Intra-Company Transfer
Program (ICT)

Understanding the Intra-Company Transfer Program (ICT)

As part of IMP, this option permits multinational companies with a branch, subsidiary, or affiliate in Canada to transfer workers under certain conditions. The primary purpose of this application is to improve the management effectiveness and competitiveness of Canadian companies in the global market. 

Qualifying Relationship and Employee Criteria

Canadian and foreign companies should have a qualifying relationship: the Canadian company should be a sister company, a branch, an affiliate, or a foreign company subsidiary. An employee should satisfy several criteria to qualify for this program, starting from professional experience, occupation, knowledge, and skills. 

Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Work Permit Application

The Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) work permit application provides an excellent pathway for foreign workers to enter the Canadian labour market and gain Canadian work experience. An Intra-Company transferee can be of any nationality. To qualify as an Intra-company transferee:

  • A Canadian company needs to have a qualifying relationship with the foreign company
  • A foreign multinational company must currently employ a person seeking employment in a Canadian parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate company.
  • A person must have been employed by the same company that wants to transfer him to Canada in a similar full-time position for at least one year in the last three years.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

This is an excellent pathway for both employers and employees because they do not require LMIA for this purpose because Intra-company transferees add significant benefits to the Canadian interests [IRPR 205(a)].


Pathway to Permanent Residency

This pathway can lead to obtaining LMIA exempt work permit. Even though this is a temporary pathway, it can be a  stepping-stone to get a Permanent Residency in Canada. Your one year of experience gained in Canada will make you eligible for express entry programs if you obtain CLB 5 for NOC B positions and CLB 7 for NOC O and A. The Provincial Nomination Programs are also available to these workers.

To add more to it, you can bring your dependents along with you. Your spouse can also work here in Canada by obtaining an open work permit.

Who is eligible?

A person can get LMIA exempt work permit under the pathways if their position falls in the following capacity:

  1. Executives direct the company’s management, establish the organization’s goals and policies, and receive direction from a higher level only.
  2. Senior Managers manage the organization, department, or subdivision, supervise and control other managers or supervisors, employees or an essential function within a company etc.
  3. Persons with specialized knowledge possess advanced expertise and proprietary knowledge of the company’s product, service, research, equipment, techniques, or management.                                                                                                                                                                           

The initial validity of the work permit:

If an Intra-Company Transferee is coming to Canada to open an office or get employed in a new office, the initial work permit will be issued for up to 1 year. Otherwise, an initial work permit can be issued for up to 3 years.

Renewals of the work permit:

Applicants can extend this worm permit for a period of 2 years with a total duration of 7 years in the case of executives or senior managers and a total of 5 years in the case of a person who is applying under the capacity of having specialized knowledge.

After an Intra-company transferee has reached the maximum duration of the work permit, they must work full-time for one year outside Canada if they wish to reapply.


Multi-national companies that are registered and incorporated at least in one foreign country and Canada. These companies can transfer employees to work in a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate of that company in Canada.

qualifying relationship term means that Canadian and foreign entity or entities must have a relationship in a form of parent, subsidiary, affiliated, or branch companies. These entities must continue meeting the requirements for the duration of the work permit. Otherwise, any foreign intra-company transferee currently working for the Canadian entity would not qualify to continue working for the new entity.

Initial work permit should be issued for one year. For extensions, further evidence should be provided that:

  • the Canadian and a foreign companies still have a qualifying relationship.
  • the new office has engaged in the continuous provision of goods or services for the past year.
  • the new office has been staffed.

All positions in an executive, senior managerial, or specialized knowledge capacity; In addition, transferees must have been employed continuously (via payroll or by contract directly with the company), by the company that plans to transfer them outside Canada in a similar full-time position (not accumulated part-time) for at least one year in the three-year period immediately preceding the date of initial application.

Extensions may be granted for up to five years for specialized knowledge workers and seven years for executives and senior managers. After that, workers must complete one year of full-time employment in the company outside Canada if they wish to re-apply as an intra-company transferee.

  • Employment confirmation that the foreign national is currently employed by a multi-national company outside Canada, full time, for a minimum of 1 year in the past 3 years.
  • Employment offers for a Canadian company, clearly stating the foreign workers’ position in an executive or managerial capacity or one involving specialized knowledge along with the job description and remuneration offered.
  • Justification of why the transfer of this employee is necessary and the benefits to the Canadian company and the labour market of such transfer.
  • Tangible evidence of the relationship between the enterprise in Canada and the enterprise in the foreign country.

Even though this program is designed as temporary and limited in duration, you can claim points under the Express Entry system for the job offer after 1 year of full-time work. All employer-specific work permit holders that are LMIA exempt can claim points for the job offer after that period and potentially apply for PR, if they fullfil other requitements.

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