Canadian Immigration Consulting Inc

Intra-Company Transfer


Intra company transfer allows business owners to establish a presence in Canada and potentially gain Canadian PR & citizenship by claiming 200 express entry CRS points after a year of working as a senior manager. Canada intra company transfer is a viable option for business owners, senior managers & specialists.

If you are a business owner, you may be able to open a branch or subsidiary of your company in Canada, and in doing so transfer yourself or your employees to Canada through an intracompany transfer work permit. If the person being transferred is an executive or a senior manager, they may be able to claim 200 express entry points after working for a year in Canada. And specialists can claim 50 points. Depending on whether or not you’ll be self-employed, you can claim more points also which we’ll look at in a couple of minutes. So you can not only set up your business in Canada, but can also be on your way to obtain Canadian PR & citizenship. 

Intra company transfer is not something unique to Canada. In USA for example, this is known as the L1 visa, in UK it is now called the Senior or Specialist worker visa, in Australia it is known as Intra-Corporate Transfer, so on and so forth. Intracompany transfer is based on the international trade agreements between Canada other countries and is a tried and tested process that has existed for a very long time. So there may be two scenarios, first where you’re a business owner and you’re transferring yourself to Canada. Second, where you’re an employee an your company is transferring you to Canada and hence you will not be self-employed in Canada. The points you can get in both scenarios are different.

Intra company transfer to PR

If you’re a business owner and are transferring yourself to Canada, you can potentially claim 200 express entry CRS points as a senior manager after working for a year in Canada. Three important conditions for this are that you must be an executive or a senior manager, you must have worked for at least 12 months in Canada, and your company gives you a full time, indeterminate job offer i.e. it has no end date and this job offer is valid both when you apply for PR and when you get the PR. If you’re someone who has a bachelors degree and a decent IELTs score, 200 points can be very helpful in express entry. Let’s look at a hypothetical scenario. Let’s say you own a corporation which has 20 employees, including a couple of managers or department leads. Your age is 72 years. I’m assuming age on the higher side for this simulation, to show you it can still work. So you are 72 , you have a bachelors degree of 3 or 4 years. And you’ve had at least 3 years of full time experience in your business in the last 10 years and are currently managing that business. Even though you are 72 years YOUNG, the great thing is that you scored quite well in your IELTs exam with a score of 8 out of 9 in listening, and 7 in reading, writing and speaking. You are married, but your spouse doesn’t speak any English but intends to accompany you to Canada both for this work permit and eventually for PR. In this case, your FSW score will be 75 points out of a 100, which means you are eligible to apply for FSW as your score is 67 or more. But eligibility doesn’t mean you’ll get a PR. For that we need to look at your CRS score. In this example, your CRS score will be 503 points, which as of today is a very good score. If your spouse doesn’t intend to join you immediately, we can declare her as non-accompanying which would put your score even higher at 519. So this means you have a very strong likelihood of obtaining Canadian PR. So this is one scenario where Intracompany Transfer or ICT can help you set up a business in Canada and also obtain your PR.

Education requirements for intra company transfer in Canada

If you have high school education, this option may still be great to get a Canadian work permit and set up your business here, but transitioning into PR might be more challenging. Specially if you’re not in your 20’s or early 30’s. But if you’re relatively young, let’s say 32 and have high school education, your CRS score will be 498 which is still very good.

And if you do not have high school education, then express entry will not be an option for you as a self-employed person since you won’t qualify for the federal skilled worker program of express entry. So even though intracompany transfer might enable you to obtain a work permit, PR will not be possible through express entry unless you get at least high school education. But if you’ve studied express entry enough, you might challenge this and wonder why can’t you apply for express entry through Canadian Experience Class? As CEC doesn’t require high school education. And you’d be correct in saying that CEC doesn’t require high school education but keep in mind that self-employed experience in Canada is not eligible for CEC. So if you’re education is high school or less, and your goal is both to start a business in Canada and eventually obtain Canadian citizenship, there are about 30 business immigration programs, one of which might be more suited for you. 

Now, let’s look at the second scenario where you’re either transferring your employee to Canada or you are an employee not a business owner and you won’t be working as a self-employed person in Canada. In this case, you will get more benefits. As you can claim points for Canadian work experience, and you can also claim points for a job offer once you spend a year working in Canada for this employer who transferred you through an intracompany transfer. You can potentially claim 53 points for one year of work experience and 200 points for a job offer as a senior manager after a year, and 253 points should be enough to get you an Invitation to apply for PR through CEC or FSW. I had a client who had been working in Canada for 4 years as a senior manager through ICT. Their company had transferred them from India to Canada. They did not have a bachelors degree. The surprising thing is they didn’t realize that they still could have good enough points to apply for PR. So we created their profile, claimed points for Canadian work experience as well as a job offer as a senior manager, and they were able to get their PR.

So intracompany transfer can be a very good option for business owners and senior managers.

If you’d like to discuss your case, please schedule a consultation call.

Processing time for Canada intra company transfer

The processing time for intra company transfer work permit varies by the visa office the application is being processed at. To check these processing times, visit this link on IRCC’s website.

Documents required from the employer for ICT

The employer is responsible for submitting specific documents on behalf of the employee to be transferred, including:

  • Confirmation of employment documents like employment letters and pay slips, detailing the employee’s current job title and duties.
  • An organizational chart displaying the employee’s position within the company, especially crucial for senior managers and executives.
  • Confirmation of the employee’s continuous full-time employment for at least one year within the last three years.
  • Statement regarding the intended duration of the employee’s stay in Canada.
  • Job offer details, including the position and duties for the role the employee is being transferred for.

Key Criteria of intra company transfer from the Employee’s Perspective

To qualify for an ICT, the employee must have been employed by the parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate in Canada for at least one year on a full-time basis within the previous three years, in a similar position held with the company outside Canada. Furthermore, the employee must be capable of transferring back to the foreign company upon completion of their assignment in Canada. Citizenship from any country is acceptable for the applicant.

For further details, read this blog.

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