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NAFTA Intra-Company Transfer Work Permit

If you are a NAFTA professional looking to transfer to your parent company’s Canadian branch or affiliate, you may be eligible for the NAFTA Intra-company Transfer Work Permit.

For help with your work permit application, get in touch with us at IAS for expert legal guidance. Call us at +1 844 290 6312 to find out how we can best help you.

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    What is a NAFTA Intra-Company Transfer Work Permit?

    The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Treaty was signed in 1994 for the purpose of creating special economic and trade relationships between Canada, Mexico, and the United States. As part of the treaty, special entry requirements were established for business persons from these three countries. Under NAFTA, there are four categories of business persons which include:

    • Business Visitors
    • Intra-Company Transferee
    • Professionals
    • Traders and Investors

    Intra-Company Transferee (ICT) work permits allow companies from Mexico or the United States to temporarily transfer qualified employees who work in an executive capacity, managerial capacity, or specialized knowledge capacity to transfer as an employee to a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate in Canada.

    This is a temporary work permit for highly skilled foreign workers from the United States or Mexico whose parent company has a qualifying relationship with the Canadian enterprise to which they are transferred. This NAFTA work permit falls under the International Mobility Program (IMP) which means that intra-company transferees are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment. However, they will still need to apply for a Canadian work permit.

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    What is the Labour Market Impact Assessment?

    Canada’s Labour Market Impact Assessment is a document proving that the Canadian employer has tried to fill a position for employment locally but was unable to find a suitable candidate in the Canadian labour market. Therefore, the Canadian employer can seek permission to hire a temporary foreign worker from abroad.

    NAFTA Intra-company transferees are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment requirement as they are expected through their position to provide significant economic benefit to Canada via their expertise as NAFTA professionals.

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    Who is eligible for an Intra-Company Transfer Work Permit?

    The Intra-Company Transfer work permit is open to both Mexican and U.S. citizens who work as employees in an American or Mexican enterprise and are transferring to a Canadian counterpart. Furthermore, intra-company transferees must also meet the following requirements:

    • The employees must be employed by a multi-national company and seeking entry into Canada to work at a parent, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate company in Canada
    • The employees work in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge position in both the foreign and Canadian company
    • The employees must have worked for the company at least 1 year in the past 3 years
    • The Canadian and foreign companies must have a qualifying relationship (qualifying organizations are a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate)

    Intra-company transferees who work in positions that require specialized knowledge must demonstrate that they have advanced knowledge or expertise in the company’s products or services.

    Those who work in an executive capacity must prove that they have the ability to make decisions of wide latitude without much oversight. Intra-company transferees who work in a managerial capacity must be able to manage and supervise both the professional employees and the organization’s essential function with only general supervision from higher-level executives.

    How to apply for a NAFTA Intra-Company Transfer Work Permit?

    Intra-Company Transferees looking to apply for NAFTA work permits can do so in the following ways:

    • Apply for a work permit at a Canadian port of entry
    • Apply for a work permit upon arrival in Canada
    • Apply for a work per at a Canadian visa office prior to entry into Canada

    Individuals who are already in Canada as temporary residents can apply within the country. Transferees who apply for a work permit at a Canadian port-of-entry will need to provide all necessary documentation to Canadian immigration officials at the time of application.

    What documents are needed for the Intra-Company Transfer work permit?

    Mexican and U.S. citizens who are looking to apply for a work permit as a NAFTA intra-company transferee will need to provide the following documents:

    • Proof of Mexican or U.S. citizenship
    • Confirmation of current and pre-arranged employment by an enterprise outside of Canada (signed contract, an offer of employment from a Canadian employer, a letter from the foreign company on whose behalf the service will be provided, etc)
    • Proof that the foreign worker has been employed full-time by the foreign company for at least one year within the last three years
    • Evidence that the foreign worker is qualified to work in an executive or managerial capacity or in a position that requires specialized knowledge
    • Outline of the duties and responsibilities of the job position in Canada along with the intended duration of stay
    • Description of the relationship between the Canadian and foreign employer

    It should be noted that individuals who are self-employed or are permanent residents of Mexico or the United States are not qualified for a NAFTA work permit.

    Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to receive assistance with your NAFTA Intra-Company Transfer Work Permit Contact Us

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      How long is this work permit valid?

      Intra Company Transfer Work Permits are valid for up to 3 years, depending on the length of stay for the position being offered. Work permits can be renewed for an additional 2 years. The maximum work permit duration for executives and senior managers is 7 years. Specialized knowledge workers are permitted to stay in Canada for the maximum duration of 5 years under this work permit.

      If transferees have reached the maximum allotted duration time for their work permit, they must leave the country and complete at least 1 year of full-time employment outside of Canada if they would like to re-apply for another Intra-Company Transfer work permit.

      What is the Processing Time for Intra-Company Transferees?

      The processing time for a work permit for NAFTA Intra-Company transferees will depend on the applicant’s country of residence. Work permits can be expected to be processed within 2 weeks if expedited or generally within 4 months.

      Work permit applicants who are eligible under the Global Skills Strategy can qualify for expedited 2-week processing.

      If you have any questions about your Canadian work permit application, our team is happy to assist. Contact Us

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        How much does it cost to obtain a NAFTA Intra-Company Transfer work permit?

        The fees to obtain a NAFTA ICT work permit will include the following:

        • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) application fee (per applicant): $155.00 (CAD)
        • IRCC Employer Compliance Fee: $230.00 (CAD)
        • IRCC Biometric fees(per person): $85 CAD
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        What services does Total Law offer?

        At Total Law, we understand the complexities that come with doing business internationally. We aim to create an easy and stress-free transition for you or your employees as they move from one country to another.

        We offer the following services for international companies who are looking to transfer their employees:

        • An expert assessment of your options and eligibility
        • Detailed support with all stages of the application process
        • Help with gathering the necessary documents and evidence to obtain your work permits
        • Liaising with Canadian immigration authorities on your behalf

        Get in touch with us online or over the phone at +1 844 290 6312 to find out how we can help get the necessary work permits for your employees and help your business thrive.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  No, this work permit is a closed permit, meaning that it is not open to working for other employers. Since this work permit is specific to the Canadian business you will be working at, you can only work for that assigned employer.

                  If you are working in Canada as a NAFTA Intra-Company Transferee, you can bring your spouse and children (minors under 21 years of age) with you. Eligible spouses can work in Canada under an open work permit and children will be permitted to study in Canada and enjoy the privilege of being exempt from international tuition fees.

                  Any Canadian work experience gained is highly valued in Canada’s points-based immigration system. As a result, those who have worked in Canada under a NAFTA Intra-Company Transfer work permit will see an increase in their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. This score will help determine an applicant’s eligibility for Canadian permanent residence in the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) or Express Entry system.