Intra Company Transfer Canada: How to Expand Your Business to Canada

The Canadian immigration framework provides for various business immigration routes. Canada's Intra Company Transfer (ICT) program is well-suited for foreign business owners who wish to expand their existing operations to Canada. On this page, you will learn the details of the ICT program, including the program requirements, advantages, application process, and pathways to transition to permanent residency.

What is Intra Company Transfer?

ICT is an immigration pathway under the International Mobility Program that allows qualified foreign business owners to transfer their businesses to Canada and acquire a work permit. Through the ICT pathway, you will be able to secure an ICT Work Permit and eventually permanent residence (PR). In most cases, the principal applicant's spouse and children will gain an open work permit and study permit, respectively.

ICT Canada is not the only business immigration program available to you. Take our free instant assessment and learn about your immigration options. You can also receive valuable advice from our business immigration lawyers during our...

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Owner-Operator LMIA Work Permit FAQ

Service Canada announced that they are completely revising the Owner-Operator LMIA program, learn more in our article detailing the cancellation and contact us to learn more about your options in Canada.

Can I buy a business in Canada as a foreigner while on a tourist visa?

Yes, it is possible to own a business in Canada while being on a tourist visa. However, you will have to meet certain requirements and the laws differ depending on the type of business you buy as well as the province in which it will operate. Our team can assist you in finding a suitable business in Canada and buying an existing business in Canada or establishing your business from scratch.

Do I have to relocate to Canada once I purchase a business in Canada?

As a business owner, working in Canada with a valid work permit, it is expected that you will actively manage your business in Canada. Therefore, your presence in Canada is generally required. However, this does not mean that you cannot travel while working in Canada, especially if your business requires extensive traveling outside of Canada....

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Can You Buy a Business in Canada as a Non-Citizen or Foreigner?

There are multiple options available for foreign business people interested in buying or starting a business in Canada. Under Canada’s federal and provincial laws governing corporations, a non-resident or foreign entrepreneur or investor may register a company in Canada from scratch or by setting up a branch office or creating a subsidiary company in Canada. However, first, you will have to decide whether you wish to start a business in Canada by immigrating or without living in Canada.

Most options for buying a business in Canada for non-citizens may also include routes for temporary or permanent residence.

First, you may be eligible for Canada’s Start-Up Visa program with the support of a designated investor organization or venture capital fund. Under this program, you will also need to have a qualifying business, be proficient in English or French, and have enough funds to support yourself and your family when you move to Canada.

Second, if you already have an established business you wish to expand into Canada, each individual province or territory has its own...

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How Does the Canada Provincial Nominee Program Work?

The Provincial Nominee Program works in two stages.

First, you will have to apply to the specific province for your provincial nomination under the program. You will need to create a detailed business plan which explains the type of business you intend to purchase or establish and includes financial projections demonstrating how your purchase or creation of this business will benefit the local economy and the overall labour market. You will also need to verify your eligibility with the specific province, followed by submitting a PNP application.

Many PNPs may require a performance agreement that may impose various performance commitments, key investment and job creation commitments, and timeframes to be met before the province will nominate the non-resident. The process of demonstrating performance under this agreement could take up to two years or even longer in some cases.

Second, after demonstrating performance under the Performance Agreement, you will await notification of the province’s decision whether to nominate you. If you have been successfully nominated, you will then submit your permanent...

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Which Provincial Nominee Program is Simplest in Canada and What is the Process?

Immigrating to Canada using a PNP is generally not recommended as the best option by the Sobirovs team, given the average of two to four years to complete the application process, higher required investment amounts, increased competitiveness among applicants, and the bureaucratic nature of the process. While the PNP Canada immigration route may not be optimal, some programs are simpler to apply for than others, depending upon the individual entrepreneur applying for the program, as well as his or her expertise, work experience, and other factors.

The Easiest PNP in Canada

Saskatchewan’s Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) may often be the simplest program for many foreign entrepreneurs. The program’s Entrepreneur stream targets experienced business managers or business owners interested in moving to Saskatchewan. Nomination by Saskatchewan for its provincial nominee program may also benefit a nonresident’s chances of being approved for permanent residence in Canada, as Saskatchewan allocates additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points for applicants with family members or...

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Why My Application for the Start-Up Visa Program in Canada Might Be Denied?

Completing an application for a Start-Up Visa in Canada involves several steps. A mistake in any one of these steps could negatively affect your application.

Common Reasons for a Start-Up Visa Program Denial

Failing to provide all required documents

It is important that entrepreneur applicants carefully follow the document checklist provided in the application packet to avoid any missing requirements. Many applications may be denied or delayed because of a failure to provide all necessary supporting documentation with the application. Besides, your immigration lawyer should analyze what other documents not mentioned in the government’s checklist may support your application and consider including those documents, too.

Failing to provide accurate financial documents

Applicants must provide proof of finances and have the financial means necessary to maintain a business and the cost of living in Canada.

Failing to meet standards of international security

Police clearance forms must be obtained, and a background check must be conducted and passed for an applicant to be considered. Before granting you entry...

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How Fast is the Canada Start-Up Visa Program?

Applying for a Start-Up Visa in Canada involves a series of steps including:

1. Obtain the support of a designated investment organization, such as a venture capital fund or angel investor in Canada. This process may take a few months or over a year depending on the organization and the specific applicant.

2. Completing the required application form for Canada electronically, then printing and signing the application to be submitted by mail to the appropriate address provided in the application guidelines.

Complete the checklist of required documents including:

    • Generic Application form for Canada;
    • Declaration of Additional Dependents (if necessary);
    • Background check information for the applicant, his/her spouse, and any dependents age 18 or older;
    • Completed Use of a Representative form (if applicable);
    • Passport and other travel documents;
    • Documents to prove Canadian English and/or French language competency (i.e. exam scores);
    • Letter of support from the designated organization in Canada;
    • Birth certificate;
    • Documents for...

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Why Do We Need a Start-Up Visa?

The Canadian Start-Up Visa Program allows innovative foreign entrepreneurs to obtain permanent residence in Canada while establishing a start-up business. Unlike other immigration programs offered by Canada for foreign entrepreneurs, the Start-Up Visa does not require any minimum investment by the immigrant. Further, the foreign entrepreneur can choose to live anywhere in Canada under this program, rather than a specific province as under the Provincial Nominee Program. Finally, the Start-Up Visa Program allows recipients to live in Canada as permanent residents for three years, before then also becoming eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship and a Canadian passport. If the foreign entrepreneur has a spouse and children, they may follow similar steps to become Canadian citizens.

The Start-Up Visa can help new businesses started by foreign entrepreneurs establish themselves and thrive with access to new markets within the Canadian and North American economies, numerous tax benefits Canadian incorporation may bring, and the quick and cost-effective immigration process offered by the program...

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How Does the Start-Up Visa Program Help Immigrant Entrepreneurs?

The Start-Up Visa Program allows immigrant entrepreneurs to start innovative businesses that will increase employment opportunities in Canada. The Start-Up Visa assists entrepreneurs who are new to Canada in overcoming the challenges of successfully starting a business in a new country while also obtaining a temporary visa or permanent residency. This program also allows business owners to be more competitive on a global scale by operating a business within Canada’s growing economy supported by one of the most highly educated workforces in the world.

What are the Benefits of Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program?

Indeed, Canada’s strong and innovative economy, excellent quality of life, and low business operating costs and taxes provide significant benefits for a foreign entrepreneur interested in starting a business in a new country, while the Start-Up Visa program makes it much easier for such entrepreneurs to take advantage of these benefits.

Additionally, one of the most significant benefits of Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program is the program’s role in linking dynamic foreign entrepreneurs with private sector...

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What are the Pros of the Self-Employed Program in Canada?

Canada’s Self-Employed Program is designed to streamline the immigration process for certain motivated individuals who can make unique contributions to the Canadian economy and have relevant experience in farm management, athletics, or cultural activities. Applicants to this program must also possess the ability and intention to create a business after entering Canada that will at least create employment for themselves, while ideally creating additional jobs and benefits to Canada.

Benefits of Canada’s Self-Employed Program

The Self-Employed Program provides an immigration route for foreign individuals who want to immigrate to Canada and work for themselves. This program is open to foreign individuals seeking to immigrate to any province or territory in Canada, except for Quebec, which administers its own Quebec Self-Employed Program.

The benefits of this program help separate it from many of Canada’s other immigration routes.

Indeed, applicants under this program are not required to invest their own funds into a company or the government, and they are not required to obtain any funding from a...

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What is an LMIA in Canada?

What is an LMIA in Canada and How To Get It?A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) may be required for an employer in Canada seeking to hire a foreign worker. However, there are some exemptions your company may be eligible for. An LMIA indicates whether there is a need for a temporary foreign worker and whether there are no Canadians or permanent residents available for the position. If both of these initial criteria are met, you may be granted a positive LMIA, or confirmation letter, which will allow you to then hire a foreign worker.Meet the Sobirovs Law Team

How to Get an LMIA?

LMIAs are available through Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). You will then need to go through the appropriate program depending upon the type of position you are trying to fill. This includes programs for high-wage earner positions, low-wage earner positions, seasonal agricultural positions, and agricultural positions.

High-Wage Earner Positions

There is a $1,000 processing fee for each position you wish to fill with a temporary foreign worker. Some exemptions are available. Your business...

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How Do I Get a Work Permit in Canada?

How to Get a Work Permit in Canada?Foreign workers seeking employment in Canada will need to obtain a work permit.  There are two types of work permits available in Canada: restricted work permits and open work permits. While some jobs are exempt from work permits, most jobs will require one.

Restricted Work Permits

Restricted work permits are the most common type of work permit issued in Canada.  These work permits are only issued for a specific employer, so you will need to obtain a new work permit if you change employers. Work permits also have a set duration. However, you may apply for a new work permit from inside Canada. The maximum duration a foreign worker may work in Canada is four years. After 4 years, you must leave Canada and will be unable to obtain a new work permit until an additional 4 years have passed. This takes into account all time worked in Canada, whether it is continuous or with gaps between work periods.Contact Sobirovs Law Firm

The steps for obtaining a work permit in Canada include:

1. LMIA Assessment

Your prospective employer must apply for a...

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How to Move to Canada by Buying a Business

Canada has a number of immigration pathways that are designed to attract wealthy business immigrants. One such pathway is the Owner-Operator program that allows foreign investors to invest in a business in Canada and move to Canada to become permanent residents.

Below you will find important information about this pathway as well as answers to the most commonly asked questions.


The Owner-Operator program allows foreign owners of Canadian companies to come to Canada to run their businesses and to settle in Canada permanently. In order to benefit from this program, foreign investors must buy a business in Canada or establish their own business in Canada and demonstrate to the Canadian immigration authorities that their business is genuine and will create employment opportunities for Canadians.

However, please see our article about the recent changes to this program which make it more burdensome to some extent.


Foreign investors who meet the following requirements are the ideal candidates for the...

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Can a Work Permit Holder Apply for a Permanent Residency in Canada?

How Can a Work Permit Holder Get a Permanent Residence in Canada?If you are a work permit holder in Canada, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency via the Express Entry system.

There are three Express Entry programs with varying requirements: the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program. These programs are for skilled workers seeking permanent residence in Canada. Skilled work is classified as managerial, professional, or skilled trade and technical jobs.Meet the Sobirovs Law Team

Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class program as a pathway to obtaining permanent residency is available to skilled workers who have experience working in Canada. To be eligible for this program, you must:
  • Meet language ability requirements
  • Have one year of full-time skilled work experience, or equivalent, in Canada in the past 3 years
  • Be able to show that you carried out the tasks and duties normally expected of an employee in that position
There is no education requirement or job...

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What Are The Types of Work Permits in Canada?

Types of Work Permits in CanadaCanada offers two broad types of work permits for foreign workers: job-specific work permits and open work permits, both of which are intended to be temporary.

All work permits have a set duration, and a foreign worker may only work four years, continuously or cumulatively, at which point they will have to remain outside of Canada for four years before being allowed to work in Canada again. However, obtaining a work permit may help you along the route to permanent residence through the Express Entry program or the Skilled Workers Program, as these programs require multiple years of experience and working in Canada give you clear advantages in these immigration programs.

Most types of work permits require an application fee. However, this may be waived or paid by the employer depending on the specifics of the job being offered. If you are approved for a work permit, you will receive an approval letter (and a temporary resident visa depending on your citizenship), and your work permit will be issued at the point of entry in Canada. Your work permit will state which employer you may...

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How Can I Qualify to Immigrate to Canada as a Self-Employed Person?

Canada’s Self-Employed Program is designed to attract foreign workers with experience in athletics, agricultural industries, or cultural activities who can contribute to the Canadian economy. Notably, this program is applicable to all Canadian provinces or territories except Quebec which operates its own Self-Employed Program.Contact Us

Qualifications for Canada’s Self-Employed Program

While the federal Self-Employed Program offers a streamlined process for immigrants, there are several eligibility criteria that potential applicants must still meet to qualify for this program. First, applicants must have at least 2 years of relevant experience of self-employment in farm management or 2 years of experience of self-employment or participation at a world-class level in athletics or cultural activities. To qualify for this program, immigrants must also be willing and able to start a business after they arrive in Canada which will create employment for themselves and ideally create additional jobs and economic output.

Unlike the Entrepreneur Visa which requires applicants to have a minimum net...

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Bringing You, Your Tech Talent & Your Business To Canada

Get started and make your first step towards Canada. Book your 1-hour strategy meeting with a licensed Canadian immigration lawyer.

Immigration to Canada can be very complicated for businesses, business owners, and foreign employees. Hiring business immigration lawyers with the skill, experience, and patience is often crucial to successfully navigating this complex process. The experienced professionals at Sobirovs Law Firm offer tailored legal services in all business and corporate immigration matters. Contact us for more information on how we can help you meet your immigration needs.

We have worked with & represented clients from all walks of life. Always just one call – or click – away, weʼre happy to help you begin your & your familyʼs journey to Canada.

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Our Clients Say…

Lucia Lu
Lucia Lu
I cannot say enough good things about Sobirovs Law Firm’s exceptional team. My work permit application was quite complex and underwent numerous tests, including a rejection from the first attempt. Feruza developed a tailored strategy that contributed to the best chance of success in the resubmission, and her entire team presented my case with unparalleled expertise and genuine care. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Maggie, a phenomenal consultant who supported me in every step of the application, took the time to understand my unique situation and answered all my questions patiently. Her in-depth knowledge of the work permit program, proficiency in preparing my application and professional communication were reassuring and truly remarkable. Thanks to your team’s extraordinary work, I can now pursue my business goals in Canada with peace of mind. I am grateful for your hard work and the compassionate support you provided throughout this journey. You have my highest recommendation without any reservations.
Nomin Dunburee
Nomin Dunburee
I had the pleasure of collaborating with the highly skilled professionals at Sobirovs to achieve my goals. Feruza's extensive expertise was invaluable, as she guided me through the most suitable pathway for my business immigration. I am profoundly grateful for choosing Sobirovs and highly recommend their exceptional services!
Bimal Banik
Bimal Banik
I really appreciate Sovirovs professional services ,I am truly happy and satisfied with their team work .I wish them all the best
Amirov Temur
Amirov Temur
I am happy with the help I got from Sobirov Law Firm. They were always there for me : answering my questions and giving me support through the visa application process and with general immigration related questions. They made everything easier and were quick to respond whenever I needed them. I would recommend Sobirov Law Firm to anyone needing visa assistance for Canada. I trusted them, and did not regret! Thanks for all your help! I hope for further cooperation with you.
Yuri l
Yuri l
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Ms. Feruza Djamalova, Ms. Judy Le and the entire team of Sobirovs Law Firm for their highly professional and excellent work in the complicated process of obtaining approval of our application for the business immigration program. I had several previous refusals over the course of 5 years. At that point, I contacted Sobirovs Law Firm. Their knowledge, competence, and perseverance turned my application into a success! My case was dealt by Feruza and Judy and I sincerely appreciate what an incredible job they have done and how much they have helped us. I believe they have a special gift and talent for assisting their clients. I want to particularly thank Judy for her patience and attention to detail in our case and also for thanks to her diligence, skill and attention to detail. I highly recommend Sobirovs Law Firm to anyone who wants to move to Canada using Business Immigration Programs and is looking for an immigration law firm capable of making a dream come true. They are highly professional and specialized in this field. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks for their support.
Syed Namdaar Ali
Syed Namdaar Ali
My experience with Sobirov's was very rewarding. Starting from LMIA to Work permit it was a smooth sail. The entire team especially Yulia prepared my case painstakingly. They guided me on every little detail. Special thanks to Feroza, Farukh, Madina and the entire team for making this happen.
Bhrushank Ved
Bhrushank Ved
I had an amazing experience with the Sobirovs in applying for my C11 Work Permit. Feruza, Maggie, Judy and Yulia planned every step of the way and made the process a breeze. Benjamin was also quite knowledgeable and assisted me with the business plan for my application. I recommend Sobirovs team if you plan to expand your existing business or start a new business in Canada. Highly recommended!
Senol Ercetin
Senol Ercetin
Dear Sobirovs Team, I would like to thank you (Yulia, Faruk, Feruza, Madina) for taking care of us closely in obtaining the necessary work permits for the establishment of the Canadian branch of our company and the necessary visas for our family. You have carried out a flawless process. With sincere regards
Rakesh Shrivastava
Rakesh Shrivastava
I had a great experience working with the Sobirov Law Firm. The entire team was professional, prompt, and meticulous in their approach. We started working with them on LMIA under GTS of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. The time it took from creation of an Incorporation to submission and approval of our application was around 8 weeks. Work Permit approval took another 2 weeks. They also helped us get shared office space since it was a new experience for us. They guided us in finding a payroll service provider and a realtor to help with the relocation of the foreign employee. My sincere thanks to Feruza Djamalova and Rakhmad Sobirov (Attorneys), and Yulia Kan (Team Lead).


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