The intra-company transfer category allows international companies to temporarily transfer qualified employees to Canada. If you work for a company that has a parent company, an affiliate, a branch or a subsidiary located in Canada, you may be able to apply for a work permit as an intra-company transferee.
Generally, your prospective Canadian employer may have to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before you 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. Your Canadian employer does not need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment to hire you 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 you are currently employed by an organization that has a parent company, an affiliate, a branch or a subsidiary in Canada, our team can assist you to determine whether you are eligible to apply for a Canadian work permit as intra-company transferee. If you are eligible and if your employer is willing to complete intra-company transfer, we will prepare your work permit application. If you are a citizen of a visa-exempt country (e.g. the United States, the United Kingdom, etc.), you may be eligible to apply for a work permit at the port of entry to Canada.