If you are a staff or employee of a company that has branches, offices, or affiliations in Canada, you might be able to secure a Canadian work permit through the Intra-Company transfer program (ICT) and eventually granted a Canadian permanent residency to settle permanently in Canada.
Thus, intra-company transfers can be a way to fulfill your dream of immigrating to Canada.
Many employers have helped their staff gain employment or even permanent residence in Canada this way.
If you have any questions about Canada’s intra-company transfers whether as an employer or an employee, you will be able to find answers to them here.
What is Intra-Company Transfer in Canada?
Intra-Company Transfer is an option under the immigration program known as International Mobility Program.
International Mobility Program creates room for highly proficient and skilled employees of a company to be able to work in Canada temporarily.
Such employees are referred to as intra-company transferees.
Only companies which have branch(es) working site(s) in Canada have the opportunity to apply for the International Mobility Program and carry out intra-company transfer for any of their employees.
This process, when successful brings the concerned staff to work under the Canadian branch of the company.
Intra-company transfer is an LMIA-exempt work permit. Therefore, Employers bringing foreign staff to Canada as intra-company transferees are exempt from the conditions to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This makes the process a lot easier, quicker, and more cost-effective.
Eligible intra-company transferees provide a significant economic advantage to Canada through the transfer of their technical know-how, skills, and expertise to the Canadian labor market.
The initial work permit provided for an intra-company transferee under the ICT program is only valid for one year.
However, the permit may be renewed after certain criteria have been met.
Intra-Company Transfer Categories
To qualify under this transfer program, foreign workers must fall under one of three defined categories:
Executives are primarily responsible for the managerial activities of the company day-in, day-out.
They may be set over the whole company or branch in Canada or be chosen to oversee a major department.
Executives can only receive supervision from other executives who are of a higher level.
The senior managers supervise all aspects of the company or supervise the work of other managers who are directly under them.
The category of workers that are mostly required for intra-company transfers is those with high proficiency or skill sets.
Such workers must demonstrate high know-how of the company’s processes, products, and/or service.
They may also be workers who have an advanced level of knowledge over a particular procedure being carried out in the company.
Workers who are to be transferred to Canada must have worked full-time with the foreign company or branch for at least one full year.
Such workers are expected to come to Canada only to perform similar work as they have in the previous branch.
There must also be proof of a mutual connection between the employer and the employee for a work permit to be granted.
Requirements for Intra-company Transfer to Canada
To be able to immigrate to Canada through intra-company transfer, you as an employee and the company you work for must meet certain requirements.
To qualify for intra-company transfer as an employee, you must:
- Be currently employed by a company or organization which has at least a working branch or affiliations in Canada.
- Also be able to maintain legitimate employment with the company even after you have been transferred to Canada.
- Be transferred to work in positions that require high proficiency such as executive and managerial positions.
- Be able to provide proof of your previous employment and relationship with that company. You must have been employed by the company by at least a year. One of the ways to prove employment is through the use of your payroll as evidence.
- Admit that you are going to be in Canada only for a temporary period of time.
In cases where the Canadian branch of your company is a new start-up, your company will not be eligible for intra-company transfers unless it:
- Has secured a physical location for the new branch
- Has a stable structure for employing workers into the company
- Is financially able to begin the company’s activities and pay employees
Documents Required for intra-company transfer
If your company has selected you for intra-company transfer, the following documents are required of you:
- Documents to prove that you are currently employed by the company even though in a foreign branch outside of Canada. The employment must be full-time and must have been ongoing for at least a year before the company applies for the intra-company transfer program.
- prove that you are seeking to work in Canada under the same company, and other the same position or almost similar position to that you held in the previous country.
- Document to show your position as an executive, or a manager, or a highly skilled worker in your most immediate employment with the company. Such a document must show your position, the title, the ranking in the organization, and the job description.
- proof to show that the intended duration of your working in Canada under the company.
Intra-Company Transfer and Work Permit Duration
As stated earlier, the initial work permits the IRCC giveN you as an intra-company transferee expires after a year.
If your company wishes, it may renew your work permit. Renewal of work permit for intra-company transferees will only be granted when:
- There is still proof of a mutual relationship between you and the company
- The Canadian branch of the company has been functional by providing goods or services for consumption for the past year.
- The branch of the company has employed adequate staff and has paid them accordingly.
Rather than constantly renew your work permit, you may just go-ahead to apply for permanent residence in Canada. The processes for doing this has been further explained below:
Intra-Company Transfers and Transition to Canada PR
Intra-company transferees or foreign employees often have high chances of becoming permanent residents of Canada. If they wish to do so, they can become permanent residents. This will enable them to settle and work in any location in Canada.
The Express Entry immigration program has become the most significant way through which foreigners immigrate to Canada for economic or business reasons.
Intra-company transferees can particularly use this immigration method for becoming permanent residents.
This immigration process has become since the IRCC upgraded the Express Entry system and allowed workers to acquire Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points even without having LMIA.
This major change has made it easier for intra-company transferees to increase their CRS score.
The CRS score is very important and improves your chances of getting an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residence (ITA) in Canada.
Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
Canadian PNP is an immigration process through which residents of provinces in Canada nominate certain people who are willing to become workers and permanent residents in that province.
Through any of these means, you can transition from an intra-company transferee or foreign employee to a permanent resident in Canada.
Once you have been granted permanent residence in Canada, you may even begin the process of becoming a Canadian Citizen if you wish.
Either way, Intra-company transferees or foreign employees can transition to Canada as permanent residents and settle permanently anywhere in Canada.
FAQs About Intra-Company Transfers And Transition To Canada PR
Q. How Long does it Take to Process Intra-Company Transfers to Canada?
Ans. Intra-company transfers can take anything from 2 to 10 weeks before the process is finally complete.
The processing time can depend on the processing option which is determined by some priority settings.
Q. How can I become a Permanent Resident as an Intra-Company Transferee?
Ans. You can change your status as an intra-company transferee to a Canadian permanent resident through any of these two immigration options: Express Entry or Provincial Nominee Program
Q. For how long can I Work in Canada as an Intra-Company Transferee?
Ans. Being an intra-company transferee allows you to work in Canada for a year.
However, you will be able to renew your work permit if the country you work for is able to meet certain criteria.