Frequently Asked Questions About Intra-Company Transfer Program

Frequently Asked Questions About Intra-Company Transfer Program

Q: How long is the initial Intra-Company Transferee work permit valid for, and can it be renewed before its expiry?

The initial work permit obtained through the Intra-Company Transfer program is usually granted for 1 year. In certain cases, the IRCC may issue a work permit for 2 years, provided that the company in Canada is a subsidiary of the established foreign company.

The ICT work permit can be renewed several times (for 2-3 years at a time and up to 7 years in total) provided that all the requirements of the program are met (such as having an office in Canada, employing at least 1 staff member who is a Canadian permanent resident or citizen and active business in both Canada and the home country).

Q: Can my company in Canada engage in a type of business different from my home company if I come to Canada under the Intra-Company Transfer program?

There is generally no legal requirement that both companies (the home company and its Canadian subsidiary or affiliate) engage in the same type of business. However, it is highly recommended that the Canadian company engages in a similar business or operate in the same industry as the home company abroad because the IRCC can raise questions about the genuineness of the business and the applicant’s suitability to engage in vastly different business in Canada.

Q: Do I have to meet the targets set in my business plan submitted to the IRCC as part of my ICT application package? What if my company is unable to meet the objectives set out in the business plan?

A business plan is not a binding agreement and business owners will not be liable if they are unable to meet targets set out in the original business plan. A business plan is a document that demonstrates that feasibility research has been completed before expansion to Canada and which supports the seriousness of the intentions of a foreign company expanding to Canada. It is not mandatory to submit a business plan with your application for an ICT work permit. However, we recommend having a business plan if your company in Canada is new or it is your first ICT application.

Q: Can I work for another company while holding a work permit as an intra-company transferee in Canada?

No. Your work permit will be limited to enable you to work for your company in Canada, which means that you cannot work for any other employer in Canada. However, depending on the nature of your business, your company in Canada can sell goods and services to its clients in Canada and beyond.

Q: What happens if my Canadian company is not profitable in the first year?

There is no legal requirement to be profitable. We all know that it takes time to build a profitable company. However, your company must be actively engaged in business, which means it must be offering services or goods to its customers in Canada or abroad. Also, your company must have a physical location (office or warehouse) and employ at least one Canadian employee who is a permanent resident or a citizen of Canada.


Q: What is the minimum stay period for the principal applicant in Canada under the ICT work permit?

There is no minimum stay period in Canada for managerial and senior executive staff under the ICT program. Managers and senior executives are allowed to maintain their principal residence in their home countries while running their business in Canada and traveling in and out of Canada. However, other key personnel must relocate to Canada during their employment in Canada.

Q: Is there a requirement to pay intra-company transferees Canadian wages? Can I receive my salary from the home company?

Managerial and senior executive staff may remain on the payroll of the home company and receive their wages from their home company. However, if they wish to receive their salary in Canada, it is recommended that the salary meet the Canadian median wage standards based on the position they hold. We generally recommend foreign companies to pay comparable wages to intra-company transferees, although it is not a requirement under this program.

Q: Do I need to provide English/French language test results to get a work permit under the Intra-Company Transfer program?

Business owners are generally not required to provide any proof of language skills. However, if they wish to transfer key personnel to Canada under this program, such employees may be required to provide English or French language test results to prove their suitability for the position in Canada.

Q: How much time will it take to get an Intra-Company Transfer work permit from the moment of application submission?

On average, the ICT work permits are processed within 1-2 months. However, in rare cases, it can take 3-4 months (in 5% of cases) to receive a decision on an ICT work permit application. Please take into account the processing times at a Canadian embassy/consulate in your region.

Q: Do you guarantee a positive result? Is there a possibility that my application for an Intra-Company Transfer work permit may be refused?

It is illegal under Canadian law to guarantee a positive outcome in any kind of visa or immigration application. What we can guarantee you is that we will do our best to get you the desired outcome and that we will pursue your interests with the utmost diligence and perseverance.

However, some ICT applications (5%-10%) get refused for various reasons. The most common reasons for refusal are (1) the officer doubts the genuineness of your intention to do business in Canada and (2) the absence of sufficiently strong ties to the home country.

Q: If my Intra-Company Transfer work permit gets refused, will your law firm reimburse my money?

Unfortunately, we cannot reimburse your money if your work permit application is rejected. We get paid for our work and time spent on your application, not for the result. Although we are ambitious and results-oriented, the ultimate decision-maker is the Government of Canada and/or the relevant Canadian embassy/consulate.

What we do guarantee you is that with our 20+ years of combined experience in business immigration matters, we will prepare the strongest application possible designed to meet the criteria required by the IRCC.

Q: What is the success rate of the Intra-Company Transfer applications?

According to the official statistics released by the Canadian immigration authorities, the ICT approval rates are as follows:

  • Case Processing Center Vegreville, Canada: 90%
  • Inland Applications: 88%
  • Embassies & Consulates: 89%
  • Port of Entry (for visa-exempt countries): 100%

Q: Can my spouse and children join me in Canada if I get an Intra-Company Transfer work permit?

Yes. Business owners and key employees may bring their families to Canada during their employment period in Canada under the ICT program. Spouses are eligible for an open work permit and children can attend excellent public schools in Canada for free. The applicant and his/her family enjoy the same access to premium-free health care which is available to all residents and citizens of Canada.

Q: Do I have to apply for permanent residency after 1 year of working in Canada under the Intra-Company Transfer program?

There is no obligation to apply for permanent residency after 1 year of working in Canada as an ICT work permit holder. If you wish to continue working in Canada, you may choose to renew your ICT work permit and continue residing in Canada as a temporary foreign worker.

However, if you wish to obtain permanent resident status in Canada, you can do so as early as 12 months after working in Canada provided that you meet all other eligibility requirements of the suitable permanent residence program.

Q: Can my application for permanent residency be rejected once I have completed the 12-months employment period in Canada under the Intra-Company Transfer program?

There is always a possibility of rejection of your permanent residency application due to various reasons, including criminality, medical inadmissibility, failure to meet the language requirements, etc. However, if you stay compliant with the requirements of the ICT program and plan your relocation to Canada strategically, there should be no issue in getting your permanent residency approved by the IRCC, if you choose to apply for permanent residency.

Q: What are the key benefits of the Intra-Company Transfer work permit program?

There are a number of benefits of the ICT program. Just to mention a few of them:

  • Live and work in Canada: you and your family can live and work in Canada.
  • Send your children to Canadian public schools: your children can attend public schools in Canada for free.
  • No English language is required: you may obtain a work permit to work in Canada without the need to demonstrate your knowledge of English or French languages. A minimum of 1 year of managerial experience for managerial positions is required.
  • Access to free health care: You will be eligible for free medical health coverage after 3 months of work in Canada.
  • You can reside in your home country: You are not required to reside in Canada on a full-time basis and can continue your business in your home country.
  • Business opportunities: You will get access to the Canadian and USA markets for expansion of your business, secure and stable banking system, financing capital, and business opportunities.
  • Permanent residency: You will be eligible to apply for the Canadian permanent residence and after living in Canada for 3 years as a permanent resident, you can apply for Canadian citizenship and obtain one of the most desirable passports in the world.
  • Bring workers from your country: You can bring your key workers from your home country to work for your company in Canada.

and many more case-specific benefits that depend on your personal circumstances.

Contact the experienced Canadian business immigration lawyer at Sobirovs Law Firm to learn how we can help you in your Intra-Company Transfer work permit application!

Start with completing this short Business Immigration Assessment Form and we’ll get back to you very quickly!