This work permit is designed to facilitate the transfer of employees from a foreign-based company to its related Canadian company. The purpose of this type of visa is to encourage the transmission of knowledge from foreign senior-level or specialized-knowledge employees to Canada. There is a similar Intra-Company Transfer work permit available under the North American Free Trade Agreement, however under this category, foreign nationals from any country may qualify for an intra-company transfer Canada work permit. Another feature of this type of work permit is that in most cases the applicant will be entitled to have their spouse accompany them on an open work permit.
Applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for an Intra-Company Transfer Canada Work Permit:
- Have worked for a foreign company for at least one year on a full-time basis
- Held a specialized knowledge position or a senior or managerial position
- Have been offered a position with a Canadian branch, affiliate or subsidiary/parent of the foreign company
In June of 2014, the Canadian government announced that they will be using a stricter definition of “specialized knowledge” to assess these applications. They also announced that they are instituting a mandatory wage floor to ensure that foreign workers being transfered to Canadian companies are being offered a wage that is consistent with the prevailing wage in Canada. To qualify, applicants now must:
- Ensure that their occupation is consistent with the new definition of “specialized knowledge.” Specialized knowledge for the purpose of this program requires both a high level of proprietary knowledge and an advanced level of expertise.
- Demonstrating advanced propietary knowledge requires applicants to show that they either have unique knowledge of the company’s services and how they relate to international markets or advanced knowledge about the processes and procedures of the company (such as production, techniques, etc.).
- Demonstrating advanced expertise levels requires specialized knowledge gained in the past 5 years that makes a significant contribution to the company’s productivity. This knowledge must be unusual within both the company and the industry and must be necessary for the operation of the business.
- Confirm that the salary they are being offered in Canada is consistent with their specialized knowledge. Because the salary of a specialist is typically above average, the salary offered must be above current prevailing wage levels for that occupation as determined by the officer.
These new rules imposed in June of 2014 do not apply to individuals pursuing Intra-Company Transfers through free trade agreements with Canada, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
To find out if you qualify for this type of work permit and to learn how FWCanada can help you with your application, fill out our free assessment form.
FWCanada is a Montreal-based immigration law firm that provides professional legal services on Canadian immigration. For more tips and updates on Canadian immigration follow FWCanada on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.