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Posted on December 28 2022

A guide to the Canada ICT program you have always wanted!

By Editor
Updated July 25 2023

Highlights: A basic guide to the Canada ICT program

  • The Canada ICT program enables international companies to transfer qualified employees to Canada.
  • Workers transferred via the ICT program will require an LMIA-free work visa.
  • There are specific criteria for what enterprises are eligible for ICT.
  • ICT program has specific criteria for start-ups which include the capacity to establish themselves in Canada.

There may be many ways you imagine you can migrate to work in Canada. Those very possibly will be visa pathways that help you move to Canada independently to work there under a specific employer or obtain an open work visa that gives the flexibility to choose your employer.

Different types of work visas could be obtained under various temporary migration programs active in Canada. One of them is the Canada ICT program (Intra-Company Transfer program).

The ICT enables international companies in Canada to transfer employees from abroad who are qualified for the jobs they have to offer. The aim of the program is to ·        Improve the effectiveness of management ·        Enhance the competitiveness of the enterprise in markets abroad ·        Expand Canadian exports

People who are transferred to Canada under the ICT program are transferred on a temporary basis to be employed in an eligible company as deemed under the criteria of this program.

What’s an eligible company under the Canada ICT program?

A company eligible for accepting transferred employees under the ICT program is one of the following:

  • The parent company
  • A Canadian branch of the parent company
  • A subsidiary of the original company
  • An affiliate of the foreign company that employs them

The very basics of the ICT program

Let’s now understand some basic requirements to be mindful of if you are trying to obtain a work permit under the ICT program:

  • Canada work permits involved in this program do not need to satisfy the LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) requirement.
  • The work you are going to do in Canada has to be one of the following if you want to get eligibility under the ICT program:
    • Managerial
    • Executive
    • Involving specialized knowledge

Now let’s understand each of the types of work in the list above.

Managerial work

This work has two sub-genres namely:

  • Senior Managers who manage the total or partial affairs of the business enterprise and supervise the work of professional employees or other managers
  • Functional Managers are into completing the task of managing a certain function that's vital to the achievement of the goals of the company without necessarily managing employees in the enterprise

Executive work

When you are in an executive work, your primary responsibilities involve giving direction to the company management entire or a significant part of it.

Work involving specialized knowledge

If you are into work involving specialized knowledge, your knowledge will be at an advanced expertise level and proprietary know-how of the products, processes, services, and procedures of the company.

Also read: Two weeks, and you are set to work in Canada; Here’s GSS work permit!

Are you eligible for ICT?

If you are an employee getting transferred under the ICT, you have to meet the following

  • You must be currently working at a foreign MNC that’s trying to transfer overseas employees to Canada.
  • You have to be transferred to a company that maintains a relationship that qualifies under the ICT program, with the company in which you are currently working.
  • You must be undertaking a job at a continuing and legitimate establishment of the company situated in Canada.
  • You must comply with all requirements to immigrate to Canada for temporary entry.
  • You must have worked full-time continuously for at least a year (out of the last 3 years) in a position comparable to the one you will be taking up in Canada.

A couple of exceptions for employees are as follows:

  • If they worked part-time for the foreign MNC, IRCC could possibly consider other factors such as the following:
    • number of years of experience working with the foreign company
    • the similarity of the job position with what’s offered in Canada
    • the period for which the part-time position is valid
    • whether signs exist that the company is looking to abuse the purpose behind obtaining the ICT work visa
  • If there's a corporate merger or acquisition that happened recently related to the foreign MNC, there’s no requirement for you to have been employed with the company for one year provided you have worked for one of the affiliates for a minimum of one year in the previous 3 years. The successor entity has to show that it has assumed the obligations, interests, liabilities, and assets, of the original company and continues to operate a business similar to that of the original company.

* Know your eligibility to immigrate to Canada through Y-Axis Canada Immigration Points Calculator.

How are start-ups eligible for ICT?

For foreign companies that are wanting to source critical workers to Canada, the ICT program has a different set of criteria to meet. These are companies that want to source workers to establish a new business in Canada.

ICT start-up companies that are successful get a temporary work permit with a year’s validity. If these companies keep a relationship with a business entity in Canada that qualifies under ICT as well as do business activities actively inside Canada, their work permits may be subject to renewal. It’s necessary that the operations in the new enterprise in Canada must be staffed sufficiently too.

Also read: Canada Start Up Visa immigration on the rise; Three times more PRs in 2022

To demonstrate the capacity to establish themselves in Canada, the start-up companies must do the following so that they get ICT work permits:

  • Give evidence that shows that the company can financially support the costs of starting the enterprise’s operations, which includes the ability to give compensation to employees
  • Prepare a business plan intended to outline plans for staffing for the new operation and effecting business established in Canada
  • Give proof that a physical location has been found and secured (or that the company is undergoing the process to secure a physical space for the company)
  • Showcase that the company will be sizeable enough to support the functions of the managers and/or executives whom the company is transferring to Canada
  • Showcase that the company has the expectation to keep doing business and present proof that Canadian management will be the one directing the work that's being conducted inside Canada

Success stories of Canada immigration through Y-Axis

Sukhdeep Kaur Mangat set up his business in Canada
Sukhdeep Kaur Mangat obtained the ICT work permit through Y-Axis, enabling him to set up an office for his business in Canada. Besides helping with the permit, Y-Axis also assisted him to chalk out a business plan to support the ICT work permit. While in normal cases an ICT permit for start-ups in Canada is valid for 1 year, we prepared his file in such a way that he got a visa valid for 3 years!

If you are willing to migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the leading immigration and career consultant in the UAE.

If you find this blog engaging, you may also like:

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