International Mobility Program: Intra-company Transferee Application
Through the International Mobility Program (IMP) of the Government of Canada, employers can hire temporary foreign workers without the need to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), if the position serves Canada’s cultural and economic interests.

For this program, the employer typically submits an offer of employment through the employer portal. It is the duty of the foreign worker to subsequently apply for a work permit, attaching the offer of employment to the application.

One of the categories of the IMP through which foreign temporary workers can apply for a work permit without the need for a LMIA request is the Intra-Company Transferee Program (ICT).

International companies can temporarily transfer their qualified employees to Canada without the need for a LMIA because they contribute to the country’s economy by transferring their expertise to the Canadian arm of the business.

To get a positive outcome, ICT applicants must be transferring to a position in an executive, senior managerial, or specialized knowledge capacity.

They can be from any country provided they meet all the eligibility requirements.

Foreign nationals may be eligible to apply for work permit as Intra-Company Transferees if they:
  • are currently employed by a multinational company and seeking entry to work in a parent or branch of that enterprise;
  • have been employed continuously by the transferring company in a similar full-time position for at least one year in the three-year period immediately preceding the date of the initial application; and
  • comply with all the immigration requirements for temporary entry to Canada.
While ICTs are not required to relocate to Canada, they are required to occupy a position within the Canadian branch of the company, and there should be a clear employer-employee relationship with the Canadian company.

For companies seeking to open a new office in Canada, they are required to secure physical premises to house the Canadian operation. However, they may use their counsel’s address in the meantime while they make plans to get an office.

The new company must have the financial ability to start business and compensate employees. It must also have reasonable plans for the new operation and be large enough to support management functions.

The Intra-company transferee program is an ideal stream for newly established companies in Canada, which tend not to have a physical office, staff, or established commercial links, as it allows transfers for office start-ups.

Where an application for an intra-company work permit is successful, an initial work permit can be issued for up to one year or more, and extensions can be granted for a maximum of 5 or 7 years.

After intra-company transferees have reached their maximum work duration, they must complete one year of full-time employment in the company outside Canada if they wish to reapply as ICTs.

Business owners or intra-company transferees can immigrate to Canada, with an initial step of applying for permanent residence status, if they want to continue working for the company without the necessity of extending the work permit each time it expires. Of course, proof of a permanent job offer from the Canadian subsidiary would expedite the permanent residency process - it adds up to 200 points to the applicant’s score in the Express Entry pool.

To get started with Canada's International Mobility Program, contact AFOLABI today.
© Afolabi Business Law Professional Corporation