International Mobility ProgramIntra-Company Transferee (ICT)

This program allows international companies to transfer qualified employees to their established or new Canadian branch (or subsidiary or affiliate). The work-permit issued under this program is LMIA exempt.

This program is best suited for business owners (or key personnel) with the intention and ability to expand their business in Canada. The company can nominate one of its current employed high ranking decision makers, or an employee with specialized knowledge to travel to Canada to establish, and run the Canadian operation. This person will get a one year work permit under this program that can be renewed for two more years if certain conditions are met. There is a prospect of achieving permanent residency after one year, and through the CEC category of the Express Entry program depending on the person’s education, experience and language abilities. There is also a permanent residency prospect through different PNP programs if certain conditions are met.

ICT(Start-Up) at a Glance

Legal Ground Section 205(a) of IRPR
LMIA Requirement Exempted – C12
Eligibility  Business owners (or key personnel) who have been continuously working in the foreign company for at least 12 months
Requirements – Legally organized foreign business, actively engaged in doing business

– Canadian incorporation of a subsidiary, affiliate or branch

– Detailed business plan

– financial ability to operate Canadian company

Performance Obligations None
Financial/Investment Requirement There are no investment obligations but the foreign company must prove sufficient financial ability to start operations in Canada. This amount varies depending on the type of business, but in general cannot be less than CAD 100,000.
Required Supporting Documents – proof that foreign company is actively engaged in business (i.e. Article of incorporation, annual reports, financial statements, licenses, permits, payroll, contracts, …)

– proof of transferee’s employment (i.e. pay stub, contract, payroll)

– transferee’s personal documents (i.e. resume, education, financial ability and etc.)

– proof of Canadian incorporation

– Detailed business plan

Visa Validity and Renewal 1-3 years (depending on transferee’s position)

Can be renewed if certain conditions are met (staffing, securing premises and engaging in business)

Family Members Transferee’s spouse may get open work permit
Transferee’s children under 22 years old may get study permit
Work Permit Social Benefits -access to free health care for transferee and family members

-access to free education for children (up to and including secondary education)

Processing Time 2 weeks – 3 months (depending on the country of applicant)
Permanent Residency Prospect Very high particularly under the Canadian Experience Class of the Express Entry program

Frequently Asked Questions

Which key personnel can qualify for this program?

There are three categories of positions that can qualify for transfer to Canada:

Executive and Senior Managers: In general, executives and managers plan, organize, direct, or control the activities of a business, or a division of a business (e.g. Vice President of Marketing), either independently or through middle managers. They are frequently responsible for the implementation of the policies of a business. More senior persons, either alone or in conjunction with a board of directors, may formulate policies which establish the direction to be taken by the business.

Functional Mangers: in general, functional mangers. manage an essential function in the company, but do not necessarily manage staff. Essential function generally means a function that is indispensible or important to achieving the organization’s goals. A functional manager must operate at a senior level within the organization or within the function managed, and have discretion over the day-to-day operations of the function.

Employees with specialized knowledge: these employees have a high degree of both proprietary knowledge and advanced expertise.

Can any company use this program?

Qualified companies are those that regularly, systematically, and continuously provide goods and/or services in their home jurisdiction. For instance, a company with no employees which exists in name only and is established for the sole purpose of facilitating the entry of intra-company transferees would not qualify. Companies must be able to provide evidence to prove that they are doing business. For example, payroll showing at least 5 employees, annual reports, website and commercial literature, profit/loss statements, partnership agreements, license to do business, business tax returns, and etc.

Do only incorporated businesses qualify for this program?

Not necessarily. A business can qualify if it is an entity constituted or organized under applicable law, and either privately-owned or owned by the government, including any corporation, trust, partnership, sole proprietorship, joint venture or other associations.

Does the business have to be for-profit?

No. Religious, charitable, service or other non-profit organizations can also qualify to use this program.

Does the business expanding to Canada have to incorporate in Canada?

Yes. The entity operating in Canada has to be incorporated and structured such that a parent-subsidiary, affiliate or branch relationship is established between the foreign and Canadian entities.

What are the obligations of the Canadian entity?

The Canadian company must furnish realistic plans to staff the Canadian operation, and show the financial ability to commence business in Canada and compensate employees. The company must secure physical premises to house the Canadian operation. In the start-up phase however the company can use its lawyer’s address until the executive can purchase or lease a premise.

The company will have to provide immigration Canada with a business plan that details the Canadian operation, and in particular its recruitment approach.

Does the Canadian company have to employ the transferred employee?

Yes. The transferee has to be transferred to a position in a similar capacity and be offered employment for at least 18 months. The transferee must be paid by either the Canadian entity or the foreign entity.

How do I know if I can get permanent residency after my work-permit?

Our Complimentary Business Immigration Assessment will determine your prospects for permanent residency based on different programs. Therefore, you will know the specifics of your path to permanent residency in the very beginning of the process. This will allow you to save time and prepare in time.

Is there a language requirement for this program?

No. But if you are planning for permanent residency you will need to have language proficiency by the time you apply for permanent residency.

How soon should I expect to come to Canada?

It really depends on you. The processing time (time it takes Immigration Canada to render a decision on your application) for this program varies between 2 weeks to 3 months depending on the country you are applying from. It usually takes much longer to properly plan your business expansion and personal settlement. You should also consider the time it will take to gather the necessary documents, and write the business plan.

How can I retain SILAW for my Business Immigration needs?

It often starts with a Complimentary Business Immigration Assessment that we will conduct for you free of charge. In this process we will evaluate the information you provide to formulate tailored strategies for your needs and expectations. We then will schedule a Complimentary Consultation Session wherein we share the results of the assessment with you and will determine if we are the right fit for each other. If we mutually reach a decision to form a professional relationship, we will send you a retainer agreement and when you accept and sign, we will begin working for you.

What is a retainer?

Depending on how you use this term, it can mean either of the two following things:

  • A lump sum of money paid to a lawyer to secure his/her services and to cover legal fees and other future expenses of a legal action (referred to as a “retainer fee”); or
  • A written agreement (contract) between the lawyer and client that is the basis for the lawyer-client relationship (referred to as “Retainer Agreement”);
What can I expect from the Complimentary Business Immigration Assessment?

There are many different business immigration programs and they are often complicated to navigate, and determine whether they are a good match for your needs. We fill that gap by providing you with an assessment that will analyse your situation against many different business immigration programs to identify the one(s) that best suit your needs and expectations.

The results of this assessment, among other things, will be discussed with you during a scheduled Complimentary Consultation Session.

What can I expect from the Complimentary Consultation Session?

Please note that for our Business Immigration section, no Complimentary Consultation Session is scheduled unless you complete the Business Immigration Assessment Questionnaires.     

Our Complimentary Consultation Session is a half-hour meeting (in-person or remote) with one of our lawyers to discuss the results of your Business Immigration Assessment, your needs and expectations,  and to decide whether we are a good fit for each other. The purpose of this meeting is to ensure that we can actually help you achieve your goals and it is not to address all of your concerns and questions.

There is no obligation on you and no obligation on us to continue our relationship and the complimentary consultation session will not, on its own, form a lawyer-client relationship between you and our firm.

What type of Fee Arrangement can I expect from SILAW?

For all Business Immigration services we will charge you a Flat Fee. In this arrangement we will charge you a single fixed fee for services that we specify in your Retainer Agreement. The fixed (flat) fee is divided into different installments that will be due once certain milestones are met.

Why should I trust SILAW?

There are many reasons. You can read about some of them here or here. Also SILAW Professional Corporation is a licensed corporation by the Law Society of Ontario and as such it is held to its professional and ethical rules of conduct. You can read about these rules here.

But the BEST way to answer this question is to see us in action. For better insights to judge our value, consult as many professionals as you can, then Contact Us and decide for yourself.

Do you guarantee results?

Based on the rules of our governing body (the Law Society of Ontario) we cannot use contingency billing or guarantee results in an immigration matter. But we can, and we do guarantee that we will provide the best possible client service and legal representation.

We will always honestly assess your case (both good and bad) and set realistic expectations during your consultation. We’ll discuss our goals and objectives but no duly licensed attorney can ever guarantee how a case will conclude.

As an alternative to looking for guaranteed results we recommend you look for an attorney who most likely will succeed. Because in immigration matters your life and future is at stake, and getting a refund is little consolation. Mistakes and omissions in this area of law will gravely jeopardize your future chances. Therefore it is very important you choose your representation carefully.

Start Complimentary Business Immigration Assessment now

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