Canada intra-company transfer is a popular way for foreign executives, managers, and specialized employees to immigrate to Canada. This immigration can be temporary or permanent, depending on the needs of the company itself. Intra-company transferees can join a Canadian company for as long as they work for a related company abroad. This can be a parent company, sister company, subsidiary, or branch.

The program is very popular as it allows foreign national workers to immigrate to Canada through an immigration process that has been sped up. Foreign workers will have to prove that their move to Canada is a part of the business plan and that they can contribute to the long-term development of the company in Canada. They will be rewarded a Canadian work permit, which enables them to work for that particular company in Canada – the closed work permit.

Those with proprietary knowledge working in advanced-level positions are who the program was made for. And for as long as the affiliate relationship between the companies exists and realistic plans in the business sphere demand the presence of this specialized-knowledge worker, they can be rewarded with initial work permits. Start-up companies may find it more difficult to bring in a foreign employee, but if they are a startup branch of a foreign company, and the worker is coming to help establish the branch/provide training for the new employees, it is possible to apply for the program and get the Intra-Company Transfer Visa.

What Is Canada ICT Work Permit

Canada ICT program is a program that has been designed to allow any international company operating in Canada to secure their position in both Canadian and global markets by allowing specialized workers to come to Canada and help improve the Canadian branch of the company and its internal operations. In fact, the program awards LMIA-exempt work permits, which allow that Canadian entity to quickly employ workers from the original company without wasting too much time proving the necessity of such a transfer to Canadian immigration authorities. Immigration requirements are relatively simple, and the key worker will receive a temporary work permit.

This work permit is not indefinite. Quite on the contrary, it will be awarded for a set period, and it allows temporary entry and work in Canada. The family of the intra-company transferee can enjoy the same benefits, whereas the spouse or a common-law partner of the transferee will receive an open-work permit. With this permit, they can work anywhere in Canada, for as long as the basic notions of work dignity and legality of their employment are followed through.

Canada ICT Visa to PR (Permanent Residence) is a possibility under this program. Many high-paying jobs in Canada have been secured so that they are not vacant by populating the spots with people who have both the interest in growing their companies and staying in Canada for a longer time. The work experience secured in Canada enables all eligible to move to Canada for a temporary period, and then apply for the PR – for as long as they can secure enough work hours within a specific period.

Check Out the Canadian Intra-Company Transfer Work:

Intra-Company Transfer Categories

A good example is IT jobs in Canada, where employers can bring in professional employees through this business immigration program for a specific period, and then prolong their work permit to keep the company growing. Multi-national companies use this program to bring skilled workers from abroad and secure their merit in the years to come. This being said, no worker will be able to move to Canada using this program – as Canada still prefers to employ those who are already in the country – Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

There are three groups of employees that can move to Canada to ensure the company reaps the benefits of having a mobile group of key personnel helping them establish or improve the operations of their companies. Depending on the level of expertise and the type of business that is starting the immigration application, an intra-company transferee work permit can be issued to the following qualified employees:

  • executives
  • senior managers
  • ‘specialized-knowledge’ employees


Executives in a company like this would be any high-level employees who deal with or are directly involved in the management of a segment or an entire enterprise in Canada. They usually have little to no supervision and are likely to be working on improving the operational sector of the company. In addition to this, it can be said that an executive is anyone who deals with the highest level of decisions that are made in a company and that they respond directly to the CEOs, COOs, or business owners.

Senior Managers

Senior managers are likewise high-level employees. As a Canadian employee, a senior manager can supervise all or part of the operations of a Canadian business. They are high-skilled foreign workers, who are among the key employees in a company. They do not hold executive positions.

‘Specialized Knowledge’ Employees

Specialized knowledge employees showcase a significant level of knowledge about the company’s products or services. Upon coming to Canada, they can work in positions demanding training, etc. although other positions are not excluded. They can also possess knowledge of the company’s operations, although they don’t need to work in the same positions as functional managers.

Just like anybody else, they can apply for the Canadian PR. For this, they will need to seek a job offer for Canadian Express Entry or a PNP program if their intra-company transfer is not long enough for them to pass the eligibility requirements, especially about their Canadian work experience. In any case, their advanced expertise is a big plus, and there are many more programs that these employees can use to immigrate to Canada, including the Canada GTS – Global Talent Stream.

ICT Canada Visa Eligibility

ICT Work Permit Canada has its eligibility criteria that have to be respected or the foreign worker, coming from an affiliate company, will not be able to get the visa. When it comes to the eligibility criteria for the ICT work permit, they are as follows:

  • you need to be a business owner, entrepreneur, or a shareholder of a company that is working in Canada and you need to have an executive position there
  • OR you can otherwise be a senior manager or a functional manager currently working in that company. You also need to intend to occupy the same position in the Canadian branch of that same company
  • OR you can be otherwise a key employee of the business, and you need to have knowledge that is specific to that company and its products or services. You need to intend to come to Canada for a fixed period and work in a similar position or train people so that they would be able to do the type of work that is crucial to the success of the company
  • And you need to be eligible to enter into Canada. This means that you need to be admissible to Canada on both health and criminal grounds. Both of these will be checked

On top of these, you will also need to be accepting of the biometrics processing that will take place, as it always does for all coming from a foreign country that is not a visa-exempt country. If you do come from one of these countries, and you plan on staying in Canada as a member of the executive staff, you may want to consider contacting the nearest visa office, as you may not need this kind of visa at all. TRV (Temporary Resident Visa) for example, enables you to stay in Canada for up to 6 months and work there – and this type of visa may be much better for you. Alternatively, if you come from a visa-exempt country, you may also need a simple eTA (electronic Travel Authorization) which has an average processing time of around 5 minutes.

Documents Required for Intra-Company Transfer to Canada

Intra-company transfer Canada requirements are few but are essential. This means that not following a single one can make you inadmissible to Canada on this attempt, and restarting the entire process can take a while and cost you extra processing fees. For this reason, if you would like to visit Canada, you will need to follow the application package outlined by the Canadian government to the last detail.

The initial application for an intra-company work permit in Canada has the following requirements:

  • The home company will need to have been operational for at least one year. It is much better if the company has been in the business for at least 2-3 years
  • The home company has to be profitable and be able to pay out all its debts. The company needs to be in legal waters and needs to have no investigation of any kind against it (especially investigations for human or employee rights infringement and tax evasion controls)
  • The principal applicant will need to prove that, in the past three years, they have been employed by the mother company (home company) for at least 12 months. The three-year period is counted backward from the date of application
  • the home company has to be related to the Canadian company. A qualifying relationship will be that of a parent company, subsidiary, or affiliate company
  • The company operating in Canada will have to be profitable, will result in job creation in Canada, and will have to be conducting business legally
  • The company will need to show that there is a viable business plan which will showcase that the company is taking care of its future position in the market and that the presence of a foreign worker will benefit the company. An immigration officer or a person from Canadian immigration assistance may ask for this. You will need to convince the immigration services that your presence in Canada is a business or legal requirement and that you are not using the company simply to access Canadian immigration options
  • You will also need to prove that the company is large and complex enough to ensure the need for a person of your status – a 5-employee company may not need a high-level executive officer in Canadian physical premises

If the potential employee and the company satisfy all of the following criteria, they will be able to apply for the program. Please bear in mind that the work experience will be evaluated and that it will need to come from full-time employment or employment on a full-time basis. Depending on the country you are coming from, you may be able to apply for the ICT online, in person (at a Visa Application Centre in your country), or even at a Port of Entry – upon arrival to Canada.

When it comes to international agreements, your country may have a specific status, as Canada is known for international contracts and agreements that ease the migration of highly skilled individuals. If you come from a NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) or a CETA (Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) country, you may consult these programs for additional information on your specific migration case. Foreign entrepreneurs may also use other programs to come to Canada, especially if they went through corporate acquisition or have purchased a part of a Canadian company themselves.

NAFTA countries are Mexico, the United States of America, and Canada. CETA countries are:

  • European Union (as an entire entity)
  • Austria
  • Belgium – pending
  • Bulgaria – pending
  • Croatia
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France – pending
  • Germany
  • Greece – pending
  • Hungary – pending
  • Ireland – pending
  • Italy – pending
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • the Netherlands
  • Poland – pending
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia – pending
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • the United Kingdom

For Employees

Of course, as there are two separate applications, there is a need to outline the exact requirements for the employees of the international business, and for the business itself, that is, the person representing the business during the application procedure. When it comes to the prerequisites themselves, the employee will need:

  • to be employed by the company seeking to bring them to Canada
  • you will need to be applying to work in Canada at an executive level, as a senior manager or have specialized knowledge that is essential for the Canadian company’s success
  • you will need to have been employed by the company for at least 1 year in the three years preceding your application

For the Multinational Company

The international or multinational company will also need to satisfy some criteria of the Canada ICT program to be eligible to apply for your transfer:

  • the company employing you will need to be a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate company of the company trying to bring you to Canada
  • the two companies (Canadian and foreign) will need to be doing business together. Under doing business, the companies must be engaged in a form of regular interactions, monetary exchange, or exchange of goods and/or services

Application Process for Intra-Company Transfer Work Permit

When applying for an intra-company transfer work permit, you will need to prove that you are eligible for the program and that you meet all the eligibility requirements of the program itself. The program has been conceptualized in such a way as to improve the Canadian economy and create more workplaces, which is also something that you may be asked to prove, as a company applying to bring a foreign worker to Canada.

As a principal applicant (the worker), you will also need to show that you have sufficient managerial experience or other kind of experience in the company. Foreign workers or foreign business owners will also need to show that they have spent enough time in the company and have not simply been employed in recent weeks/months for the sake of immigration. When it comes to the key staff, you will need to be able to present your knowledge/expertise or education of a degree and level that it is undoubtedly clear that your presence in Canada is necessary for regular business conduct or improvement.

Once you can showcase all of the above, here are the steps that you need to undertake to apply for the ICT program in Canada:

  1. You need to register your company in Canada as related to a company in your home country. The relations that are accepted are that of a parent company, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate company
  2. You need to prepare a business plan that will show how your move or the move of one of your employees to Canada will improve the business conduct. This can be proven through market research and a plan on how you plan to run the operations post-move. When it comes to the future of the business, it is best that the business plan is related to the following 2-3 years and includes projections on cash flow and business
  3. You will also need to prepare all the required documents for the program and to prove your status as a business or an employee of the business itself. The obligatory documents for the Work Permit Application Outside of Canada include:
    1. IMM 1259 – Application for Work Permit made Outside of Canada
    2. IMM 5707 – Family Information
    3. IMM 5409 – Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union, if applicable
    4. IMM 5476 – Use of a Representative, if applicable
    5. IMM 5475 – Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual
    6. Proof of Fee Payment (bank statement, payment slip, downloaded payment verification page from the application platform itself)
    7. Photocopy of your current passport showing your name and last name, date and place of birth, your photo, passport number, date of issuance, and expiry date
    8. Two passport-style photos
    9. Proof of your current immigration status, if you have a passport issued by a different country than your birth country/if your country of birth and country of residence do not match/if you live abroad from the country that has issued your passport
    10. Photocopy of your marriage certificate or marriage license, depending on the country you are coming from. You can contact the nearest Visa Application Centre to confirm which documents are applicable in your case and what is the acceptable form of the documents if your country happens to be issuing multiple forms
    11. Proof indicating you meet the job prerequisites
    12. Offer of employment number for inclusion in the work permit application
    13. Copy of the IMM 5802 form if the IRCC has authorized your employer to apply this form
    14. Any additional or supporting documents that the local Visa Application Centre may ask you to submit with your application
  4. Submit your LMIA-exempt work permit application and wait for the final decision of the immigration officers

Work Permit Duration for Canada Intra Company Transfer

When it comes to the duration of the ICT program work permit, it is usually issued for one year. Although it is not impossible to get it for a longer while, if the work to be done in Canada takes longer than a year, it is unlikely that you will be given a work permit for a longer period. It is, however, possible to renew the ICT work permit, but only under a specific set of conditions.

Firstly, your company will need to prove that they have the same connection to your home company as before. This can be done by providing proof of the exchange of goods and services in the past year. On top of this, your new office (in Canada) will need to be staffed appropriately, so that it is clear that you are not staying in Canada simply because the office does not want to employ anyone else.

Processing Your Canada ICT Visa to Permanent Residence

If, with a renewal of your ICT work permit and extended stay in Canada, you realize that you love the country and can see yourself living there, you can use your time spent in Canada and your Canadian experience to apply for permanent residence. With this in mind, the permanent resident status allows you to live and work anywhere in Canada, including your current Canadian company.

When it comes to getting the PR, you will need to make an application through the Express Entry portal. With this being said, the portal has been in operation since 2015 and has helped hundreds of thousands on the way to their immigration to Canada. The program is carried out through three basic immigration streams, each of which awards you CRS points – a Comprehensive Ranking System of points that is supposed to provide the best applicants with a higher chance to receive an ITA – Invitation to Apply.

Having Canadian work experience under the ICT program will give you additional CRS points, and so will have a work contract with a Canadian employer. On top of this, if you would like to switch where you live and work, you can apply for one of the PNP programs carried out through the EE platform and increase your chances of getting the PR even further. During this application procedure, please bear in mind that you will still need to be admissible to Canada and still be willing to undergo medical and criminal checks if need be.


How Long Does Canada ICT Take?

It generally takes some 4-12 weeks to process your ICT application for Canada. When it comes to the processing time, this time is estimated for complete applications. At the same time, the processing time can differ depending on the country that you are coming from. All this information can be found on the IRCC platform, where you need to enter the country that you are coming from and the visa type that you would like to get to know the processing time for the most accurate estimate.

Is It Easy To Process An Intra-Company Transfer to Canada?

Yes, processing an ICT application is a relatively simple process. However, the application backlog since COVID still hasn’t dissipated, so the processing time of 4-12 weeks is still not as short as it could be. Be patient and apply early enough.

Can a Company Offer a Permanent Job Offer Under the Canadian TFWP Intra Company Transfer?

No, the work permit that is issued under the Intra Company Transfer cannot be longer than 1 year under the initial application. When it comes to this work permit, it can be renewed, while a permanent job position can only be submitted once the prerequisites for a Canadian PR have been fulfilled.

How Much Does It Cost to Move an Employee to Canada?

The total cost of bringing an employee into Canada varies depending on who does the job for you. If you are doing it yourself, you could save a lot, but sometimes it is simply best to let someone else do the work for you. When it comes to this application, some immigration specialists will charge around CAD7,000 per principal applicant, plus CAD800 per dependent.

Final Thoughts

The Canadian Intra-Company Transfer Program is a business immigration program that has been designed to ensure that Canadian companies having strong ties to foreign companies can benefit further from this type of connection. If your company needs to bring in a foreign executive, manager, or a person with specialized knowledge that you believe could benefit your company to a high extent, you could easily do that using this program. This way, your company can keep growing and prosper thanks to the exchange of knowledge, expertise, and experience.