transfer Visa.

Foreign corporations/ current employers – must be a legal entity doing business, i.e., regularly, systematically, and continuously providing goods or services to the public for around year and a half or longer. For example, the company's activity can be proved by providing its articles of incorporation, business tax returns, profit and loss statements, license to do business, partnership agreements, business tax returns, registration with the tax authorities, etc.

Canadian corporation - must be a legal entity that is doing or will be doing business. This means that executives and senior managers can be transferred to a start-up company to establish operations. For example, the following supporting documents can be provided to show the start-up nature of the company - articles of federal or provincial incorporation, a statement from the Candian bank proving that around $100,000 is available to cover start-up expenditures, lease agreement, etc. Read more about Intra-Company Transfer for Office Startup in Canada.

Qualifying relationship between the foreign and Canadian entities - must be in a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate relationship. For example, if a Canadian company is a subsidiary, the international company either owns 50% of it or, possibly, less than 50%, but in that case, controls the Canadian subsidiary. Canadian affiliate means that it is and foreign company are both owned by another company or individual or group of persons. Canadian branch is an operating division or office of the same international company housed in a different location.

How to Apply for Intra Company Transfer Work Permit?

Canada Intra Company Transfer Visa Process varies depending on the nationality of a transferee. A temporary foreign worker from a country whose nationals are visa-exempt can apply for Intra Company Transfer Work Permit at the port of entry (POE). All others should apply online.

For example, in the case of Intra Company Transfer from USA to Canada, US citizens can apply at the POE. To make a case stronger and decrease waiting time, a temporary foreign worker can request an opinion from the IMWU [International Mobility Program Unit] to find out if an LMIA exemption applies to your situation. While it does not guarantee the issuance of ICT Work Permit, the opinion provided by the IMWU may be considered by the border services officer and speed up the process.

Documents Required for Intra Company Transfer to Canada include:
• Completed and signed application forms for the LMIA-exempt work permit.
• Online offer of employment submitted via the Employer Portal.
• Business Plan for Intra Company Transfer to Canada.
• Supporting documents for foreign and Canadian companies. For example, the company's activity can be proved by providing its articles of incorporation, business tax returns, profit and loss statements, license to do business, partnership agreements, business tax returns, registration with the tax authorities, bank statement to prove investment funds, etc.
• Proof of current employment for ICT transferee. For example, a work reference letter, pay stubs, dividend payments, shareholder certificates, etc.
• Invitation Letter from a Canadian company.

It is not the exhaustive list of supporting documents for Canada Intra Company Transfer, but it is an orienting point.

From Intra Company Transfer Visa to Canadian PR [Permanent Residnce]

After one year, intra company transfrees can use work experience gained on ICT Work Permit for immigration through Express Entry. With a valid job offer, additional 50 points will increase a foreign worker's CRS [Comprehensive Ranking System] Score increasing the chances to get an ITA [Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residnce]. If the foreign worker also owns (at least 51%) a Canadian company, then he may apply for Owner Operator LMIA [Labour Market Impact Assessment] to get additional 200 points for a valid job offer.

Consequently, intra company transfer can be treated as a valid job offer for Canada PR purposes in certain circumstances. While the foreign company can remunerate transferees for their work in Canada, for immigration to Canada purposes, it is better if the Canadian company pays salary and taxes, respectively.

ICT Work Permit Duration

The initial Intra Company Transfer Work Permit can be issued for a maximum of three years unless office start-up – one year. It can be renewed for two years. If a Canadian company further requires that employee, the extension is optional for up to a maximum of seven years cumulatively for executives and senior managers, or five years – for specialized knowledge workers.
After intra-company transferees have reached their maximum work permit duration, they must complete one year of full-time employment in the company outside Canada if they wish to re-apply for Inta Company Transfer To Canada.

Canada Intra Company Transfer Visa Processing Time

Applications under the Intra Company Transfer Program qualifies for 2-week processing time under the Global Skills Strategy. To benefit from this expedited service, the job must be in skill type 0 (managerial) or skill level A (professional), and the applicant must be applying from outside Canada. Otherwise, standard processing time applies and may vary depending on the country from where applying for Canada ICT Visa.

Intra Company Transfer to Canada - Investment and Fees

Generally, a corporation must show around $100,000 - $150,000 available funds to invest in Canadian operations, to cover first-year salaries, i.e., to hire at least one Canadian, and basic company expenses, which may include renting an office, marketing, procurement, etc.

Investment funds can be raised internally within the corporation or externally. Owners can show their personal savings too.

Application fees would include business plan preparation, employer compliance fee, work permit fee, biometrics (where applicable), and legal fees. If you are interested in Intra Company Transfer to Canada, call our experienced immigration lawyer or complete the free assessment form below. We will evaluate your eligibility for Intra Company Transfer Work Permit.

PR program

1. Applicant should have some previous business experience
2. Applicant can purchase an existing business or create a new business.
3. Applicant must invest at least $250,000 CAD or more. Anything less than $250,000 may weaken the application.
4. The department will only accept applications for those businesses that are in operation and actively doing business at the time that the applicant is submitted. Businesses that submit applications and are not actively doing business will be denied.
5. The applicant can own any percentage of shares of the business. More than 1 applicant can apply. If there are multiple applicants, they must each invest at least $250,000 CAD.
6. The business must demonstrate a need for the applicant or applicants to be physically in Canada.
7. The applicant must demonstrate that they will take on the role of an Executive or Senior Level Manager. The applicant needs to have an active role in the business.

• We will form a Canadian corporation for the applicant. The applicant will own 100% of this company and it will purchase the shares of the existing business or own the new business that will be created.
• A Business Plan will be required to demonstrate the purpose of the investment and what it will be used for. For example, purchase of shares, improvements to the business, expansion of business, etc.
• We will submit an LMIA application. Once it is approved, the applicant will be able to receive a work permit. The applicant and family (spouse and/or children) will be able to accompany the applicant. Children will be able to go to school. The spouse will receive an open work permit and can be authorized to work anywhere, and with any employer in Canada.
• Immediately upon arrival to Canada, we will proceed with preparations to submit an application for permanent residence for the applicant and his/her family.

Processing times:
Purchase of business (this depends on the applicant speed of action)
Business Plan 2-3 weeks
LMIA Application 1-3 months
Work Permit application (depends on what country the applicant is from)
Permanent Residence approx.. 1 year from date of application submissio

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