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Intra Company Transfer Visa in Canada

Intra Company Transfer Visa in Canada

The intra company transfer in Canada represents an option through which an employee can relocate to another foreign country, by joining the branch/ subsidiary of the company for which he/she worked in his/her country of residence. For those who want to apply for an intra company transfer visa in Canada, various legal procedures have to be followed and numerous conditions will apply as well. At the same time, the office operating in Canada must provide evidence on why there is a need for relocating a foreign employee instead of hiring a local employee. Here, a qualifying relation has to be proven and our team of consultants in company registration in Canada can offer extensive details on what this relation can be. 

 Quick Facts  
Who can use the intra-company transfer system? The intra-company transfer in Canada is available for certain categories of employees of foreign companies that have set up a business ofice in Canada. 

Conditions to be met by the employee

– he/she has been employed in the company for minimum 1 year in a full-time contract in certain qualifying positions, 

– he/she is the employee of a multinational company that operates in Canada.   

Qualifying corporate positions  

The employee can apply for the ICT only for available positions in executive levels, senior management or for positions that require specialized skills. 

Conditions to be met by the company 

The foreign company operates in Canada through a branch office, a subsidiary or an affiliate office, the company abroad and the one in Canada engage in business activities. 

Duration of the intra-company transfer visa  The visa for intra-company transfer in Canada is issued initially for a period of 1 year (in certain cases, for 2 years). 
Institution in charge with the visa processing  Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
 Duration of the visa processing  The average duration is 1-2 months (the shortest period of time is 2 weeks, while the longest can be of 3-4 months).  
Qualifying companies  

Only multinational companies

Applying for a work permit (yes/no)


Right to relocate with family members (yes/no) 


Renewal possible (yes/no)  Yes
Conditions for the renewal of the intra-company transfer visa

The company abroad and its branch/subsidiary/affiliate maintain the business relationship, the office in Canada has the necessary staff and it has been delivering services and/or products in the last year. 

Legal pathways to permanent residency through intra-company transfer (ICT) visa 

The holder of the visa for intra-company transfer in Canada can become a permanent resident through the Comprehensive Ranking System, the Provincial Nominee Programs and other qualifying programs. 

Language requirements to be met by the applicant  The applicant may need to demostrate language abilities for English and/or French. 
Rights of family members of ICT visa holders 

The spouse of the visa holder can work in Canada. If the applicant has children, they are entitled to enroll in public school system for free. 

What are the main conditions for the Canadian intra company transfer visa?

In order to be eligible for an intra company transfer in Canada, the applicant employee must meet a set of criteria. One of them is to have an ongoing contractual relation that lasted for at least one year in the last three years for the same employer or a related employer that is located in the United States of America (USA) or Mexico. The employee has to be relocated to Canada under a short-term employment contract signed with the same employer or a related employer, as a qualified employee in a managerial position or as an executive.

Of course, in order to receive the intra company transfer visa in Canada, the applicant must be the holder of a work permit. The company transfer is open solely to those developing managerial work activities or for those who are qualified as executives who have specialized knowledge in various fields. 

What are the qualifying company structures for the intra company transfer in Canada? 

The right to apply for this special category of visa is available only for those who will be relocated in companies owned or controlled by the same legal entity. Qualifying companies can be only those that operate under a parent company. There are several options in this case, referring to the subsidiary, the branch office or to affiliate companies. 

All these structures represent entities which are fully controlled by the parent company as it is the case of the branch office, which simply represents a sub-division of the parent company working in a foreign jurisdiction. They can also be partially owned by the parent company as it is the case of a subsidiary, which is a separate legal entity with its own managerial rights, but in which the parent company owns at least half of its shares

The Canada intra company transfer visa procedure can be started only if any of the situations presented above can be proved with various documents. When applying for this program, one will need to present relevant documents regarding this matter, besides personal documents, that are usually required when applying for a visa, and our team can advise on this matter. 

What should an applicant know on the intra company transfer visa in Canada?

Those who want to apply for this program must know that it can provide specific advantages as this visa can be issued much faster compared to other employment visas available in this country. Below, you can find a few highlights of this program:

  • the visa is available for those who are full-time employees, working at least 30 hours per week in the same company for minimum one year;
  • prior to sending an application for the intra company transfer in Canada, the employer has to submit a set of documents with the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and pay an application fee of $230;
  • in several situations, the intra company transfer in Canada processing time can be of only 2 weeks, but this applies for highly skilled and top managerial positions;
  • as a general rule, the standard intra company transfer in Canada processing time is 1-2 months and, in exceptional cases (less than 5% of the applications), it can last for up to 3 or 4 months;
  • the right to stay in Canada can vary from 1 to 7 years, depending on the skills and the position the employee will have in the Canadian company (the more specialized the job, the more time the foreigner can stay in Canada).

What documents are necessary for the intra company transfer visa in Canada?

Qualifying persons are required to prepare a set of documents that will be further analyzed by the Canadian immigration authorities. First of all, it is necessary to present sufficient evidence on the fact that the applicant is hired in a multi-national company operating outside Canada

Then, it is necessary to present details regarding the place where the job activities will be carried out in Canada (meaning the subsidiary, branch office or other establishment of the foreign company abroad). 

Documents concerning the current employment contract must be provided as well. Here, qualifying applicants will be only those who can prove a long-term commitment towards the respective company and who are employed based on full-time contracts. 

Below, you can watch a short video on the intra-company transfer visa in Canada:

Then, details concerning the job description must be included in the file. Suitable applicants are the following: 

  1. persons who are working in executive or managerial positions;
  2. persons who have specialized knowledge in a particular field of work.

Regarding the specialized knowledge of the applicant, appropriate evidence must be presented – this can take the form of work experience, studies, trainings, etc. 

The application must contain details regarding the job position the person will have in the company in Canada. The applicant must provide information on the following: 

  1. the job title;
  2. the position (managerial, executive);
  3. the description of the job. 

When applying for the intra company transfer in Canada, one must also include details regarding the duration of stay in this country. Among the list of documents, one should include information concerning the business relation between the foreign company abroad and the one working in Canada.  

In general, when a person will apply for a work permit in Canada – and the intra company transfer is a type of visa that grants the right to employment here – it will be necessary to complete the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). However, through the intra company transfer program, the LMIA is not required, in accordance with the immigration rules applicable here. 

The exemption from LMIA is addressed to all foreign nationals, including to persons who arrive from countries that have signed a Free Trade Agreement with Canada. These rules are stipulated in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (exemptions are regulated by the Paragraphs R204(a) code T24 and R205(a) code C12. 

What is the duration of the intra company transfer visa in Canada?

As mentioned above by our consultants in company formation in Canada, the visa for the intra company transfer can be issued for a period of 1 to 7 years. 

The visa validity and renewal can be influenced by many factors. In general, the visa is first issued for a period of 1 or 2 years, depending on the status of the company from which the employee works. By this, we refer to the age of the foreign company. For instance, if the company is a start-up or any other newly founded foreign company which has also an office in Canada, the permit will be issued for a period of 1 year. In the case of employees who come from companies that have been operating for several years, the intra company transfer visa in Canada will be issued for a period of 2 years. 

Additional rules concerning the initial duration of the visa can appear based on the nationality of the foreign applicant – for some foreign nationals, the document can be issued for a period of 3 years. You can find out more details concerning this visa type from our specialists in company registration in Canada. If you need more details on how to start this procedure and the documentation that you must prepare for the issuance of the visa, we invite you to contact our team of consultants in company formation in Canada. Our team can advise on all the basic requirements in order to ensure that you will obtain the Canadian intra company transfer visa as soon as possible.  

Besides the employees of multinational companies, the Intra Company Transfer program can also be accessed by foreign investors who want to open a business in Canada. For instance, the program can be accessed by those who want to open a start-up business here, but it is necessary to provide a clear business plan and documents that show the financial capacity to set up operations here.

Regardless if you will start a business through any of the immigration programs regulated by the Canadian authorities or if you are a resident investor, please mind that after the registration, additional procedures will apply. One of them is to hire accountants. In the situation in which you will set up a large company, you will need the professional accounting services of a CPA in Canada.

Foreigners can use other immigration programs besides the Intra Company Transfer. For instance, one can participate in the Owner Operator program in Canada. This is available for foreign investors who will manage their own company and who can obtain 200 points in an assessment application file. The advantage of the program is that there isn’t an annual quota regulated by the law.

Contact our specialists in company formation and immigration in Canada for more details about the Canadian intra company transfer visa.