What is Intra-Company Transfer or ICT?
As the name suggests, the intra-company transfer visa is a work transfer from a foreign company to a qualified related company in Canada. It is a part of Canada’s International Mobility Program. It enables you and your family to settle in Canda temporarily on a work permit.
How It Works: Intra company transfer visa is actually a type of work permit as per the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act R205(a). The applicants need to fulfill certain criteria to be eligible to get a work permit. Thes best thing about this work permit application is there is no requirement of the LMIA or recruitment process. It is important to note that when requesting a transfer, it should be made clear that the position/transfer is “temporary”.
3 Factors to make you eligible for Intra Company Transfer Visa:
1.Qualified Relation Between the Companies:
Foreign companies and companies in Canada should have a qualified relation. The company in Canada should be a sister company, a branch, an affiliate or a subsidiary of a foreign company where you are currently employed.
2. Duration of Employement:
You should be employed on an ongoing basis in a full-time capacity for at least one year(in the last 3 years preceding the application). Please note this is the minimum limit. More experience is always better.
3. Occupation Status:
You should be working as a manager, as an executive or in a job that uses specialized knowledge. This program is intended for occupations that are senior and specialized so that Canada can benefit from the temporary transfer of the workforce as well. The scope of occupation as stated officially by the Government of Canda(https://www.canada.ca/canada.ca) is as follow:
- providing coordination and guidance to other managers;
- having responsibility for assets or sales with a large dollar value;
- directing the work of subcontracted firms.
Executive and Senior Manager:
- directs the management of the organization or a major 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.
- manages the organization, a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization.
- supervises and controls the work of: has the authority to hire and fire, or recommend these and other actions, such as promotion and leave authorization. If no other employee is directly supervised, functions at a senior level within the organizational hierarchy or with respect to the function managed.
- exercises discretion over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which the employee has the authority.
Specialized Knowledge: Specialized knowledge is essential to the company. Expert knowledge regarding the material and processes of the company you will be working for. It has 2 categories:
Proprietary knowledge is company-specific expertise related to a company’s product or services. It implies that the company has not divulged specifications that would allow other companies to duplicate the product or service.
Advanced proprietary knowledge would require an applicant to demonstrate:
- uncommon knowledge of the host firm’s products or services and its application in international markets.
- an advanced level of expertise or knowledge of the enterprise’s processes and procedures.
Once you seem fit and eligible to apply for the program based on the above 3 criteria, its time to see how the process works and what documents you need.
Documents needed to support the eligibility for Intra Company Transfer Visa
To apply for a work permit, we need two sets of documents to prove our eligibility. To submit the application fo this program there is a long list of documents but its fairly simple if you have a genuine case. Both you and your employer will need to meet the eligibility criteria in order to have your application processed.
These are the documents that will cover the corporate part of the application i.e the relation between the two companies. There are different criteria for each class of the relation between the two companies.
- Parent company: It means an organization that has subsidiaries
- Subsidiary: A company that has a parent company who owns, manages or directs more or equal to 50% of the joint venture
- Branch: The same organization operating in a different location
- Affiliate: One or more subsidiaries which have the same parent organization
- Start-Up: If you plan to open a new branch, affiliate, subsidiary in Canada and transfer there to operate it, you need to submit a business plan along with the work permit applications
Documents: The goal is to identify the relation between the companies and prove it with the legal documentation. Some of the supporting documents can be:
- Registration letter
- Document from the business bureau
- Tax files/payroll
It is advised to add as many supporting documents as possible. (Above mentioned are a few examples)
2. Applicant Documents:
The other set of documents is the applicant documents where your goal is to prove your past experience in the foreign company and your occupation. When we say occupation, we should always cover and outline the job responsibilities of the current employment, along with the future employment after transfer
Proof of Experience: You need to prove that you have worked a minimum of one year in the foreign organization in the full-time capacity as a manager, senior executive or specialist. Some of the documents that you can submit are
- Experience letter
- job offer letter
- reference letter
- pay stubs
- Outline of job responsibilities
- outline of day to day activities
- projects and rollouts
Please note these are some example of the supporting documents. You should submit as many as you can to make your case stronger
Proof of temporary job:
You should prove to the officer that the role is temporary. You are required in Canada to set up a plant, or manage a project or look after a specific product rollout. Once that is over, you will be back to the foreign company where you came from. Since it is a type of a temporary work permit, so the officer should have proof that the scope of work is also temporary(a few years).
The employer should issue you a letter which is highly occupation-specific. It should cover the outline of your job responsibilities, day to day tasks, project scope, salary expectation as per the Canadian market. Relevant training opportunities(if any). It’s important to take into consideration that is a person is working full time in a foreign country, his transfer letter should offer him a similar position instead of part-time. This will make a strong application.
If you are eligible for the 2-week processing time category for the work permit, you will get a work permit in 2 weeks after applying. This option is mostly for visa-exempt countries and bio-metrics time is not included in these two weeks. The average time calculated over the last couple of years varies from 2 weeks to 10 weeks.
Work Permit Duration and Extension
Start-up: Initial work permit is always issued for 1 year. For renewal, you should provide the evidence that you successfully operated your business in Canada. The operations are smooth and the office has staff.
Functional Manager/Senior Executive/ Specialized workers: In most cases, the visa is issued initially for 3 years. It can be extended and renewed for up to 5 – 7 years. In general, the initial work permit time varies but the maximum limit is 5-7 cases.
*Important: After intra-company transferees have reached their maximum work permit duration (seven years for executives and senior managers, and five years for specialized knowledge workers), they must complete one year of full-time employment in the company outside Canada if they wish to re-apply as an intra-company transferee. (source: canada.ca)
How Can I Help YOU?
The purpose of sharing all the information with you was to educate you so that you can apply yourself if you wish to. It is critical that your claims and documents are aligned to what you are saying, there are a lot of documents involved and there are high chances of the mistake if you are not paying attention. So, if you wish to seek professional help get it to touch. We have experience and we can guide you along the way;
- Make a Business Plan for Startup stream
- Review the documents
- Share the complete list of documents ( based on your case)
- Full application (End-to-end process)
- Work permit application
- Spousal work permit application
- Assistance is converting this journey to Canadian PR
- Help with post-arrival services
For more details and to apply, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a consultation session with our ICCRC licensed Immigration Consultant.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is an ICT or Intra Company Transfer Canada?
The intra-company category permits international companies to temporarily transfer qualified employees to Canada for the purpose of improving management effectiveness, expanding Canadian exports, and enhancing competitiveness in overseas markets.
What is the benefit of an ICT or Intra-Company Transfer ?
One of the main benefits of ICT is that there is no requirement for an LMIA or Labor Market Impact Assessment. A second major benefit of ICT is work experience points. Once you work for that employer in Canada for a year, you can claim 50 points in the CRS for express entry.
This is due to the fact that ICT falls under the exemption code C12 as per Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulation subsection 205(a) under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). And exemption code T24 as per R204(a) for qualified intra-company transferees who are citizens of a country that has signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with Canada, namely NAFTA (and similar FTAs).
Can I change employers while on an ICT in Canada?
No, this is an employer specific work permit so in order for your work permit to remain valid, you cannot change employers.
Can my spouse and dependent children move to Canada with me on an ICT?
Yes. They will also be eligible to move to Canada as your dependents.
What is the maximum duration for an ICT or Intra-company transfer work permit?
The max duration is 7 years for a senior manager or executive and 5 years for specialized knowledge workers.
Can I apply for PR after an ICT?
You can apply for PR, for example, through express entry since you will get additional points for canadian work experience once you have worked in Canada for at least one year.
Can Start-up companies apply for an ICT ?
Yes, if the company in Canada is a start-up but associated with an international company, it can be eligible for an ICT.