Intra-Company Transferees

Canada has a relatively stable economy and political landscape that makes it an attractive destination for international companies that are seeking to expand to new countries. Therefore, many foreign businesses have branches, subsidiaries and offices in Canada. Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provides a streamlined process for these companies to bring employees from other countries.

In most cases, a work permit cannot be issued before a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) has been done. The LMIA is there to ensure that employers are only hiring from overseas if they have been unable to fill the position locally. It can add substantial processing time to the work permit application process.

The benefit of the Intra-Company Transfer Program is that the LMIA requirement is waived. Transferees must have at least one year of full-time experience with the company, that is related to the work they will be doing once in Canada. The work must fall into one of the following categories:

  • Executive: High-level management of the company or a major part of it
  • Senior manager: Supervision of other managers or employees
  • Specialized knowledge: Advanced expertise in the company’s product or service, or in its processes, procedures or technologies

In addition, the Canadian arm of the business is required to demonstrate its relationship with its foreign counterpart. The Intra-Company Transfer program can also be used by international businesses that wish to set up new operations in Canada and want to bring key staff to help with start-up operations.

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