Canada Intra Company Transfer Visa processing time: Costs and Documentation

Navigating the intricacies of the corporate world can be challenging, especially when it comes to transferring employees between branches or subsidiaries of the same organization. The Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) program in Canada provides a solution to this challenge. This blog will cover the essential aspects of the ICT, such as:

  • What is intra company transfer Canada program?
  • How to apply for intra company transfer canada program?
  • What are the document requirements for the intra company transfer visa?
  • How does Intra-Company Transfer Program lead to PR Status in Canada?
  • What is the cost of the intra-company transfer program?
  • What is the Canada intra company transfer processing time?

Have you ever wondered how companies move their top talents from one country to another, especially into Canada? The answer is through the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) program. Let’s break this down in plain words.

So, what is intra company transfer Canada?

Imagine your company has branches in different parts of the world and wants to bring some of its best workers to Canada. The ICT program is the bridge for this. It lets businesses shift their key staff, like top bosses, experts, or folks with unique know-how, to Canada for a bit. There’s a catch, though. That star employee should have been working with the company outside Canada for at least a full year within the past three years.

Is the intra-company transfer program for big companies only?

Nope! Even young, ambitious companies gearing up to spread their wings in Canada can tap into this. If your start-up has been up and running for more than 18 months and is pulling in between $300,000 to $350,000 CAD annually in revenues or sales, then you’re on the right track. Such companies can use the ICT program to fly in their main leader or senior executive to steer the ship in Canadian waters.

How long can these transferred employees stay in Canada?

Usually, they get a work permit, often called an ICT work permit, for 1 or 2 years to begin with. Think of it as a trial run. Canada wants to see if this move benefits the country in ways like creating jobs, boosting the sales of Canadian goods, or paying Canadian taxes.

If all goes well and Canada feels the business is on the right track, they might extend the permit. The Executive can get an extension for physical presence in Canada for up to 7 years.

In many cases, after just a year of working in Canada, the transferred leader can apply for a permanent stay. How? Because they earn 200 extra points for being a senior executive / owner in their company. However, if their English language test scores aren’t high and/or their educational background is limited and/or they’re past 45 years old, they might need to wait a bit longer. This is because they might need more points from working in Canada to make up for the lost points elsewhere.

In essence, Canada’s Intra-Company Transfer program is a fantastic avenue for businesses, big and small, to bring their best and brightest into the country. Whether it’s to drive growth, share expertise, or fuel expansion, Canada opens its doors wide for those who can contribute to its growth and prosperity.

How to Apply for Intra Company Transfer Canada Program?

In terms of eligibility for the program, let’s break it down into 4 main Pillars:

Pillar # 1: Overseas Company

The overseas company needs to be in operation for at least 18 months with revenues or sales of at least $300,000 – $350,000 CAD per year. It has to be a formally incorporated legal entity.

Pillar # 2: Canadian Company

For a successful Intra-Company Transfer, it’s essential to establish a clear connection between the Canadian entity and its overseas counterpart. Let’s break down the preferred options:

Relationship Between the Entities: The Canadian business should ideally function as a Subsidiary or an Affiliate of the overseas entity. Setting up as a branch is generally not recommended due to its informal structure, which can raise questions about the business’s legitimacy.

100% Owned Subsidiary: In this arrangement, the overseas entity holds complete ownership of the Canadian counterpart. The ownership structure of the overseas entity – whether it’s a single owner or multiple partners with different stakes – doesn’t influence this choice. If there are no governing restrictions, the 100% owned subsidiary is a favored option.

Partly Owned Subsidiary: The Canadian entity can have a shared ownership model. For instance, it could be 50% owned by the overseas company and 50% by the transferring executive.

Affiliate of the Overseas Company: Here, the Canadian entity could be entirely owned by the executive who is transferring under the ICT work permit. However, this requires the executive to hold at least a 50% stake in the overseas business. If share distribution involves spouses, a 51% stake for the applicant and 49% for the spouse is advisable.

Operational Requirements:

  • The Canadian business must hire a minimum of one Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident within its first operational year.
  • The entity is obliged to demonstrate progress to the IRCC when prompted and certainly before seeking an extension for the ICT work permit.

Pillar # 3: Applicant being Transferred

For successful application to the Intra-Company Transfer program:

  • The applicant must have served the overseas company for at least one complete year within the three years preceding the application.
  • The individual can be transferred to a similar or higher position than their current role.

For start-up entities in Canada, the experience of the relocating senior executive is under meticulous scrutiny. Clarifications will often revolve around:

  • Why the specific individual is nominated for the transfer.
  • A detailed breakdown of their current duties and responsibilities.
  • The duration of their association with the company.
  • The number of employees directly managed by the executive.

Pillar # 4: Investment Requirement

The Intra-Company Transfer program stands out primarily because it doesn’t demand an immediate financial investment. However, it’s crucial – and non-negotiable – that the company or the transferring executive demonstrates access to liquid funds ranging from $100,000 to $150,000 CAD. These funds can either be housed in the overseas company’s business account or in the personal assets of the executive relocating to Canada.

While there’s no immediate need for an investment, the company will inevitably face expenses in its first year in Canada. These expenses, which may encompass renting an office space, hiring a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and facilitating other business growth initiatives, will amount to around $100,000 CAD. This is precisely why verifying the availability of these funds at the outset is of paramount importance.

Canada Intra Company Transfer Processing Time

In terms of submitting the application, it can take up to 6 weeks to structure an error-free application.

Once submitted, typically the request to complete biometrics is received within 1 week.

Once biometrics is completed, the timer starts. The country from where you are applying from matters. You can check this page to pick the country you are from the drop-down menu to check the processing time

Here is a list of our clients and the countries they are from, and the respective average processing times that we have experienced.

Country Processing times
Vietnam 5 Months
Singapore 6 months
India 4 – 5 months
United States 2 months
UAE 8 months
Brazil 4 months
Columbia 6 months

Applying for Permanent Residence (PR) After Your Intra-Company Transfer Visa

If you’re in Canada on an Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Work Permit, you might be wondering about the next step: How can you transition to Permanent Residence (PR) status? Let’s dive into the details!

Understanding Your Eligibility

There are typically two primary routes to consider for PR after an ICT:

  1.   Canadian Experience Class (CEC): This is usually for employees without shares in the Canadian company.
  2.  Federal Skilled Worker (FSW): If you own equity or shares in the Canadian business, this is your path, because owning shares means your experience is considered self-employed, which isn’t valid for CEC.

To clarify a common question: No, you don’t need an LMIA when applying for PR to claim the additional 50 or 200 points.

Three Key Criteria for PR

  1.   Your work permit should be LMIA Exempt, particularly under the Canadian Interests category. Note that not all LMIA Exempt permits can lead to PR.
  2.   You must complete at least one full year working for your employer or business in Canada.

      3.  Secure a new job offer, different from the one you used for the ICT work permit. Ensure it’s valid for a year post-PR status, full-time, and paid.

Navigating the NOC Codes Changes

There was a shift from the 4-digit 2016 NOC system to the 5-digit 2021 NOC system. To illustrate:

  • A 0013 code would now be 00012, under the TEER 0 category. Typically, these are senior executives with a stake in the company and can claim 200 extra points and apply through the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) category. If you don’t own shares, CEC might be more suitable.
  •  If you had a NOC code categorized as 0, A, or B, you now fall under TEER 1 to 3, qualifying you for 50 extra points via the Canadian Experience Class.
  • Can I shut my business after getting PR? Ideally, your business should continue. However, you have the freedom to decide its future once you have your PR. Do keep thorough documentation for potential citizenship applications.
  •  Can my spouse’s Canadian work experience count? Absolutely, but this will be under the CEC, without the additional points.
  • Should my spouse be the primary applicant if they’re better at IELTS? This varies. Comparing scores and other factors, like age and overall experience, can help decide.

What are the Canada intra company transfer visa documents? Requirements for the Intra Company Transfer Program?

So finally, let’s talk about the main canada intra company transfer visa documents that we typically need for a successful ICT application:

Overseas Entity

  • Company registration documents
  • Shareholder Certificates / records
  • Business Licenses (if any)
  • Tax Registration documents
  • Audited or Non-Audited Financial statements for the past 2 years
  • Business Bank Statements
  • Profit / Loss statements
  • Balance Sheets

Canadian Entity

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Shareholder Certificate / Records
  • Any Notice of Change forms (if applicable)
  • Any amendments to incorporations
  • List of Directors / amendments made to this list
  • CRA Business Number
  • LMIA Exemption Explanation

ICT Applicant:

  • Passport
  • Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
  • Resume
  • Education Certificates (ECA not needed)
  • Digital Photo
  • Personal Bank Statements for at least 6 months
  • Pay stubs or proof of working for overseas company
  • Net worth certificate
  • Proof of ties to home country
  • Offer of Employment from Canadian Company
  • Employment Contract from Canadian Company
  • Letter from Current employer (from overseas business)
  • Complete ALL immigration forms
  • Police Clearance Certificate (in some cases)
  • Upfront Medicals (in some cases)

Let’s now talk about what the canada intra company transfer visa program cost

I’d split the canada intra company transfer visa cost between government fees and fees that the immigration companies can charge, which varies significantly depending on who you work with.

The following table should be used for reference purposes only. The final price does depend on the complexity of the business, the structure that’s preferred in Canada and so many other factors. But the following is an excellent estimate:

For the main applicant that is moving to Canada on an Intra Company Transfer Work Permit and for a Start-Up Company being set up in Canada:

Work Permit Government Fees $155
Biometrics $85
Employer Compliance Fee $230
Canadian Entity Incorporation $1,500 – $2,500
Business Plan $3000 – $3,500
Immigration Advisory, Application Structuring $7000 – $10,000

So, on a higher end, you can expect to spend $16,270 CAD for your ICT application. If you need to add your spouse, add another $255 and for each dependent child looking to get a study permit, add another $150.

If you work with Bluewater Immigration, you can expect to pay around $12,500 – $14,000 per ICT Application, whether you are applying on your own or with your spouse and children.

You can find many informative videos on the canada intra company transfer processing time Program on our YouTube Channel.

Secure Your Successful Intra-Company Transfer with Expert Guidance

At Bluewater Immigration, I bring not only my credentials as a licensed Canadian Immigration consultant (R706934) but also an unmatched mastery over the intricacies of Intra-Company Transfer applications. My track record speaks volumes – with a consistent average of 10 successful Intra-Company transfers every month, I pride myself on knowing this program inside and out.

Allow me to strategize and structure your company’s application for the best possible outcome. If you’re considering this program and want to understand its suitability for your situation, let’s have an in-depth 60-minute consultation. I’m here to guide you every step of the way.