Intra-Company Transfers: Your Guide to Applying in Canada

Through the Canadian Experience Class, intra-company transfers, or ICTs, are one of the most popular ways for foreign people to become permanent residents of Canada (CEC). If you wish to relocate to Canada, the ICT application path can be your best option due to its high requirements, efficient procedure, and accommodating schedules. You will have all the knowledge you require to complete your application with the help of this guide, including thorough explanations of the program's operation and a list of the supporting documentation you must compile.

Intra-Company Transfers: Your Guide to Applying in Canada

Employees relocating within the same organization to work in a different office in Canada are referred to as intra-company transfers. Your employer might be able to submit an Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) application if you've been offered a position in a different city rather than sponsoring you as an employee. If you're applying or your employer is applying on your behalf, this guide will clarify the prerequisites and application procedure for ICTs in Canada.

Under the terms stated in the International Mobility Program of Canada, highly talented foreign citizens may temporarily work in Canada as intra-company transferees. An unfamiliar person employed by a multinational organization outside of Canada may transfer to one of the company's locations inside Canada by obtaining an LMIA-exempt work visa. The transferee rule for within-company transfers applies to all countries.

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What is an intra-company transfer?

A temporary transfer of an employee from one branch or division of an organization to another is known as an intra-company transfer (ICT). Multinational corporations employ ICTs most frequently since they are the organization's quickest means of information transmission. Before applying, you must be aware of what you're getting into because the ICT procedure is highly complicated and involves numerous phases and laws. One of the organizations in charge of regulating the application process is Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Services. However, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada also employ immigration officers, in addition to trade commissioners who represent foreign nations. Even after all this red tape, once you arrive in your destination country, there will still be additional red tape for you to jump through. Simply put, Intra-Company Transfers in Canada can be a real pain!

With few exceptions, all foreign nationals wishing to work in Canada must obtain a work permit. In most cases, a foreign national must be issued a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from a Canadian employer to apply for a work permit Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from a Canadian employer. The intra-company transfer stream of the International Mobility Program enables foreign nationals to obtain a work permit without an LMIA.

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When are ICT Visas available?

Those who want to come to Canada and work for a business or organization can do so with the ICT Visa, which is a long-term work permit. You'll need a job offer from the Canadian company or organization you're applying to. Although the ICT Visa is accessible all year round, your chances of success are higher if you use in the spring or summer. As an illustration, January typically sees a low number of applications approved. But historically, one of the busiest times to apply for this kind of visa has been around April. First-come, first-served application processing means you must submit your documents as soon as possible.

What do employers need to know?

Employers need to know that Intra-company transfers in Canada are governed by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which specifies that intra-company transferees have a temporary work permit for up to three years with renewal subject to certain conditions. Employers should also be aware that an employer may not lay off a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of working age due to hiring an intra-company transferee. Employers can employ more than one intra-company transferee if they are from different company branches; it is optional for all intra-company transferees to come from the same unit.

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General Requirements for the Employee

  • Must be employed at a multinational company seeking entry to Canada to work at the company’s parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate.
  • The enterprise in Canada must have a qualifying relationship as outlined below.
  • The employee must apply to work in Canada in a position at the executive level, senior managerial level, or in a situation requiring specialized knowledge.
  • Must have been employed with the company for at least one year (full-time) within the previous three years.

Please note that the International Mobility Program utilizes the definitions outlined in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in identifying executive capacity, senior managerial ability, and specialized knowledge as follows:

Executive Capacity

To meet the definition of executive capacity, a position must meet some or all of the following criteria:

  • directs the management of the organization or a significant component or function of the organization;
  • establishes the goals and policies of the organization, component, or function;
  • exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision-making; and
  • receives only general supervision or direction from higher-level executives, the board of directors, or stockholders of the organization.

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Managerial Capacity

To meet the definition of managerial capacity, a position must meet some or all of the following criteria:

  • manages the organization or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization;
  • supervises and controls the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees or manages an essential function within the organization or a department or subdivision of the organization;
  • has the authority to hire and fire or recommend those, as well as other, personnel actions (such as promotion and leave authorization); if no other employee is directly supervised, functions at a senior level within the organizational hierarchy or concerning the function managed; and
  • exercises discretion over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which the employee has the authority.

Specialized Knowledge

To meet the definition of specialized knowledge, a position must require both proprietary knowledge and advanced expertise. These are defined through NAFTA as the following:

  • Proprietary Knowledge: “company-specific expertise related to a company’s product or services. It implies that the company has not divulged specifications allowing other companies to duplicate the product or service.”
  • Advanced Expertise: “specialized knowledge gained through significant (i.e., the longer the experience, the more likely the knowledge is indeed “specialized”) and recent (i.e., within the last five years) experience with the organization and used by the individual to contribute significantly to the employer’s productivity.

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How can an immigration professional help you with your application?

Although they are helpful for many things, immigration consultants are typically hired to aid with the application process. They can help you fill out an application for an intra-company transfer and answer any questions you may have about the procedure.
The first step is identifying a job that qualifies as an intra-company transfer. Before applying, you must locate a business willing to sponsor your work visa. Please look at our Canadian guide on intra-company transfers for more on the criteria for these transactions. It also describes how to use it, what documentation needs to be filled out, and where it should be sent.

General Requirements for the Multinational Company

  • The enterprise outside Canada and the enterprise inside Canada must have one of the following relationships: parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate.
  • The two enterprises must be doing business. This means that they regularly and continuously engage in the provision of goods and services. The mere presence of a location in Canada will not be sufficient to meet this requirement.

If an applicant meets the criteria mentioned above, they are eligible to submit a work permit application for an LMIA-exempt work permit. Depending on a foreign national’s country of residence and citizenship, work permit applications may be offered at a Canadian Port of Entry (POE), at the appropriate Visa Application Centre (VAC), and online.

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Certain countries have developed trade agreements with Canada, which offer additional options for Intra-Company Transferees. Foreign nationals from countries covered by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) may consult those programs for additional options.

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Final THought 

Many businesses are taking advantage of the fact that Canada is a nation of immigrants by employing individuals from other countries. Transfers within the same company can be helpful in this situation. Employers can relocate personnel from overseas locations and move them within the business thanks to intra-company transfers. I'd like to know the procedure, what you need before applying, and what to anticipate after getting the go-ahead for an intra-company transfer.