Intra-Company Transfer

Insights into Intra-Company Transfers for Canada

This article provides an overview of Intra-Company Transfers (ICTs) to Canada, essential for multinational corporations and their employees. It covers the Intra-Company Transfer Visa, eligibility criteria for companies and employee categories (Executives, Senior Managers, Specialized Knowledge staff), processing timelines, and pathways from ICT visas to Canadian Permanent Residency.

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What is an Intra-Company Transfer Visa for Canada?

The Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Visa for Canada is a specialized immigration category designed for multinational companies transferring employees to their Canadian branches, subsidiaries, or affiliates. This visa facilitates the temporary relocation of key personnel within the same corporate entity, but across international borders. The primary purpose of the ICT visa is to enable the seamless transfer of expertise, leadership, and specialized knowledge essential to the operation and success of the Canadian counterpart of the business. A great feature of the Intra-Company Transfers stream, is that it allows foreign nationals to secure a work permit without the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

Intra-Company Transfer

Requirements for Company

When it comes to facilitating Intra-Company Transfers to Canada, certain criteria must be met by the company involved. These requirements ensure that only legitimate and established businesses can utilize this pathway for transferring their employees. Understanding these prerequisites is crucial for companies planning to leverage this program

Criteria for Companies Eligible for Intra-Company Transfers

  1. Legitimate and Active Business Operations: The company must be actively engaged in business activities in both the home country and Canada. This means that it must be providing goods or services in a substantive manner, and not merely existing as a legal entity.

  2. Qualifying Relationship Between Foreign and Canadian Entities: There needs to be a clear relationship between the foreign company and the Canadian entity. This can be in the form of a parent company, subsidiary, branch, or an affiliate relationship.

  3. Capacity to Support New Employee: The Canadian entity must demonstrate its ability to support the incoming employee’s role in terms of finances and operations. It should be evident that the transfer is critical to the business and not just for the convenience of the employee.

Documentation and Proof of Business Legitimacy

  1. Corporate Documents: These include articles of incorporation, business licenses, shareholder agreements, and any other documents proving the legal status and structure of both the foreign and Canadian entities.

  2. Financial Statements: Recent financial records to demonstrate the financial health and operational viability of the Canadian entity.

  3. Organizational Charts: Detailed charts showing the structure of both the foreign and Canadian operations, including the positions and roles within the company.

  4. Proof of Physical Premises in Canada: Documents or lease agreements showing that the Canadian entity has a physical office or workspace.

  5. Evidence of Business Activity: Contracts, invoices, client lists, or marketing materials to prove that the company is actively engaged in business.

The above requirements are designed to ensure that the Intra-Company Transfer program is used appropriately by businesses that are genuinely contributing to the Canadian economy and have a legitimate need to transfer employees. By adhering to these criteria, companies can ensure a smoother application process and avoid potential legal complications.

Category-Based draw

Requirements for Employee

The success of an Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) to Canada heavily depends on the eligibility of the employees being transferred. Canadian immigration policies stipulate specific requirements for different employee categories under the ICT program. These categories include Executives, Senior Managerial Staff, and Employees with Specialized Knowledge. Each category has distinct criteria that must be met to qualify for the transfer.



  1. Position and Role: Executives are typically at the top tier of the company hierarchy. They must hold a position where they primarily direct the management of the company or a major component or function of the organization.

  2. Decision-Making Authority: Executives should have substantial decision-making powers, with minimal supervision or direction from others.

  3. Employment History: Typically, they should have been employed in an executive capacity with the company for at least one year in the three years preceding the application.

Senior Managerial Staff

  1. Management Role: Senior Managers are responsible for overseeing the work of other managers or managing an essential function within the company, a department, or a subdivision of the organization.

  2. Authority: They should hold a position that involves making significant decisions about the company’s goals and policies.

  3. Employment History: Similar to executives, senior managers are generally required to have at least one year of employment in a managerial role with the company within the three years prior to the application.

Employees with Specialized Knowledge

  1. Unique Expertise: These employees must possess knowledge that is unique and uncommon within the company and the industry. This can include expertise in the company’s products, services, research, equipment, techniques, or management.

  2. Critical to the Company’s Operations: The specialized knowledge should be so important that it is crucial to the company’s competitiveness in the marketplace.

  3. Employment and Knowledge Verification: Proof of the employee’s specialized knowledge and how it relates to the company’s operations is required. This often includes detailed descriptions of the employee’s role, experience, and contributions to the company.

For all categories, the employee must also demonstrate the intention to depart Canada upon completion of their temporary assignment. Additionally, sufficient documentation, including employment letters, resumes, and proof of qualifications, is required to substantiate the employee’s eligibility under these categories. It is important for companies and employees to thoroughly prepare and present this information to ensure a successful application process for the ICT visa.

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How Long Does it Take to Process an Intra-Company Transfer to Canada?

The processing time for an Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) to Canada can vary significantly based on several factors. Generally, the timeline ranges from approximately 2 to 10 weeks. This variation is influenced by individual case specifics and the current backlog at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Intra-Company Transfer

Canada Intra-Company Transfer Visa to Permanent Residency (PR)


Transitioning from a Canada Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Visa to Permanent Residency (PR) involves several pathways, each with its own set of criteria and steps. While the ICT visa is a temporary work permit, it can lay the groundwork for a more permanent move to Canada under the right conditions.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC) under Express Entry: One of the most popular routes for ICT visa holders to obtain PR is through the Canadian Experience Class. This pathway requires applicants to have at least one year of full-time skilled work experience in Canada within the past three years. Applicants must create an Express Entry profile and receive an invitation to apply based on their Comprehensive Ranking System score, which evaluates factors like language proficiency, education, and Canadian work experience.


Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs): PNPs offer another avenue for obtaining PR, especially for those who have established themselves in a specific Canadian province. These programs often have streams that target individuals with work experience in the province, including those on ICT visas. The process involves applying to a PNP and, if nominated, using this to strengthen an Express Entry profile. Some PNPs also have direct application processes independent of Express Entry.

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) under Express Entry: The FSWP is designed for skilled workers with foreign work experience and can be a potential pathway for ICT visa holders. Eligibility criteria include foreign work experience, language ability, education, and other factors. The process here also involves creating an Express Entry profile and qualifying based on a ranking system.

To be eligible for these pathways, certain common requirements must be met. Proficiency in English or French is crucial and is typically assessed through standardized language tests. For those who studied outside Canada, an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) might be necessary to validate foreign education. Canadian work experience gained on an ICT visa can significantly enhance eligibility, especially under the CEC. Other factors like financial stability and adaptability, which may include a spouse’s language skills or Canadian work/study experience, are also considered.


It’s important for ICT visa holders to understand these pathways and eligibility criteria to effectively plan their transition to permanent residency. Staying informed about immigration policy changes and seeking professional advice can be crucial in navigating this complex process.

Intra-Company Transfer

We specialize in facilitating smooth Intra-Company Transfers (ICTs) to Canada, offering comprehensive services from expert consultation to application submission and settlement assistance. Our team ensures compliance with Canadian immigration policies, providing tailored support for both companies and employees. Praised for our expertise and personalized approach, we have a track record of successful ICTs. 

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The information in this blog is not to be interpreted or construed as legal advice. Everyone’s immigration goals, objectives and situations are different. Please contact us to speak to a consultant for advice.

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