The intra-company transfer category allows international companies to temporarily transfer qualified employees to Canada. If your company has a parent company, an affiliate, a branch or a subsidiary located in Canada, your employee may be able to apply for a Canadian work permit as an intra-company transferee.
Generally, Canadian employers may have to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before the foreign national can apply for a work permit. LMIA is an application made by the employer to Employment and Social Development Canada, Service Canada in order to get permission to hire a foreign worker. Many employers need an LMIA before they can hire a temporary foreign worker. A Canadian employer does not need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment to hire a foreign worker when conducting an intra-company transfer. This allows for a more straightforward, more cost-effective and less time-consuming work permit application process. This work permit application route is eligible to foreign workers from any country, including under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
To be eligible to work in Canada under the intra-company transfer program, foreign workers must fall into one of three categories:
- Senior managers;
- Workers who possess ‘specialized knowledge’.
‘Specialized knowledge’ means “knowledge at an advanced level of expertise” and “proprietary knowledge of the company’s product, service, research, equipment, techniques or management”, as it is set out in GATS.
If your organization has a parent company, an affiliate, a branch or a subsidiary in Canada, our team can assist you to determine whether your employees are eligible to apply for a Canadian work permit as intra-company transferees. Citizens of a visa-exempt country (e.g. the United States, the United Kingdom, etc.) may be eligible to apply for this type of work permit at the port of entry to Canada.