Unlocking the Canadian Market: 3 Ways Indian Businesses Can Send Employees to Canada

by | May 16, 2023

If you’re a business owner in India, here are three ways in which you can send your employees to Canada. First, you may send them through what’s called an ICT, an intra company transfer, transferring them from your Indian company to your Canadian company. Secondly, you can do an ICT startup where you create a Canadian branch to transfer them to. Thirdly, you can send them through a labour market impact assessment (LMIA) supported work permit.

Option 1: Intra-Company Transfer (ICT)

You may be able to send employees under the intra-company transferee option. ICT is an option available to multinationals that have an operation in Canada and also have a related operation in their home country, in this case, in India. A related operation means that there must be a legal relationship. The entity in Canada can be the child of the Indian entity, an affiliate, a branch, or a subsidiary of the Indian entity. But there must be a legal relationship between the two. Once there is, the employees who are being sent from India to Canada must have been employed by the Indian entity for at least one year in a full-time role, among other requirements. Provided all the requirements are met, the ICT option is viable and widely used by multinationals with operations in India and Canada.

Option 2: ICT Startup

Option number two for an Indian company looking to send employees to Canada is when you don’t yet have an operation in Canada. In this case, you may have the option to do an ICT startup. This involves registering a related company in Canada, legally connected to your Indian company, and using it as a means to transfer employees. The startup route has its own requirements, including proving that the new business can support itself, pay employees, and ultimately hire Canadians. Once you can show that your startup meets those requirements, it becomes a valid option for sending employees to Canada.

Option 3: Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Route

Option number three is the labour market impact assessment (LMIA) route. LMIA is typically for entities that already have establishments in Canada. If you are an Indian business with a Canadian operation but ICT is not an option, you can explore the LMIA route. This requires your Canadian branch to convince immigration authorities that it is unable to find suitably qualified Canadians for the job in Canada. Once the LMIA application is approved, the Canadian branch can use it to support work permit applications from your Indian entity.


Expanding into the Canadian market presents an exciting opportunity for Indian businesses, and the ability to send employees to Canada is a crucial aspect of this endeavour. Whether through the ICT, ICT Startup, or LMIA routes, businesses can navigate the legal requirements and establish a presence in Canada. Understanding the unique prerequisites and benefits of each option will empower Indian businesses to make informed decisions and unlock the potential of the Canadian market. By embracing these pathways, businesses can foster growth, tap into new opportunities, and contribute to the thriving relationship between India and Canada.


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