Canada has one of the world’s most dynamic national immigration programs that seeks to attract business owners, entrepreneurs, and investors from around the globe. If you own a business abroad and you are considering expanding your operations into Canada, there are several unique immigration benefits for not just the business owner, but also many key executives, managers, and specialized knowledge personnel. Kadri Law can develop and direct strategies that facilitate immediate entry under Temporary Foreign worker status, while also providing a pathway for Canadian Permanent Residence status for qualified employees deployed abroad.
Only a comprehensive analysis of the legal and regulatory framework that affects your particular business interests will determine the extent to which we may facilitate immigration planning. Specifically, contingent upon the nature of your current or contemplated investments and/or business activities in Canada, we may devise various strategies to facilitate the ability of key foreign business personnel to live and work in Canada on either a temporary or permanent basis.
If properly constituted, foreign businesses may transfer qualified personnel into Canada to work for the benefit of an eligible Canadian enterprise. This can present a viable and efficient method by which a foreign business professional may temporarily relocate to Canada as a nonimmigrant 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 to facilitate the entry of workers from a foreign subsidiary, branch, or office. 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 (ICT). If there is no existing Canadian company, a specialized evaluation of the foreign business considering expansion into Canada is necessary, including such matters as the ownership, control, and management structure of the foreign entity.
Utilizing an established foreign business is the most common business expansion strategy that facilitates immigration benefits for foreign workers. ICT provisions present a favorable opportunity to pursue these goals. We often utilize these ICT provisions to transfer eligible personnel from the foreign entity into Canada through the acquisition of lawful non-immigrant work permits. As part of any comprehensive Immigration plan, this can secure the immediate short-term entry into Canada for eligible employees where the appropriate bi-national relationship of business entities has been established. It may also facilitate future objectives by creating a more viable and secure path to Canadian Permanent Residency for those foreign workers who are transferred under ICT provisions for deployment in Canada.
Currently ICT provisions are 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/USMCA is generally the more advantageous route to obtain entry to Canada as an ICT. For citizens of countries other than the US and Mexico and whose country is a member state of the World Trade Organization (WTO), we may pursue the ICT option similar to NAFTA/USMCA but based upon their membership with the WTO. Canada as a signatory to the WTO offers the ICT program to member states in most instances. However, absent the requisite bi-national business requirements involving a foreign company and a Canadian subsidiary/branch/affiliate, we cannot utilize the favourable ICT option.
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 first securing a valid Canadian work authorization as an intra company transferee (ICT), once deployed in Canada for a specific period of time they can cultivate a future path to potentially acquire lawful Canadian Permanent Residence, a stepping stone to the acquisition of Canadian citizenship.
Neither GATS/WTO nor NAFTA/USMCA accommodates spouses of intra company transferees who wish to work in Canada. However, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will grant work permits to eligible spouses of senior executives, managers and highly skilled individuals that are exempt from a specific labour certification validation. The allowance for an open work permit for eligible spouses is applied under public policy directives that applies to spouses of intra company transferees whose occupation if of such a skill level that it enables a spousal work permit approval as administered by IRCC.
Kadri Law has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and expertise in all areas of Canadian immigration and business law. For almost 2 decades, we have successfully processed over 10,000 Canadian Immigration cases utilizing every possible Immigration program Canada offers. We are committed to finding the right program for you, the one that we feel best meets your goals and objectives while optimizing your prospects for success.
For more information on Intra-Company transferee provisions, please contact Kadri Law to arrange a comprehensive legal consultation.
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