ICT Startups: The Key To Bringing Employees to Canada

by | Apr 18, 2023

If you own a business in a country other than Canada and are looking to establish a presence in Canada by transferring an employee, the Intra Company Transfer (ICT) Startup Program could be a viable option for you. This program allows foreign businesses to create a related company in Canada and transfer employees to carry out work inside the country. However, it’s important to understand the requirements and process of the ICT Startup Program before proceeding.

Eligibility Criteria for the ICT Startup Program

The ICT Startup Program is intended for companies that are already established in their home country, operating and generating revenue. In addition, the company in the home country must have employees who have been employed for at least one year. If your company meets these criteria, you may be eligible for the ICT Startup Program.

Establishing a Related Company in Canada

To participate in the ICT Startup Program, you will need to establish a related company in Canada. This means incorporating or registering a company in a Canadian province that is legally related to the entity in your home country. This can be in the form of a branch, affiliate, subsidiary, or parent company.

Demonstrating Financial Sustainability

One of the key requirements of the ICT Startup Program is to convince the Canadian immigration authorities that your new entity in Canada will have the means to sustain itself, including covering operating expenses and hiring foreign employees. This will require a well-prepared business plan that outlines how you will compensate your employees, how the business will expand over time, and how many job opportunities it will create for Canadians.

Limitations for Business Owners

It’s important to note that as a business owner, you may not be eligible for transfer under the ICT Startup Program. The program requires that the person being transferred must have been employed in the company outside of Canada for at least one year, which may not apply to business owners who are not employees of the business.

Benefits of the ICT Startup Program

If you have critical employees who are adept at helping your Canadian branch get established and want to bring them to Canada, the ICT Startup Program can be a viable option. It allows you to transfer skilled employees who can help establish business relationships in Canada and contribute to the success of your Canadian operations.


In conclusion, the ICT Startup Program can be a valuable option for foreign businesses looking to establish a presence in Canada and transfer employees. However, it’s important to carefully review the eligibility criteria, establish a related company in Canada, demonstrate financial sustainability, and understand limitations for business owners. If you meet the requirements, the ICT Startup Program can be a valuable tool for expanding your business into Canada.


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