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A Guide to Intra-Company Transfer Visas: Overview and Eligibility

Updated: May 13

Intra-company transfer visa allows foreign companies to transfer certain employees from their foreign operations to the Canadian company.

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A Guide to Intra-Company Transfer Visas: Overview and Eligibility

For businesses that operate internationally, the need to mobilize key personnel across borders is crucial. In Canada, the intra-company transfer visa allows multinationals to do just that. In this post, we'll take you through an overview of what this visa is, who's eligible, and how to apply.

What is an Intra-Company Transfer Visa?

An intra-company transfer visa is a Canadian work permit that allows international companies to transfer certain employees from their foreign operations to their Canadian branch, subsidiary, or affiliate. This visa falls under the International Mobility Program and is exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) requirement.

Who Is Eligible for an Intra-Company Transfer Visa? 

Intra-company transferees may be considered for work permits as long as they are/have:

  • Presently employed by a multinational enterprise and must be seeking entry to be employed in a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate of their current company. As a general guideline, the establishment should have been operational for around 18-24 months. 

  • Moving to an entity that shares a qualifying relationship with their current employer and must be joining a legitimate and active establishment of the same company.

  • Moving into a role that is executive, senior managerial, or specialized knowledge in nature.

  • Completed at least one year of continuous full-time employment (either through payroll or a direct contract with the company) with the company planning their transfer from outside Canada. This should be within three years immediately before the initial application date and should be in a similar position to the one they will be transferring into.

  • Traveling to Canada for a temporary period and must comply with all immigration requirements for temporary entry.

What are the documents needed to apply for an Intra-Company Transfer Visa?

To apply for an intra-company transfer visa, aspirants must prepare the following set of documents: 

  • A verification document asserting the foreign national's employment with a multinational firm outside Canada, and their intention to work in a related entity (parent company, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate) within Canada.

  • A document that certifies the foreign national's one-year full-time (continuous, not cumulative part-time) employment with the overseas company, in a role analogous to the one they would be occupying in Canada. This employment should have been within the three years immediately preceding the application.

  • A detailed description of the applicant's role, whether it's executive, managerial, or involves specialized knowledge. This should include the position, job title, place in the organization, and job description.

  • For those claiming "specialized knowledge," evidence demonstrates such knowledge and a statement that the Canadian position necessitates this particular knowledge.

  • A comprehensive outline of the intended position in Canada, including position, job title, place in the organization, and job description.

  • An indication of the projected duration of the aspirant’s stay in Canada.

  • A detailed account of the relationship between the overseas and Canadian organizations involved in the transfer. If needed, the officer may ask for concrete evidence to establish this relationship.

What are the Requirements for a Foreign Company?

For the successful implementation of an intra-company transfer, the foreign company must adhere to several requirements. They are expected to:

  • Secure physical workspace for its Canadian operation, especially when it involves staff with specialized skills. However, there are certain exceptions for senior executives or managers, wherein it's permissible for the company to not have a fixed address for the new branch. 

  • Exhibit a viable staffing plan for the Canadian operation.

  • Demonstrate adequate financial resources to kick-start its business activities in Canada, including employee remuneration. 

  • Be of a size that can sustain executive or managerial responsibilities when it comes to transferring executives or managers.

  • Establish a clear expectation of conducting business and ensuring the work is supervised and directed by the Canadian operation's management in case of transferring a specialized knowledge employee.

How to Apply for an Intra-Company Transfer Visa?

Document Preparation: Gather all necessary documentation, including proof of employment, details of the intra-company transferee's role, and evidence of the qualifying relationship between the entities.

Application Submission: Submit the application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Applications can be made from inside or outside Canada, or at a Canadian port of entry.

Processing and Decision: IRCC will review the application and make a decision. If approved, the transferee will receive a work permit valid for up to three years for managerial or executive positions, and up to two years for specialized knowledge positions. For a start-up company, normally the work permit is issued for one year. 

Duration of Work Permits

Work permits issued under the intra-company transfer category are typically valid for an initial period of up to three years for executives and managers and up to two years for specialized knowledge workers. Extensions can be granted in two-year increments.

Maximum Allowed Duration for Intra-company Transferees

Extensions may be awarded up to the maximum durations of five and seven years. The maximum duration allowed for intra-company transferees in managerial or executive roles is 7 years. For employees with specialized knowledge, the limit is 5 years.

We Are Just One Consultation Away from Helping You Transfer Your Foreign Worker to Canada or Guiding You with an Intra-Company Transfer Visa Application

At Chitra & Associates, we understand how critical foreign worker transfers and Intra-company transfer visa applications can be for the growth and success of your business. We're committed to simplifying the process and taking the stress out of immigration. 

Whether you need assistance with transferring your foreign worker to Canada, or you're seeking guidance on Intra-company transfer visa applications, we're just one consultation away. 

We promise an experience that is not just professional, but also personalized to your unique needs and business context. Contact us today!


In conclusion, applying for an intra-company transfer visa requires thorough preparation and attention to detail. From gathering the necessary documents to navigating the application process, it's crucial to have expert guidance and support. 

At Chitra & Associates, we are dedicated to providing personalized and professional assistance to help you secure an Intra-company transfer visa for your foreign worker. 

Let us help you take your business to new heights with our immigration services.  So, don't wait any longer, contact us today, and let's work together towards a successful intra-company transfer for your business in Canada! 

Disclaimer: For the most accurate and updated information, we strongly recommend referring directly to the websites of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), and Service Canada.

A Cautionary Note: The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained, and the readers are asked to refer to the government website for the most updated information.

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