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NAFTA Intra-Company Transfer Work Permits

The NAFTA Intra-Company Transfer designation facilitates the transfer of specialized labour between Canada, the United States and Mexico. American and Mexican enterprises seeking to transfer employees to a Canadian branch of the company must have a qualifying relationship with the Canadian enterprise.

NAFTA Intra-Company Transferees are employees of an American or Mexican enterprise in a managerial position, executive position or who are able to impart specialized knowledge to the Canadian counterpart. The transferee must have some form of specialized knowledge that will be relayed to the Canadian branch of the enterprise and must also perform duties consistent with their job title and description at the branch of transfer.

Work permits for this program are necessary, however candidates who demonstrate they meet the Intra-Company Transfer designation criteria are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) requirement. Despite circumventing the LMIA requirement, an Intra-Company Transfer employee must ensure compliance with all other Canadian immigration requirements that pertain to work permit issuance.

NAFTA Intra-Company Transfer employees must have at least 1 year of full-time continuous employment in a qualifying position, within the 3 years preceding the date of application. If the employee does not have the required 1 year of full-time work experience, the Canadian visa officer may choose to consider other factors before issuing a decision on the NAFTA work permit application.

As with other NAFTA work permits, some Intra-Company Transferees can apply for their work permit at a Canadian port-of-entry, upon arrival in Canada.  NAFTA work permit candidates applying at a port of entry must be prepared to provide all necessary documentation to Canadian immigration officials.  Applications can also be made at a Canadian visa office prior to arrival.

As previously mentioned, transferees from a foreign entity must be working in an executive or managerial capacity, or be in a position to impart specialized knowledge to the Canadian branch. However in smaller businesses, the title of the employee alone, might not be sufficient to qualify for an Intra-Company Transfer work permit. NAFTA Intra-Company Transfer applicants from smaller businesses may be required to provide additional documentation to demonstrate qualification.

Contact an experienced Canadian immigration lawyer to learn more about the NAFTA Intra-Company Transfer work permit.