Intra-company transfers to Canada are a popular way for international workers to move to Canada. If you work for a company that has a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate in Canada, you may be able to secure a Canadian work permit through the Intra-company transfer program.
Approved applicants through the Intra-company transfer program obtain a temporary work permit. Work experience gained as an intra-company transferee in Canada may then be used as a springboard to permanent residence in Canada, as Canadian work experience is highly valued under Canada’s points-based immigration system.
Accompanying family members may also join the foreign worker in Canada, with the spouse or common-law partner of the intra-company transferee being able to work in Canada on an open work permit.
Employers bringing international staff to Canada as intra-company transferees are exempt from the requirement to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). For this reason, the process can be quicker, simpler, and more cost effective than the LMIA route. Qualified intra-company transferees provide ‘significant economic benefit to Canada’ through the transfer of their skills and expertise to the Canadian labour market. Intra-company transferees may be from any country.
Intra-company transfers to Canada: categories
In order to be eligible to work in Canada under the Intra-Company Transfer program, foreign workers must fall into one of three defined categories:
- Executives primarily direct the management of the enterprise, or a major component thereof, and receive only general (if any) supervision from higher level executives.
- Senior managers manage all or part of the enterprise and supervise or control the work of other managers or professional employees.
- Workers with ‘specialized knowledge’ can demonstrate specialized knowledge of the enterprise’s product or service, or an advanced level of expertise in the enterprise’s processes and procedures.
In all cases, workers being transferred to Canada must have at least one year of full-time work experience with the foreign enterprise and be coming to Canada to perform comparable work. There must be a qualifying relationship between the employer and employee in order for a work permit to be issued.