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The intra-company transfer category allows international companies to temporarily transfer qualified employees to Canada for the purpose of expanding the Canadian economy and enhancing competitiveness in international markets. Intra-company transfer work permit holders provide significant economic benefit to Canada through the transfer of their expertise to Canadian businesses.

In order to apply for an intra-company work permit, the applicants must meet all of the following requirements: 

  • the applicant must be currently employed by a multi-national company and seeking entry to work in a branch, a parent, a subsidiary, or an affiliate of that company in Canada;
  • the applicants must be transferred to a position in an executive, senior managerial, or specialized knowledge capacity;
  • the Canadian company must have a qualifying relationship with the company outside Canada in which the applicants are currently employed, and the applicants must intend to undertake a legitimate employment in Canada;
  • the applicants must have been employed by the company that plans to transfer them to Canada in a similar full-time position for at least one year in the three-year period immediately preceding the date of initial work permit application.
  • in some cases, there may be a requirement for the Canadian employer to pay the intra-company transferee the wage that meets the Canadian prevailing wage.

Intra-company transfer work extensions may be granted up to the five and seven years. Time spent outside Canada during the duration of the work permit can be “recaptured” to allow the intra-company transfer work permit holders to gain five or seven full years of physical presence in Canada.

There are several additional considerations when a foreign company is opening a new office in Canada with intention to transfer work force to the Canadian office.

COVID-19 impacted many organizations, forcing them to adapt and engage in remote work. In practice, this means if the Canadian company that has been established for more than one year doesn’t have a physical business address in Canada, the intra-company work permit will be refused. Although, while transferring temporary foreign workers to a Canadian newly established office doesn’t require the new office to have physical business address, it is highly recommended.

When opening a physical business in Canada, many considerations come into play:

For example, do you want to open a Federal, or Provincial corporation? Typically, business incorporate in the province where they operate their busines. Then, where will you business operate?

Ontario is often the first choice. This is because it is the biggest province in Canada by population, it is well connected to the United States, and it is already home to many first- and second-generation Canadians. Furthermore, there are no director residency requirements.

As another consideration, different provinces have different tax rates, and may offer subsidies for different industries. It is worth getting professional tax advice from an accountant, and connecting with business organizations to see what benefits or grants for which your business may be eligible.  

We offer intra-company transfer work permit application services to established Canadian companies and to international companies that wish to open a new business location in Canada. Should you need advice, feel free to contact Elena or Michael.

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