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Program description​

This program is perfect for companies of any size who wish to open a subsidiary in Canada and transfer one or more employees to operate the Canadian company. Usually, the first person to be transferred is one of the company owners followed by a specialized worker. This program provides the director of the Canadian company with a work permit to operate the business in Canada for 1 year and the opportunity to apply for permanent residency after this year of operation. This program does not require an Owner Operator LMIA, which means one less government agency to process the application.


When you have a business in your home country that you’d like to expand in Canada, you can request a work permit as an intra-company transferee, work for 1 year in Canada in your business and apply for permanent residency if you wish to live in Canada on a long-term basis.

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Application type

Work permit to operate a subsidiary of your business followed by Permanent Residency

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Eligible Countries

All members of the GATT (World Trade Organization)

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Timeline from application sent to PR status

2.5 years processing

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Level of English/French required


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Level of Education

1-year post-secondary education or more

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Minimum requirements to be eligible for the program:

In order to qualify as an intra-company transferee work permit as the owner and director of your company, the following must be proven:



You must show that your company has been in existence for minimum 1 year and that you have been directing it.



You do not need any minimum education for this program. This means that you can have a work permit without showing any specific education. However, the more education you have, the more points you gain in the Express Entry program should you be interested in applying for permanent residency. In this case, we highly recommend that you have at least 1 year of post-secondary education. A bachelor’s degree or more will be even better.



Age is not a factor in getting a work permit. However, if you want to apply for permanent residency, age will affect your points. The age that receives a majority of point (110 points) is between 20 to 29 years old. You start to lose points at age 30 and after the age of 44, you no longer can receive points for age. This is why it is best to have a post-secondary education, so you can compensate for the points lost in age.




Canada’s official languages are English and French. Although to receive the work permit, you probably only need an intermediate level in any of these two languages, we recommend that you continue to improve your language skills to reach an advanced level in order to increase your chances at being selected in the Express Entry program for permanent residency. You will need to choose one of these two languages (your strongest one) to pass an official test.

For English testing: IELTS GENERAL or CELPIP

For French testing: TEF



Canada wants to have a dynamic innovative economy that provides stable jobs. The business you will bring to Canada should have a certain degree of novelty so it is easy to show the aggregated value your business will bring to the Canadian industries it is involved in. An important aspect to consider is that the business should be able to grow and scale. You should have plans to hire employees who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.



While the intra-company transferee program does not have a set amount of money required, you will need to show that you have enough funds to immigrate to Canada. You will need to show proof of funds for two aspects of life: to cover for personal expenses and business expenses. Usually, for your personal expenses, the salary you earn from directing your company in Canada should be enough to support you and our family members. This is usually around $60 000 CAD per year or more. For your business expenses, you can choose to invest your personal capital in your new company in Canada or your company abroad can fund the opening of your Canadian subsidiary. You will work together with our team at North Horizon Immigration Consulting while we build the business plan for your project in Canada and we will establish a realistic amount required for a successful execution of your plan. This will be based on your specific project and the community where you will live. Usually, it is safe to have a minimum of $40 000 CAD ready to invest in your Canadian subsidiary in addition to your yearly salary.  



Depending on the country you are from, when you apply for the Investor work permit you and your family will have to pass the Canadian Immigration Medical exam and provide your police certificates from all the countries where you have lived for 6 months or more since you are 18 years old. This will be mandatory for everyone who wishes to apply for permanent residency.

The Application Process


Once we have identified that you qualify for this program, there will be 2 general phases to the application process:


This is when you request a work permit for yourself and permits for you family to move to Canada and start operating your business. You must actively operate your business, passive investment is not considered for this program.


After actively managing your business in Canada for 1 year, you will gain extra points that will be added to the other points you accumulate through age education, work experience, and language skills. If your points are high enough to be invited by Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), we will prepare a permanent residency application for yourself and your family.


The timeline for this entire process is usually 2 and a half years from beginning to end.


The North Horizon Immigration team will assist you in preparing the most compelling application to properly describe how your business project will enhance the Canadian economy and labour market to receive your intra-company transferee work permit and we will prepare your permanent residency application. We will assist you along the way to maximizes your chances of success in Canada.


The services we offer include:

Prepare a Business Exploratory Trip to Canada (when possible, after COVID19)

Coach you on how to keep track of important administrative aspects of your project in Canada including: Bookkeeping - Tax obligations - Human Resources -

- Busines license registrations - Bank account opening

Connect you with a network of professionals required for your success such as: Accountants - Corporate lawyers - Marketing experts - Web designers

We will also review your family members’ immigration status to ensure they will also be involved during the process

Assess your profile for eligibility in the program

Prepare the Business Plan for your project in Canada

Prepare the intra-company transferee work permit application

Research your industry of choice in Canada to assess the contributions you will be making

If you feel like this immigration program fits your lifestyle and career goals, we invite you to book a consultation with our regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, Rita Benkhalti, and start your project today!

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