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Canadian Work Permits – Maximizing Your Time in Canada

October 12, 2011

The intra-company transfer (“ICT”) immigration category is without question one of the most useful immigration categories available to foreign companies. Briefly, in order to qualify under the ICT category, foreign companies must satisfy predefined corporate relationships mandated by Citizenship & Immigration Canada (“CIC”). In addition, the individual worker must be transferring to a Canadian entity either in a managerial capacity or in a position which requires specialized knowledge. If these requirements are met, the foreign worker may be granted a Canadian work permit for a duration of up to seven years for managerial positions and up to five years for positions which require specialized knowledge.

However, CIC has recently implemented the concept of recaptured time. Essentially, a foreign worker’s time spent outside of Canada during the validity of their work permit will not count against the overall duration of their work permit. For example, prior to the announcement, if a foreign worker in possession of a three year work permit issued under the ICT category departed Canada (for any reason) the time spent outside of Canada would count against the duration of their current work permit. Under the new operational guidelines, a foreign worker who is required to leave Canada (again, for any reason) would not have the time spent outside of Canada counted towards the duration of their work permit. Beneficially, foreign workers under the ICT category are now granted the ability to be physically present in Canada for the entire duration of their work permit.

Some of the immediate benefits associated with this change in operational policy include:

  •  The ability for a foreign worker to spend the full amount of time granted to them working in Canada;
  • The ability for foreign companies to recall personnel without having time spent outside of Canada counted towards the duration of their employees respective work permits. This also holds true in circumstances which involve personal or family related matters;
  • The creation of a viable alternative to the business visitor category with respect to foreign companies engaged in long or even short term projects in Canada;
  • Theoretically, a reduction in the frequency of work permit extension applications; and
  • Multiple advantages and added flexibility for foreign workers pursuing permanent residence in Canada while simultaneously working in Canada.

The introduction of the recaptured time policy and the associated benefits to foreign companies and their employees cannot be overstated. The flexibility afforded to foreign companies transferring workers to Canada and the multitude of options now available with respect to how this newly introduced concept can maximize time, efficiency and cost, should, ideally, be implemented by qualified and experienced representation.

Tags: Canadian Business Immigration


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