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Navigating the Intra-Company Transfer Program in Canada for Businesses and Employees

Canada for Businesses and Employees
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As organizations grow and expand their operations internationally, increasing the mobility of their skilled workforce is crucial to maintain their competitive advantage. Canadian immigration policies recognize this necessity and provide opportunities for businesses to transfer employees seamlessly within their global enterprise framework. In this article, we will discuss the Intra-Company Transfer program, one of the key provisions available for international businesses in Canada that allows executives, managers, or specialized employees to work at a per-existing Canadian branch or establish a new branch. We will examine its eligibility criteria for both employees and employers, along with highlighting the special NAFTA Intra-Company Transfer option. Eligibility Criteria for Employees

To be eligible to make a change to the company as an employee, you must meet the following requirements:

To be qualified to make a change to the company as an employee, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Work for a company that encompasses a parent company, branch, subsidiary or subsidiary in Canada.
  2. Have a great relationship with the company.
  3. Work at executive level, senior management level or in a position requiring specialist knowledge.
  4. Having worked within the company for at least one year within the last three years.

Your position at the company should fall within one of these three categories:

  • Executive Level: Primarily responsible for directing a significant component of the company and requires general supervision from high-level management.
  • Senior Management Level
  • Specialized Knowledge Workers: Possess advanced expertise in the products or services offered by the company.

Requirements for Businesses

To successfully transfer employees to Canada under this program, businesses must fulfill these requirements:

  1. Be actively engaged in business with their Canadian parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate.
  2. Provide evidence of a qualifying relationship between the foreign and Canadian companies during work permit renewal.
  3. Demonstrate that the Canadian office has been continuously operational in the past year and is well-staffed.

NAFTA Intra-Company Transfer

The NAFTA Intra-Company Transfer is a similar program available to American and Mexican enterprises with qualifying relationships with a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate in Canada. This program’s eligibility criteria closely align with those of its non-NAFTA counterpart and similarly exempts eligible employees from the LMIA requirement.

Processing Time and Refusal

The processing time for Intra-Company Transferees’ may vary depending on the applicant’s country and application completion. Although it is possible to be rejected for many reasons such as incomplete information, providing accurate and complete information during the application process will increase your chances of success.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long does it take to process an Intra-Company Transfer work permit?

The period for transferring the permit varies depending on the applicant’s country of citizenship and the local visa office. However, most applications are processed within a few weeks to a few months.

  1. Can my Intra-Company Transfer application be refused?

Yes, your application may be rejected for many reasons such as insufficient information, failure to meet the necessary criteria or failure to meet the company’s business requirements. It is important to prepare your application carefully and consult immigration experts when necessary.

  1. Can an Intra-Company Transferee bring their family to Canada?

Yes, eligible dependent family members may apply for temporary resident status if they accompany the transferee.

  1. Can an Intra-Company Transferee apply for permanent residence in Canada?

Yes, some Intra-Company Transferees may be eligible to apply for Canadian permanent residence under certain pathways like Express Entry or Provincial Nominee Programs.

How Intrsource in Canada Can Support Your Journey

  1. Ensure Eligibility: We carefully review each case to ensure that representatives and employers meet all necessities for changes to the job. This includes confirming that employees belong to one of three categories (manager, senior manager or experienced employee) and have been employed by the company for at least one of the last three years.
  2. Navigating the Application Process: The application process can be daunting, but experts help clients navigate it successfully by providing guidance on documentation and requirements.
  3. Facilitating Renewals: Should the Intra-Company Transferee work permit need renewal, provides essential support by ensuring all renewal criteria are met and assisting in gathering appropriate evidence.
  4. Staying Compliant: helps employers maintain compliance by guiding them through any changes in regulations or requirements applicable to their specific transfer situation.
  5. Assistance with NAFTA Intra-Company Transfers: With specialized knowledge of NAFTA Intra-Company Transfer processes, can help American and Mexican enterprises operating in Canada complete successful transfers while remaining compliant with all applicable rules.


The Intra-Company Transfer program plays a significant role in promoting smooth business operations and fostering collaboration between international corporations and their Canadian counterparts. By understanding the eligibility requirements, the importance of establishing qualifying relationships, and the options provided through trade agreements such as NAFTA Intra-Company Transfer, employers and qualified employees can capitalize on these opportunities to meet their professional goals in Canada. Being aware of these provisions not only makes it easier for dislocated workers to adjust to their new environment but also enables businesses to leverage both local and global talent while maintaining essential management practices and specialized knowledge across their organization.

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