LMIA exemption under the international mobility program:
LMIA exemption for intra company transferees to Canada
The International Mobility Program intra-company transferee category provides an opportunity for international companies to transfer qualified employees to Canada without having to apply for an LMIA. This can be a viable Canadian Immigration option for companies seeking to transfer an employee to Canada.
Temporary Foreign workers who qualify for the intra-company transferees require work permits but are exempted from the requirement of having a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) under:
- paragraph R205(a) (LMIA exempt – exemption code C12) as they are deemed to provide significant economic benefit to Canada through the transfer of their expertise to Canadian businesses or;
- Paragraph R204(a) (LMIA exempt – exemption code T24) for qualified intra-company transferees who are citizens of a country that has signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with Canada,.
This exemption applies to Temporary foreign workers from any country, including under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).
What are the requirements to apply under the Intra-company transferee?
The requirements depend on whether the foreign national is eligible under a International Free Trade Agreement (international agreement) or the general provisions.
For more information on current International Free Trade Agreements click here.
Intra-Company Transferee (ICT) General Provisions when a Free Trade Agreement is not applicable
Intra-company transferees may apply for work permits under the general provision If not Free Trade Agreement applies. The General Provisions for an intra-company transferee are as follows:
- are employed by a multi-national company and seeking entry to work in a parent, a subsidiary, a branch, or an affiliate of that enterprise;
- are transferring to an enterprise that has a qualifying relationship with their current employer, and will be employed at a legitimate and continuing establishment of that company . A qualifying relationship is defined as the entities (foreign and Canadian) having a parent, subsidiary, branch or affiliate relationship. Both the Canadian and foreign companies must be, or will be doing business. The foreign national employee must be able to transfer back to the foreign company at the end of their assignment in Canada.
- are being transferred to a position in an executive, senior managerial, or specialized knowledge capacity;
- Been employed continuously by the company that plans to transfer them outside of Canada in a similar full-time position for at least one year in the past three years.
- are coming to Canada for a temporary period and comply with all requirements for temporary entry.
- Employers must make a job offer to the prospective employee
What is the requirement for intra-company transferee when starting operations in Canada (Start-up company)?
In the case of an intra company transferee wanting to work for a start-up in Canada. The company must furnish a business plan which includes hiring employees for the new operation.
The company must have the financial ability to commence business in Canada including compensating employees.
If transferring executives or managers, the company must demonstrate that it will be large enough to support executive or management function.
If transferring a specialized knowledge worker, the company must demonstrate that it will be doing business and the work is guided and directed by management at the Canadian operation.
The amount of capital required to start a business depends on various factors such as the type of industry/sector, the location, barrier to entry and licensing/registration costs.
How long is a work permit as an intra-company transferee valid for?
The initial work permit is for one year in the case of a start up. Extensions may be sought depending on the circumstances.
There is a cap for this type of work permit which is seven years for managers or executives, and five years for specialized knowledge workers.
What is the processing time for the Intra-company transferee work permit?
The processing time for this type of work permit can be completed in two weeks if the foreign national qualifies under the Global Skill Strategy which requires that the following steps be completed:
- apply online from outside Canada
- submit a complete application
- include a medical exam and police certificates (if needed)
- include certified translations of documents that aren’t in English or French
- submit biometrics results within 2 weeks of submitting the application (if needed)
If the person doe not meet the requirements under the Global Skill Strategy then the regular processing times for work permits would be applicable.
For more information on the intra-company transferee, you may want to book a paid consultation with a lawyer.
Please note that this is general Information and should not be construed as legal advice.