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Episode 66: Intra-Company Transfers To Canada

Podcast posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Canada Work Permits, Intra-Company Job Transfers and Podcast

Episode 66: Intra-Company Transfers To Canada

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On the podcast, Calgary immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah provides a detailed explanation of intra-company transfers to Canada including the program requirements, candidate eligibility qualifications, how long the process takes and how an intra-company transfer works.


An intra-company transfer to Canada is the process of transferring an employee from a related foreign entity to a Canadian entity of the same organization. It allows multinational companies to relocate their employees to Canada to work for their Canadian branch, subsidiary, or affiliate.

During the podcast, Evelyn Ackah discusses:

  • Intra-company transfers involve the relocation of employees from one related entity corporation to another, requiring at least one year of work experience with the company abroad.
  • Intra-company transfers can be done from any country to Canada, not limited to NAFTA countries like the US and Mexico.
  • NAFTA-related transfers can receive work permits at the port of entry, valid for one year or up to three years, renewable.
  • For individuals coming from countries requiring visas, such as Europe, Africa, India, China, the work permit needs to be processed at the consulate before travelling to Canada, taking around 3 to 6 months.
  • UK citizens, who are visa-exempt, can apply for intercompany transfers at the port of entry under the LMIA exempt category.
  • The intra-company transfer process involves demonstrating the intercompany relationship, employment abroad in a specialized or managerial role, and the need for the individual to take on a new opportunity in Canada.
  • The transfer allows knowledge transfer and expansion opportunities within the Canadian organization.
  • In the United States, intra-company transfers are referred to as L-1 visas, with L-1A for managerial/executive roles and L-1B for specialized knowledge workers.

About Evelyn Ackah

Evelyn Ackah is the Founder and Managing Lawyer at Ackah Business Immigration Law. With offices in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver, we work with individuals and business owners from all over the world who want to cross borders seamlessly. For more information on immigration to Canada or the United States, Ask Evelyn Ackah at Ackah Business Immigration Law today at (403) 452‑9515 or email Evelyn directly at contact@ackahlaw.com.

The Ask Canada Immigration Lawyer Evelyn Ackah podcast by Calgary Immigration Lawyer Evelyn Ackah was named #1 Best Canada Immigration Podcast in 2022 by Feedspot.



Evelyn Ackah:

Hi everyone, it's Evelyn Ackah from Ackah Business Immigration Law. I hope you're well. Today on our LinkedIn Live for Ackah Law we're going to talk about intra-company transfers.

So for those of you who don't know, intra-company transfers (or intercompany) are transfers of people who have been working for the related entity corporation and are being transferred to another related entity. They have to have at least one year of work experience with the company abroad before they can transfer to Canada or the United States, so that means that they must have at least one year of either specialized knowledge or managerial and executive experience in order to qualify for a transfer so they can get a work permit to come and work in Canada or the United States.

What's really great about intra-company transfers is we can do them from basically any country into Canada. Doesn't have to just be a NAFTA country like the US or Mexico, where we utilize the new NAFTA for those ones under the USMCA, where people from Mexico and the US can enter Canada and literally get a work permit at the port of entry so long as they have the right material to present to Canada Immigration Border Services, and they are able to leave with a work permit that's either for one year or up to three years, that is renewable.

For those people coming to Canada from other countries, like Europe, Africa, some of them... India, China, if you need a visa to come to Canada, you will need to be processed for your work permit at the consulate first before you're able to then get on the plane and come to Canada, so it might take longer for people who need visas. If you're coming from Nigeria, let's say, we need to be able to prove the intercompany relationship, prove the employment abroad in a similar specialized knowledge or managerial role and the explanation of why you are needed to come to Canada to take on this new opportunity in Canada to work for the related entity here in Canada, so that might take more like three to six months, depending on the country you're coming from, to be able to get the visa and the work permit.

If you're coming from the UK, let's say, because they're visa-exempt citizens, they can also apply at the port of entry, but for them it's obviously not NAFTA. They're applying for the straight LMIA exempt category, labour market impact assessment exempt category for intercompany transferees, and they can also apply right at the airport.

So I just finished speaking with a new client coming from Manchester, and they will be sending somebody who's managerial, and we discussed the process. It's going to take us maybe two, three weeks to put together all of the material to satisfy Immigration, including completing the employer compliance portal for them with their new Canadian entity, and then this person will obtain a work permit upon entry, assuming there's no criminality, which we know there isn't, and assuming there's no medical conditions that would make the person inadmissible to Canada.

The benefit of the intercompany transfer is it allows knowledge from one part of the organization to be transferred to the Canadian part of the organization to help grow and expand Canadians that are working in the organization, and expand training opportunities. For Canadians going to the United States, we call the intra-company an L-1 visa. Either it's intra-company transfer for L-1A, which is the managerial executive category, or it's an L-1B for the specialized knowledge workers. We use the L-1B quite a bit for people who may not have lots of education but have great on-the-job experience and specialized expertise that they can bring that's not commonly available, they can bring to the United States or to Canada, so they can benefit the business as well as the Canadians and permanent residents that will be learning and training under them.

So if you are a company and you're considering expanding to Canada, or you have a fabulous person you want to bring to Canada or the United States and you don't know how to do this, we can help you at Ackah Law. Reach out to us at the numbers you can see above and the email address, and we can talk to you about strategizing, plan, what's a realistic timeline, what the cost will be, so that you can better prepare, so that you can also ensure that you can expand your business to Canada or the United States.

I look forward to helping any of you. If you have any questions, we'd love to work with you, and as I said, give us a call at Ackah Law. Take good care. Bye-bye.

Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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