The International Mobility Program (IMP) facilitates the temporary employment of highly skilled foreign workers in Canada, particularly under the category of Intra-Company Transferees (ICT). When an international company has a presence in Canada, such as a branch, subsidiary, or affiliate, it can transfer employees to its Canadian location. Employers engaged in bringing international staff to Canada as intra-company transferees are granted an exemption from the requirement to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This exemption is justified by the substantial economic benefit these transfers bring to Canada through the infusion of their expertise into Canadian businesses. Intra-company transferees can hail from any country.
Intra-company transferees are eligible for work permits without an LMIA if they meet the following criteria
Intra-company Transfer Categories
Executives hold positions where they direct the management of the entire company or a significant component, shaping goals and policies and possessing substantial decision-making authority.
2. Senior Managers
Senior managers primarily manage the company, a department, or a specific component. They oversee the work of other managers and employees and wield authority over human, financial, and material resources.
3. Workers with Specialized Knowledge
Applicants in this category must showcase a high level of specialized knowledge or advanced expertise related to the company’s products or services.
Duration of Work Permits
While the initial work permit is issued for one year, it is renewable. For renewal, evidence must demonstrate:
This comprehensive framework ensures that the intra-company transfer process is not only efficient but also aligned with the specific needs of Canadian businesses and their skilled workforce.
Work Permit Duration
Initially, the work permit is typically granted for a duration of one year. However, in specific cases, the IRCC may extend this to a two-year period, especially if the Canadian company is a subsidiary of a well-established foreign company.
Subsequent renewals are possible, with extensions granted for 2-3 years at a time, allowing for a cumulative maximum duration of up to 7 years. This renewal is contingent upon meeting all program requirements, which include maintaining an office in Canada, employing at least one staff member who is a Canadian permanent resident or citizen, and actively engaging in business operations in both Canada and the home country.
Average processing time for the Intra-Company Transfer is 2 to 10 weeks but there are priority processing options. Those who are qualified for the 2-week processing time will get the Intra-Company Transfer visa within 2 weeks. This priority processing option is for visa-exempt countries (biometrics processing is not included in these 2 weeks).