Can I apply for Intra-Company Transfer Work Permit while COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place in Canada?
Yes. Business owners, executives and senior managers who meet the eligibility requirements for intra-company transfer to the Canadian company (startup or active business) can apply for a work permit (ICT WP). When their intra-company transfer visa is approved, they can travel to Canada to work for the company. Intra-company transferees are exempted from travel restrictions. Job offer and intra-company transfer visa/work permit/ introduction letter must be shown at the border to get entry. They have to complete 14-day quarantine before they start working in Canada.
What is IRCC Processing Time for Intra-Company Transfer Work Permit Application?
Intra-company transferees qualify for 2-week processing of their work permit application under the Global Skills Strategy. Because of COVID-19, there are delays in how quickly IRCC can process your application. It may take longer than 2 weeks. Based on our clients’ experience applying for an intra-company transfer during the pandemic, it took from 2 weeks to 4 months to receive a decision. Of note, certain countries’ nationals require to give biometrics and take a medical exam, which may affect the overall processing time. For example, if the biometric center in the country of your residence is closed, you may need to travel to the closest other location to give biometrics.
Can my Spouse and Children Accompany Me to Canada?
Yes. Intra-company transferees can be accompanied by their spouse and children in Canada. An open work permit may be issued to the spouse of an intra-corporate transferee and study permits to their children. Family members must apply for the respective permits. Once issued spouse can work for any employer in Canada, and kids can go to school and be exempted from international tuition fees. Of note, based on the citizenship or permanent resident status of the transferee, their spouse may be eligible to apply for an open work permit under the spousal provision of the free trade agreement.
Can I extend Intra-Company Transfer Work Permit and apply for a Permanent Residence to manage the business in Canada?
Yes. To extend ICT WP, at the time of renewal – the Canadian and foreign companies must still have a qualifying relationship; the Canadian business has engaged in the continuous provision of goods or services for the past year; and has been staffed with Canadians/permanent residents. Intra-company transferees can immigrate to Canada and apply for permanent residence status if they want to continue working for the company without the necessity to extend work permit each time it expires. A valid job offer from the Canadian business can expedite the process and help to immigrate, as it may add up to 200 points to the business owner’s CRS score in the Express Entry pool.
If I am eligible for Owner Operator Program and Intra-Company Transfer Work Permit for an office startup in Canada, which option should I choose?
Process and time-wise, Intra-Company Transfer Work Permit is exempted from needing an LMIA [Labour market Impact Assessment]. Owner Operator Program would require to apply for LMIA first, and if approved – would serve as a basis to apply for a work permit.
If the company is newly established in Canada, not selling goods/services in Canada, not staffed yet, does not have a physical office in Canada, then it would likely not meet one of the Owner-Operator Program requirements – “actively engaged in the business” (s 200(5)(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations). On the contrary, an intra-company transfer visa allows transfers for office startups in Canada.
Does Intra-Company Transfer Work Permit need LMIA [Labour Market Impact Assessment] from ESDC/Service Canada?