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Canada Intra Company Transfer (ICT) program

The Intra Company Transfer (ICT) program of Canada is an immigration option for international businesses that want to expand their current operations in Canada. Through this program, businesses can establish their current operations in Canada, with an easy pathway to Canadian permanent residence. Additionally, it offers a study permit for children and open work permit for a spouse. It also presents an opportunity to create employment opportunities in Canada. The Canadian immigration system offers various business immigration options and the ICT program is one of them. If you are interested in this program, please note that there are certain requirements, benefits, and application process which includes the path to switch to Permanent residency.

Benefits of Canada Intra Company Transfer (ICT) program

The Canada Intra Company Transfer (ICT) program is a pathway under the International Mobility Program that allows qualified foreign business owners to transfer their businesses to Canada and obtain a work permit. Through this program, the business owner can gain an ICT Work Permit and eventually become eligible for Permanent Residence. Spouses and children of the primary applicant may also be able to get open work permits and study permits, respectively. However, it is important to note that the ICT program is just one of the business immigration options available and it is suggested to get a free instant assessment to learn more about your options to migrate to Canada.

The Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) program was created to attract established companies from around the world to establish operations in Canada. The following three types of individuals can benefit from this program: business owners, entrepreneurs, and executives of profitable companies who intend to also succeed in Canada. Senior and functional managers who currently work for a foreign company and wish to hold a similar position in Canada, and key employees with specialized knowledge. Additionally, these individuals must meet certain requirements in order to be granted a work permit under the ICT program.

Requirements for Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) work permit

Entrepreneurs who operate successful businesses in their home countries can apply for an Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) work permit to expand their operations in Canada. However, there are specific requirements that must be met in order to be granted a work permit through the ICT program. These include:

  • The company in the home country must have been in operation for at least 12 months but ideally for a minimum of 3 years before expanding to Canada.
  • The original company must be financially stable and able to support operations in Canada
  • The individual applying for the ICT work permit must have been employed by the original company for a minimum of 12 months within the last three years prior to applying for immigration.
  • The original company and the company in Canada must have a parent-subsidiary or affiliate relationship and the operations in Canada must create jobs for Canadians.
  • If it is the first expansion of the company to Canada, immigration officers will also verify that there is a reasonable business plan that establishes that operations in Canada will be a viable venture, able to create enough revenue to pay for its costs and pay its employees.

For companies applying for an Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) for the first time in Canada, it is important to demonstrate that expanding to Canada is a viable business decision and that the new operations will be large enough to recruit locally. To do this, they must show a well-developed business plan, and meet the basic eligibility requirements for ICT applications.

There is no specific investment amount required by the Canadian government for companies expanding to Canada, but they must demonstrate that they have the financial resources to establish and support their new operations and to recruit talent locally. Typically, this may include having proven gross sales of over $250,000 per year and access to at least $100,000 in liquid funds to cover operational costs in the first year of business. Additionally, companies must also show that they have access to additional funds or assets to sustain their business in Canada in case it does not become self-sufficient by the end of the first year of operation.

Steps to apply for Canada ICT program

To apply for the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) work permit, the first step is to confirm that you meet the program's eligibility criteria. Next, it is important to create a strategy for demonstrating your potential to the Canadian immigration authorities. This will include gathering evidence to support your application and providing detailed explanations of how you meet the eligibility criteria and why you need to be in Canada.

To apply for the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) work permit, there are several steps that need to be followed:

Step 1: Establish your company in Canada as a parent, subsidiary, or affiliate.

Step 2: Develop a detailed business plan that outlines the proposed business activities, market research, and how you plan to operate profitably in Canada. This should include your recruitment plan and financial projections for the next 2-3 years.

Step 3: Gather all necessary documents (such as articles of incorporation, bank statements, proof of investment funds) and complete your work permit application.

Step 4: Submit your application for the work permit and wait for the decision.

It's worth noting that the process may vary depending on the applicant's nationality, and whether or not their country has an agreement with Canada that facilitates the immigration process through the ICT program. Some applicants from visa-exempt countries may be able to apply for an ICT work permit at the port of entry (POE).

Switching from Canada ICT to PR

The processing time for the ICT Work Permit (WP) application can be found on the IRCC website, and it varies depending on the office and the applicant's country of origin. Our experience suggests that applications processed by the CPC-Edmonton office tend to be decided upon quickly, usually within one to two months. However, this office also tends to have a higher rate of refusals than other offices. It is recommended to consult with an immigration lawyer to determine the best location to submit the application.

ICT Work Permits are generally granted for one to two years, with some exceptions for certain countries that may receive a three-year permit. These permits can be renewed for an additional two to three years, with a maximum duration of five years for knowledge workers and seven years for executives and managers. However, for those employed by newly established companies in Canada, the permit may only be valid for one year. Citizens of visa-exempt countries like the US, UK, EU, Australia, and Japan, are able to secure a three-year permit through Free Trade Agreements between their countries and Canada.

It's important to note that ICT WP's can be obtained through a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemption (C12) in specific cases.

The Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) program of Canada allows established foreign businesses to establish operations in Canada and obtain work permits for eligible employees. The processing time for ICT work permit applications vary, with an average of one to two months for some offices. The duration of ICT work permits are typically one to two years, with the possibility of renewal for up to five years for skilled workers and seven years for executives and managers. After working in a Canadian company for a year, employees may be eligible to apply for permanent residence through the Express Entry program.

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BMC can assist you with the following services when applying for the Canada Intra Company Transfer (ICT) program:

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