Canada has a program called the International Mobility Program that allows high-skilled foreign workers to temporarily work in Canada as an Intra-Company Transferee. If an international company has a location within Canada that company can apply to have any of their employees transfered to the Canada location. Applying for an Intra-Company Transfer visa allows the company and employee to avoid applying for an LMIA since this is an LMIA-exempt work permit. Qualified intra-company transferees require work permits and are exempted from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) as they provide significant economic benefit to Canada through the transfer of their expertise to Canadian businesses.
Requirements for International Mobility Program: Intra Company Transfer
There are several requirements the international company and employee must meet in order to be qualified for a work permit.
The following are the General Requirements to qualify for an Intra Company Transfer:
- You are currently employed by an international company and seeking entry to Canada in a parent, subsidiary, branch, or an affiliate of that company.
- You are transferring to a company that has a qualifying relationship (see below) and will be undertakign employment at a legitimate and continuing establishment of that company
- You are being transferred to a position in an executive, senior managerial, or specialized knowledge capacity.
- You have been employed continously (proved through payroll or other form) by the company that plans to transfer them outside Canada in a similar full-time position for at least one year in the three-yearperiod immediately preceding the date of initial application.
- You are coming to Canada for a temporary period only.
- You comply with all the immigration requirements for temporary entry
Company Requirements for Intra Company Transfer
- Generally, the company must secure physical premises to house the Canadian operation, particularly in the case of specialized knowledge. However, in specific cases involving senior managers or executives, it would be acceptable that the address of the new start-up not yet be secured; for example, the company may use its counsel’s address until the executive can purchase or lease a premise.
- The company must furnish realistic plans to staff the new operation.
- The company must have the financial ability to commence business in Canada and compensate employees.
- When transferring executives or managers, the company must
- demonstrate that it will be large enough to support executive or management function.
- When transferring a specialized knowledge worker, the company must
- demonstrate that it is expected to be doing business;
- ensure that work is guided and directed by management at the Canadian operation.
Required Documents for ITC Canada
The following documentation is required:
- confirmation that the foreign national is currently employed by a multi-national enterprise outside Canada, and seeking entry to work in a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate of that enterprise in Canada;
- confirmation that the foreign national has been employed (via payroll or by contract) continuously (full-time, not accumulated part-time) by the enterprise outside Canada, in a similar full-time position, for at least one year within the three-year period immediately preceding the date of initial application;
- outline of the applicant’s position in an executive or managerial capacity or one involving specialized knowledge (i.e. position, title, place in the organization, job description);
- in the case of “specialized knowledge”, evidence that the person has such knowledge and that the position in Canada requires such knowledge;
- outline of the position in Canada (namely, position, title, place in the organization, job description);
- indication of intended duration of stay; and
- description of the relationship between the enterprise in Canada and the enterprise in the foreign country (the officer may request tangible proof to establish the relationship between the Canadian and foreign organization wishing to make the transfer).
Processing Time for Intra-Company Transfers to Canada
The average time for the Intra-Company Transfer is 2 to 10 weeks but there are priority processing options. Those who are qualified for the 2-week processing time will get the Intra-Company Transfer visa within 2 weeks. This priority processing option is for visa-exempt countries (biometrics processing is not included in these 2 weeks).
How Long is the Intra-Company Transfer Visa Valid?
The Intra-Company Transfer work permit is valid for one year. If you want to renew the work permit through Intra-Company Transfer you must provide evidence that:
- The Canadian and foreign companies still have a qualifying relationship
- The new office has engaged in the continuous provisions of goods or services for the past year
- The new office has been staffed.