Applying for the Intra Company Work permit allows entrepreneurs who have profitable business in their home Country to grow their operations in Canada. Under the ICT (International Mobility) program, entrepreneurs need to fulfill a number of conditions in order to obtain a work permit.
In the event that a foreign company is expanding to Canada for the first time, immigration inspectors will also verify the following:
In recent years, the landscape of Canadian immigration has seen a shift from LMIA owner-operator applications to intra-company work permit transfers. This change has sparked an increased interest in this type of visa application, especially in 2023. Many individuals seek information beyond what’s readily available on official websites, and they often wonder about the intricacies of the application process. In this blog, we’ll delve into the key factors that can influence the success of your intra-company work permit application and provide insights into what you need to consider when applying, whether you’re doing it on your own or with the help of an immigration lawyer or consultant.
Before we dive into the details, let me give you some context about my experience. I am an immigration lawyer who primarily focuses on business immigration, helping global companies and investors move to Canada through various economic pathways. Over the years, I’ve witnessed a significant shift in immigration trends, particularly in the transition from LMIA owner-operator applications to intra-company work permits. In 2019, this transition began to take shape and was fully implemented in 2021, with immigration officials discontinuing the owner-operator program. The program had previously been successful for investors looking to establish businesses in Canada, but it has since become more complex. This shift indicates the importance of ensuring that your application reflects a legitimate purpose, rather than an attempt to exploit the immigration system.
In my experience, a successful intra-company work permit application is often company-specific rather than employee-specific. The company applying for the work permit plays a crucial role in the process. The success of the application can depend on factors such as the company’s size, structure, relationship with its parent and subsidiary companies, and the overall impression it conveys to the immigration officer. To ensure a positive outcome, it’s essential to understand and advocate for the company’s unique qualities, which can significantly influence the application’s success.
One common question that arises is whether the company applying for the work permit must be a large multinational corporation or if smaller companies can apply successfully. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, in general, larger companies have an advantage due to their organizational structure. They can demonstrate that the absence of one employee won’t disrupt their operations because they have a system in place to handle such situations. However, success is also achievable for smaller companies, particularly sole proprietorships and partnerships, provided they present well-maintained company documents and a clear plan for the transfer.
The role of the employee being transferred is crucial. To ensure a smooth application, the position in Canada should align with the one in the home country. Additionally, specialized knowledge categories may apply, necessitating proprietary knowledge of the parent company or trade secrets. For senior manager transfers under C-61 LMIA exemption, a well-structured business plan is vital. This plan should outline the financial commitment of both the parent and subsidiary companies, as well as the operational details. The business plan serves as a key document and requires close attention.
The ease of your application process can vary depending on whether you’re applying from a visa-exempt or visa-required country. In visa-exempt countries like the UK, concise documentation is crucial, as officers at Port of Entry may have limited time. In contrast, applying from a visa office with more time available means your documentation should be more detailed.
One unique aspect that can significantly impact your application is the use of corporate letters. Crafting a submission letter on the parent company’s letterhead can provide essential insights into the background of the client, the company, and the individual being transferred. These letters help provide clarity to immigration officers, making it a valuable part of your application.
In summary, the process of applying for an intra-company work permit in Canada is multifaceted, and various factors can influence the success of your application. Understanding the company’s specific attributes, the employee’s role, the business plan, and the country of application is crucial. By carefully considering these elements and presenting a well-prepared application, you can increase your chances of a successful intra-company work permit approval.
If you have any questions or need further guidance, feel free to reach out to us. We’re here to help you navigate the intricacies of this process.