Transferring Employees to Canada: A Complete Guide Using ICT

by | Apr 25, 2023

If you’re a business owner with a business outside Canada and you are struggling with figuring out how to transfer an employee to work in your Canadian branch or subsidiary, then there may be an option for you to do so under what’s called the intra-company transferee immigration program. The ICT allows you to transfer an eligible employee from one company outside Canada to a related company inside Canada on work permits.

Understanding the Intra-Company Transferee Immigration Program (ICT)

A significant number of people who come to Canada every year on work permits actually come under one of the economic programs, such as the intra-company transfer program, ICT. This is where there is a Canadian business that requires the services of employees with certain skill sets that it is unable to identify or secure inside Canada, and it therefore relies on its employees who are located outside Canada. These employees may have certain skill sets that are required to help the Canadian business perform its functions efficiently. So, this is the ICT program, the intra-company transfer program.

Eligibility and Requirements for the ICT Program

The way it works is that the employee being transferred from your foreign company must have been employed with that company for at least one year and on a full-time basis. That employment obviously must have happened while the employee was physically outside of Canada, rather than being inside Canada. And as indicated previously, for it to work, there needs to be a legal relationship between the two entities.

Let’s say you have a business in India, and that business has employees who have particular knowledge about certain software that your Indian entity uses and which your Canadian entity will also be using. Then, you have the option of transferring those Indian employees to a Canadian branch, which would be a business that you own in Canada that is legally related to your Indian company.  There must be a legal relationship. Once there is that relationship, and once the employee in India whom you’re wanting to transfer to Canada meets the basic requirements, including having been employed for at least one year, that employee may be transferred to your Canadian entity.

Additional Requirements for the ICT Program

The Canadian entity must agree to pay that employee at what’s called the minimum prevailing wage inside Canada. Additionally, your Canadian entity will need to prove that the skill sets that the particular employees possess are either what are called specialised knowledge or are what are called senior managerial knowledge. But the onus or the burden will be on the Canadian employer to prove that this employee possesses knowledge that is not readily available inside Canada and that by bringing this person to Canada, it will lead to the improvement of the Canadian economy without having a negative impact on the Canadian labour force.

Benefits of the Intra-Company Transferee Immigration Program

So, the intra-company transfer program is going to be a very viable option for an employer who’s wanting to bring their foreign employees to Canada to work inside or through their Canadian branch. It may be an option for the employer to assist these employees to get temporary work permits to provide the duties that the employer needs to get done inside Canada.


The Intra-Company Transferee (ICT) immigration program offers a viable option for Canadian business owners to transfer eligible foreign employees to their Canadian entities. By meeting the program requirements, employers can fill skill gaps in their Canadian operations and contribute to the improvement of the Canadian economy. Consider exploring the ICT program if you’re a business owner with a business outside Canada and need to bring employees to work in your Canadian branch or subsidiary.


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