Intra-Company Transfer to Canada: Your Pathway to Global Mobility

The Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) program offers a strategic pathway for international businesses to strengthen their Canadian operations by transferring key employees. This category is designed for companies with a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate relationship in Canada, enabling the temporary relocation of qualified employees to contribute significantly to the Canadian economy.

Key Requirements

Employment with the Company: The employee must have been employed continuously by the company outside Canada, in a full-time position, for at least one year in the three-year period immediately preceding the application.

  • Qualifying Relationship: The Canadian and foreign companies must have a qualifying relationship, such as parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate.
  • Position: The employee must be transferred to a similar executive, senior managerial, or specialized knowledge position within the Canadian company.
  • Company Operations: The Canadian company must be actively engaged in business, providing goods or services.

Process and Timeline

  • Application Preparation: Gather necessary documentation, including proof of the qualifying relationship between the companies, the transferee’s job description, and evidence of the transferee’s employment and qualifications.
  • LMIA Exemption: ICT transfers may be exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process, streamlining the work permit application.
  • Work Permit Application: Submit the work permit application along with the supporting documents. The processing time can vary but generally ranges from 2 to 10 weeks, depending on the country of application and the current workload of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  • Entry to Canada: Upon approval, the transferee can enter Canada to work for the designated period, typically up to three years for executives and managers, and up to five years for specialized knowledge workers, with the possibility of extension.


1. Can family members accompany the transferee to Canada?

Yes, spouses or common-law partners and dependent children of the transferee can accompany them to Canada. Spouses may be eligible for an open work permit.

2. Is there a limit on how long I can stay in Canada under the ICT category?

Initial work permits under the ICT category can be issued for up to three years for executives and managers, and up to five years for specialized knowledge employees, with extensions possible.

3. Do I need a job offer from a Canadian company to apply for an ICT work permit?

Yes, the Canadian entity must offer a position that aligns with the executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge roles defined by the ICT program.

4. What happens if the Canadian company or the foreign company closes while I’m on an ICT work permit?

If the employing company ceases operations, your work permit becomes invalid, and you may need to apply for a change of conditions or leave Canada.

5. Can I apply for permanent residency while in Canada on an ICT work permit?

Yes, being in Canada on an ICT work permit does not preclude you from applying for permanent residency through programs for which you are eligible, such as the Canadian Experience Class within the Express Entry system.

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