Intra-Company Transferee
Sep. 21, 2020

5 Steps to Move Your Company to Canada and Move to Canada

Intra-Company Transferee (ICT) is a way that you can move both your company and some of your employees to Canada, including yourself.
5 Steps to Move Your Company to Canada and Move to Canada
  1. Check if your company is eligible to expand to Canada under the Intra-Company Transferee (ICT) Program
  2. Establishing your company in Canada
  3. Apply for a work permit
  4. Arrive and begin working in Canada
  5. Apply for Permanent Residence

For many, the pathway to Canadian immigration can be daunting. Between the multiple streams of visa applications, the lengthy documentation process, and – for those pursuing temporary work visas – the requirement of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), it can be difficult to identify and pursue the best possible route. However, the Intra-Company Transferee (ICT) Work Permit is one potential pathway and is often underutilized by skilled foreign workers.

At SuperVisas, we can help outline the ICT work permit and its residency pathways, help identify your eligibility, and facilitate the application process. Let’s get started: 

To check eligibility, please visit our website at

http://apply.supervisas.com/user/newapplication?showType=work

What is the ICT Work Permit?

At the discretion of Canada Immigration and Visa Services, the ICT work permit grants qualified foreigners the right to work legally – and, potentially, achieve permanent residency – in Canada, without the prerequisite of an LMIA. 

The LMIA-exemption code is outlined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations and is permitted to eligible individuals who demonstrate “significant social, cultural, and economic benefit” to Canadian society, among other objective measures. As most streams of Canadian visas require an LMIA, its exemption from ICTs is optimal, allowing for a more accessible application process. 

Pathway to Permanent Residency via ICT Work Permit

Canada Immigration and Visa Services emphasize that the ICT program is not in place as a means to pursue permanent residency. However, this does not necessarily mean that it can’t be a catalyst for permanent residency. 

When international students study in Canada, they can apply for post-graduate work permits, gain employment experience in Canada, and transition this experience into permanent residency. Through direct employment experience, ICTs can carve out a similar path. Additionally, legitimate employment in Canada has a direct impact on one’s Comprehensive Ranking System score — the primary assessment tool for prospective permanent residency – via Express Entry Programs. Though not guaranteed, permanent residency via ICT work permit is viable.

Now, with this information in mind – and, before we outline the specifics of ICT work permit criteria – let’s utilize the following example as a general framework:

Mr. Nei is from Shanghai and has owned a photography studio for three years. He received his ICT work permit by establishing a new studio in Winnipeg, MB, in order to expand his business internationally. At his new Canadian enterprise, Mr. Nei held the title of “Visual Director”, and received an annual salary of $40,000. The studio generated annual revenue of $100,000 and had a total of two employees. 

Because Mr. Nei’s business had a positive impact on the culture and economy of Manitoba, Mr. Nei was able to apply for permanent residency via the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). He was able to achieve permanent residency in Canada within three years.

Understanding Company Eligibility

As demonstrated in the example, the ICT work permit is not just for large corporations; it is also accessible to small businesses and startup companies. However, in order for any company to apply for the permit, the following requirements must first be met: 

  • The company must have a legally-recognized equivalent in Canada, established as the parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate entity; 
  • Both enterprises must follow respective labour laws, actively demonstrating ethical and authorized business practices;
  • The international enterprise must have an operating history of at least one year. It must also prove the necessity of the ICT applicant’s employment in Canada – as well as the ability to afford employment and other business expenses – as evidenced by revenue.

Although these requirements may seem subjective, the governing principle – as previously stated – remains objective: transferees must have a positive social and cultural impact in Canada, particularly within the labour market and economy. It is through this lens that the ICT work permit is largely assessed.

To check eligibility, please visit our website at

http://apply.supervisas.com/user/newapplication?showType=work

Individual transferees

In order to qualify for an ICT work permit, the worker must have experience and expertise in at least one of three categories:

(1) Executive capacity at a senior level;

(2) managerial capacity; or

(3) advanced proprietorship of specialized knowledge.

In our example, Mr. Nei demonstrated both executive and managerial experience, as both the founder and owner of his photography studio. Additional criteria are as follows:

  • The transferee must be (or has been) a full-time employee of the international enterprise for at least one year of the last three;
  • The transferee’s prospective position in the corresponding Canadian enterprise must be comparable to their current position;

It is worth noting that, in addition to the specified ICT work permit criteria, applicants must also meet all other general requirements for immigration, set, and standardized by the Government of Canada.

Documentation of Eligibility

Correspondent documents for the ICT work permit should demonstrate the following:

  • Proof of qualifying relationship between the international enterprise and its Canadian equivalent;
  • Proof of transferee’s employment status and position with the international enterprise;
  • Personal documents proving the transferee’s admissibility to Canada. 

In accordance with customary immigration policy, applicants must also provide all other documents for general permittance to work in Canada.  

Estimated Timeline to Permanent Residency

Now, let’s say that all individual and company criteria are met. At this stage, it is time to begin your journey to permanent residency via ICT work permit. If successful, how long might this take?

There are two likely pathways:

1: Express Entry Pathway (if the applicant is eligible for Express Entry Programs):

Step One: Document Preparation and/or Canadian Incorporation
Approx. 3 months

Step Two: ICT Work Permit Submission and Approval
Approx. 3 months

Step Three: Express Entry Application Submission and Approval
Approx. 6–12 months

Total Time:
Approx. 1–2 years

2: Provincial Nomination Program (if the applicant is not eligible for Express Entry Programs):

Step One: Document Preparation and/or Canadian Incorporation
Approx. 3 months

Step Two: ICT Work Permit Submission and Approval
Approx. 3 months

Step Three: Work Experience Accumulation
Approx. 0–12 months (regulation varies by province)

Step Four: Provincial Nomination Submission and Approval
Approx. 3–6 months

Step Five: Permanent Residency Submission and Approval
Approx. 12–18 months

Total Time:
Approx. 2–4 years

Please note: the estimated timeline may vary based on processing times of the provincial and federal government, as well as time applicants may spend preparing documentation.

How can SuperVisas help?

Want to know more about ICT work permit eligibility, but don’t know where to start?
Start with SuperVisa! We provide FREE resources and surveys to help launch your journey to Canadian immigration.
To check eligibility, please visit our website at
http://apply.supervisas.com/user/newapplication?showType=work

Sean Fu
Sean Fu
Co-Founder and CEO