Intra Company Transfers
Only a comprehensive analysis of the legal and regulatory framework that affects your particular business interests will determine the extent to which the same may facilitate immigration planning. Specifically, contingent upon the nature of your past, present, and future investment and/or business activities in Canada, we may devise various strategies to facilitate the ability of a foreign business person to live and work in Canada on either a temporary or permanent basis, as the circumstances may justify.
If properly constituted, foreign businesses may transfer qualified personnel into Canada to work for the benefit of an eligible Canadian enterprise. Securing status as an intra-company transferee may offer the most viable and efficient method by which a foreign business professional may temporarily relocate to Canada as a non-immigrant worker. To qualify as such, we will examine the full extent of your circumstances and business operations. This includes analysis of existing operations in Canada or proposed expansion into Canada as a new investment strategy.
Expansion into Canada presents the unique option of incorporating a viable Canadian business that would meet all legal and regulatory requirements in order to facilitate the entry of foreign workers. The entry of foreign workers employed by a foreign company to work in Canada for an eligible Canadian company is known as an Intra-Company transfer. If there is no existing Canadian company, a specialized evaluation of the foreign national business that is considering expansion into Canada is necessary, including such matters as the ownership, control, and management structure of the foreign business entity.
If you have an established foreign business and you seek an expansion strategy into Canada, Intra-Company Transferee provisions could present a favorable opportunity to pursue those goals. We may utilize these provisions to transfer eligible personnel from the foreign entity into Canada through the acquisition of lawful non-immigrant work permits. As part of comprehensive Immigration planning, this can secure the immediate short-term entry into Canada for eligible employees where the appropriate bi-national relationship of the multinational business entities has been established. It may also facilitate future objectives by creating a more viable and secure path to Canadian Permanent Residency for the foreign workers intra-company transferred for deployment in Canada.
Currently Intra-company transferee provisions are only available to qualifying executive, management and specialized knowledge personnel. These eligible foreign personnel must be shown to require entry into Canada to undertake Canadian employment related activities for the benefit of a Canadian subsidiary, affiliate, branch, parent or joint venture of the foreign business entity currently employing them.
For American and Mexican citizens, NAFTA is generally a more advantageous route to obtain entry to Canada as an intra-Company transferee. For citizens of countries other than the US and Mexico and who are member states of the World Trade Organization (WTO), we may pursue the Intra-Company option based upon their membership with the WTO. However, absent the requisite bi-national business status involving a foreign company and the Canadian affiliate, we cannot utilize the favourable “intra-company” option.
Corporate Transfers and Immigration Benefits
Many small business owners with viable foreign business operations are able to take advantage of their desire and intent to do business in Canada. By securing a valid Canadian work authorization as an intra-company transferee, after their deployment in Canada for a specific period of time, they can cultivate a future path to potentially acquiring lawful Canadian Permanent Residence, a stepping stone to Canadian citizenship.
Spouses of Intra-Company Transferees
Neither GATS nor NAFTA accommodates spouses of intra-company transferees who wish to work in Canada. However, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will grant work permits to eligible spouses of senior executives, managers and highly skilled individuals that are exempt from a specific labour certification validation. This policy applies to spouses of intra-company transferees whose occupation is eligible for the spousal work permit program administered by CIC.
For more information on Intra-Company transferee provisions, please contact Eddie H. Kadri to arrange a comprehensive legal consultation.