Thursday, January 26, 2012

Good news for Intra-company Transfers to Canada


January 2012

We are pleased to announce that there has been a positive change to Canadian immigration policies to benefit employees holding Intra-company Transfer work permits who travel frequently outside Canada.

Limit to the duration of Intra-company Transfer (ICT) work permits

The rule previously was the following: After ICTs have reached their maximum work permit duration (five years for specialized workers, seven years for senior management), they would have to complete one year of full-time employment with the company outside Canada if they wished to re-apply as an ICT.  If they were unable to complete one year outside Canada, then the foreign worker would have to obtain a work permit under the Labour Market Opinion category, a very long and cumbersome process.

New rule

Recaptured Time — Normally, the duration of the work permit is used to calculate the maximum time limit that an ICT is allowed to work in Canada. However, time spent outside Canada during the duration of the work permit can now be “recaptured.” For example, if an ICT worker has a work permit for one year and spends two months over the course of the 12 months working in the US, then only 10 months would count against his or her five- or seven-year limit as an ICT. In summary, documented time spent outside Canada can be recaptured to allow the ICT full years of physical presence in Canada.
This is great news for cross-border employees. For your employees to benefit from this change, we recommend that a travel chart of entry/exit dates be maintained. We also recommend that employees retain copies of travel itineraries/ airline tickets, hotel stays, etc., showing precise lengths of stay in Canada each year. With such information, your employees will be able to recapture the time spent outside Canada when extending their work permits.