How to send staff to Canada through Intra-Company Transfers

Multinational companies can send key staff to work in Canada through Intra-Company Transfer work permits.

If your company has a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate in Canada, you can send key personnel to the Canadian location through an Intra-Company Transfer (ICT).

ICT work permits are initially valid for one year and may be eligible for renewal. If the worker qualifies, employers are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) requirement.

Both the company and the transferee must meet certain qualifications to be eligible for the ICT.

Company requirements for ICT

In order for a company to be qualified for an ICT, it needs to be operating in Canada. It is not enough to just have a physical presence. The Canadian and foreign locations must be providing goods and services on an ongoing basis.

There may be some flexibility allowed for start-ups. In specific cases involving the transfer of senior managers or executives, Canada may accept that the address of the new start-up is not yet secured. The company may use its lawyer’s Canadian address until the executive can purchase or lease a location.

Also, start-ups must have realistic plans to staff their new operations and be financially able to start a business in Canada and pay employees.

When transferring executives or managers, the company must demonstrate it will be large enough to support executive or management functions.

When transferring a worker with specialized knowledge, the company must ensure the work is guided and directed by management at the Canadian operation and demonstrate that the company is expected to be doing business.