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Intra-Company Transfer

Foreign businesses with a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate in Canada have the option to bring key personnel to Canada through an Intra Company Transfer.

Work permits acquired through this program are exempt from the requirement to obtain an LMIA. Although LMIA-exempt, workers and employers who utilize the Intra-Company Transfer program must comply with all provisions governing temporary work in Canada, including obtaining a Temporary Resident Visa, if applicable. In three years immediately preceding the date of the initial application, transferees must have been employed with the foreign enterprise continuously for at least one year, in a full-time position like the position they will be occupying at the Canadian business. The Canadian business will also have to demonstrate a qualifying relationship with its foreign counterpart.


Work in Canada must fall under one of three following functions:

Executive or Senior Managers Executive

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Functional Manager

A functional manager is an employee who manages a function that is essential to achieving the company’s goals but does not necessarily manage employees.

Specialized Knowledge

A specialized employee can demonstrate technical knowledge, which in turn means knowledge at an advanced level of expertise and proprietary knowledge of the enterprise’s products, services, processes, procedures, and operations.

More about Intra-company transfer

In addition, when applying for an intra-company transfer visa, applicants must demonstrate their company’s ability to become established in Canada. Foreign businesses wishing to establish a Canadian enterprise may use the Intra-Company Transfer program. It helps them to bring critical workers to the country for start-up operations.
Applicants must demonstrate their company’s ability to become established in Canada, which includes:

  • Evidence that the company can financially support the start-up costs of the operation and can compensate employees.
  • Preparing a business plan that outlines realistic plans for staffing the new operation and doing business in Canada.
  • Evidence that physical premises have been secured (or are in the process of being secured). The program provides a one-year temporary work permit. It may be renewed if the companies have maintained a qualifying relationship and actively do business. The new Canadian operations must also have been staffed.

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