Intra-Company Transfers (ICT)

Advance your career and gain international work experience through an intra-company transfer.

Book a 30 min consultation and have an immigration lawyer advise you on your options based on your individual circumstances.

Intra Company Transfer work permits cover employees transferred temporarily from international companies to Canada. Generally, the purpose of ICT work permits is to improve management effectiveness, enhance competitiveness in overseas markets and expand Canadian exports.

Intra Company Transfer Primary Benefits

  • You may stay in Canada for extended periods.
  • You may bring your spouse and young children with you. You and your family may be eligible for provincial health care plans and domestic tuition fees.
  • Your spouse may be eligible for an open work permit.
  • For initial work permits, you may be eligible to apply at designated ports of entry, thereby facing a shorter processing time than other means of applications.
  • You may be coming to Canada to establish a start-up business (must meet extra requirements).
  • You may accumulate Canadian work experience and may have the option to obtain permanent residence in Canada.
  • There is no annual limit on the number of ICT work permits issued.
  • There are no set wage requirements.

Intra Company Transfer Basic Requirements

Positions qualified for ICT work permits are executive and senior managerial capacities, functional managers, or workers with specialized knowledge. 

You may be eligible for the ICT work permits guided by the general immigration provision, if: 

  • You may be citizens of any country; 
  • You have been employed continuously for at least 1 year in the past 3 years in a qualified position in an international company outside Canada.
  • You are being transferred to perform a similar role in the permanent and continuing establishment of a parent, subsidiary, branch or affiliate in Canada. 
  • Both foreign and Canadian companies must have a qualifying business relationship, and both are doing business. 
  • You and your employers must provide all necessary supporting documents. 
  • You must meet all other immigration requirements. 

Eligibility criteria of ICT work permits under international agreements are similar to those under general immigration provisions, except for the following: 

  • You must be a citizen of the Treaty Country (e.g. American or Mexican citizens for CUSMA/USMCA, EU citizens for CETA etc)

Intra Company Transfer Application Process

ICT work permits can be complex and require sufficient documentary evidence to qualify. In addition, the steps involved may vary depending on the country of nationality and the provisions you apply under.

Generally speaking, extensive supporting documents are required from employers to prove foreign workers’ continuous work experience, detailed description of intended work in Canada, and business and relationship evidence between Canadian and foreign companies.

For initial ICT work permits, you may be eligible to apply at Canadian ports of entry or foreign visa posts. Future extensions or renewals are usually processed through the Case Processing Centre.

ICT Processing Times

ICT work permits can be reasonably quick to obtain, as an individual can apply at a port of entry. The longest part of the application process is usually the document collection phase. You should expect this phase to take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Businesses and employees need to gather many documents to establish their eligibility.

Your lawyer will provide a comprehensive list of evidence you need to obtain. Once the documents are collected, your lawyer will review and organize them, then assess and confirm your eligibility. They will then proceed to complete your forms, prepare letters, and have you inspect the package before submission.

You may expect an initial ICT work permit of up to 3 years, with the exception of office start-up, which can have an initial length of up to 1 year.

Extensions are possible if all requirements are continued to be met. For executives and managers, a maximum of 7 years of stay may be possible; a maximum of 5 years cannot be exceeded for specialized knowledge workers.

Andrea Prunariu

If you have questions about the Canadian Visitor Visa process or are ready to start your application, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can provide you with the guidance and support you need to complete the process successfully.

Questions? Answers.

Got questions? We have answers.

To be eligible for an intra-company transfer (ICT) work permit, an employee must meet the following criteria:

  1. They must have been working for the company for at least one year before the transfer.
  2. They must be transferring to a position in Canada that is at a similar level to their current position.
  3. They must be transferring to a job that cannot be filled by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  4. They must have a valid job offer from the Canadian company that is registered to do business in Canada.

In addition to these criteria, the employee must also meet the general requirements for a work permit, including having a valid passport, being in good health, and having no criminal record. The employee’s spouse and children may also be eligible to apply for visas to accompany the employee to Canada.

It is important to note that an ICT work permit is a temporary work permit, and the employee must return to their home country at the end of the work permit period. If the employee wishes to stay in Canada permanently, they may be eligible to apply for permanent residence through the Express Entry system or through other immigration programs.

In order to qualify for an intra-company transfer (ICT) work permit, the Canadian and foreign companies must have a qualifying relationship. This means that the Canadian company must be a subsidiary, branch, or affiliate of the foreign company, or the foreign company must be the parent company of the Canadian company.

A subsidiary is a company that is completely or partially owned by another company (the parent company). A branch is a separate part of a company that operates in a different location from the main office. An affiliate is a company that has a relationship with another company but is not completely owned by that company.

To demonstrate the qualifying relationship between the Canadian and foreign companies, the employee must provide evidence of the ownership structure of the companies and the nature of the relationship between them. This may include documents such as articles of incorporation, shareholder agreements, and contracts.

It is important to note that the Canadian company must be registered to do business in Canada and must be able to provide a valid job offer to the employee. The job offer must be for a position that cannot be filled by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

To be eligible for an intra-company transfer (ICT) work permit, the Canadian company must be a subsidiary, branch, or affiliate of the foreign company, or the foreign company must be the parent company of the Canadian company. A franchise or license agreement does not meet the definition of a qualifying business relationship.

If you are being transferred to a Canadian company that is a franchise or licensee of the foreign company, you may not be eligible for an ICT work permit. In this case, you may need to explore other options for working in Canada, such as applying for a regular work permit or applying for permanent residence through the Express Entry system or other immigration programs.

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