NAFTA Intra-Company Transfer: Requirements and Process

NAFTA and Intra-Company Transfer: An Overview

If you are a company that operates in Canada, the United States, or Mexico and you need to transfer employees between your branches, you may be eligible for the NAFTA Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) program. The ICT program is a provision of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which allows companies to transfer certain employees to work in a related company in another NAFTA country.

The ICT program is designed to facilitate international trade and investment by allowing companies to access specialized knowledge or skills that are not readily available in the local labor market. The program is open to managers, executives, and specialized knowledge workers who have been employed by the company for at least one year and who will be working in a related company in another NAFTA country.

To qualify for the ICT program, the employee must meet certain requirements, including having a valid job offer from the related company in another NAFTA country. The employee must also have been employed by the company for at least one year and must have been working in a qualifying position for at least six months.

Under NAFTA 2.0, the ICT program has been updated to include provisions for spouses and dependents of ICT workers. Spouses of ICT workers are now eligible for work permits, and dependent children are eligible for study permits. These changes make it easier for families to stay together while the ICT worker is on assignment in another NAFTA country.

Overall, the ICT program is an important tool for companies that operate in multiple NAFTA countries. It allows them to transfer key personnel between their branches, access specialized knowledge and skills, and facilitate international trade and investment. If you are a company that operates in Canada, the United States, or Mexico, and you need to transfer employees between your branches, the ICT program may be a good option for you to consider.

Understanding Intra-Company Transferees

If you are a business person seeking temporary entry to work in the United States, Canada, or Mexico, you may qualify for an intra-company transferee visa under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Intra-company transferees are employees of a foreign-based company who are transferred to a related company in the United States, Canada, or Mexico.

There are three categories of intra-company transferees: executives, managers, and specialized knowledge workers. To qualify for the intra-company transferee visa, you must have worked for the foreign-based company for at least one year in the past three years in an executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge capacity.

Executives are high-level employees who primarily direct the management of the organization or a major component or function of the organization. Managers are employees who primarily manage the organization or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization. Specialized knowledge workers are employees who have specialized knowledge of the company’s products, services, research, equipment, techniques, or management.

To qualify as an executive or a manager, you must be coming to the United States, Canada, or Mexico to work in a similar executive or managerial capacity. To qualify as a specialized knowledge worker, you must be coming to the United States, Canada, or Mexico to work in a position that requires specialized knowledge and that cannot be readily filled by a U.S., Canadian, or Mexican worker.

The intra-company transferee visa allows you to work in the United States, Canada, or Mexico for up to three years, with the possibility of extending your stay for up to seven years if you are an executive or a manager, or up to five years if you are a specialized knowledge worker.

In conclusion, if you are a business person seeking temporary entry to work in the United States, Canada, or Mexico, you may qualify for an intra-company transferee visa under NAFTA. To qualify, you must have worked for the foreign-based company for at least one year in the past three years in an executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge capacity. The visa allows you to work for up to three years, with the possibility of extending your stay for up to seven years if you are an executive or a manager, or up to five years if you are a specialized knowledge worker.

Process and Requirements for Intra-Company Transfer

If you are planning to transfer to a Canadian branch of your company as an intra-company transferee, you must meet certain requirements and follow specific procedures. In this section, we will outline the process and requirements for intra-company transfer under NAFTA.

Qualifying Relationship

To be eligible for an intra-company transfer, you must have a qualifying relationship with the company. This means that you must have been employed by the company for at least one year in a full-time position that is related to the position you will be filling in Canada. The company must also have a qualifying relationship with the Canadian branch, such as a parent, subsidiary, affiliate, or branch office.

Job Offer

You must have a job offer from the Canadian branch of your company. The job offer must be for a position that is related to your previous employment and must be in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity. The job offer must also be for a temporary position, with a maximum duration of three years.

Work Permit

You will need a work permit to work in Canada as an intra-company transferee. To apply for a work permit, you must submit a completed application form, along with supporting documents such as your job offer letter and proof of your qualifying relationship with the company. You may also be required to undergo a medical examination and provide a police certificate.

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

In most cases, you will not need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to work in Canada as an intra-company transferee. However, if your job offer is for a position that is not covered by NAFTA, or if you are applying for an LMIA-exempt work permit, you may need to obtain an LMIA.

Pre-Arranged Employment

You must have pre-arranged employment with the Canadian branch of your company before you can apply for a work permit. This means that your Canadian employer must have filed a copy of your job offer letter with the Canadian government before you apply for your work permit.

In conclusion, if you meet the requirements and follow the procedures outlined above, you can work in Canada as an intra-company transferee under NAFTA.

Role of NAFTA in Facilitating Business Transfers

If you are a business owner looking to expand your operations across the US, Canada, and Mexico, NAFTA’s Intra-Company Transfer provisions can help facilitate the process. NAFTA is a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the US, Canada, and Mexico, which allows for the free flow of goods, services, and investment between the three countries. The agreement aims to promote substantial trade and cross-border business, which can lead to economic benefits for all parties involved.

Under NAFTA’s Intra-Company Transfer provisions, business persons can come into the US, Canada, or Mexico to perform after-sales service, research and development, or other business-related activities. The provisions apply to business visitors, traders, investors, and business persons who are engaged in substantial trade between the NAFTA countries. The provisions also apply to employees of a foreign subsidiary, branch, or parent company who are coming to work in the US, Canada, or Mexico.

NAFTA’s Intra-Company Transfer provisions help to facilitate the transfer of senior personnel and international business knowledge, which can help improve the competitiveness of businesses in the three countries. The provisions also help to reduce tariffs and other trade barriers, which can lead to cost savings and increased profitability for businesses.

To qualify for NAFTA’s Intra-Company Transfer provisions, the business person must have been employed by the foreign company for at least one year and must have specialized knowledge or executive-level experience. The provisions also require that the business person be coming to work for a US, Canadian, or Mexican subsidiary, branch, or parent company.

In conclusion, if you are a business owner looking to expand your operations across the US, Canada, and Mexico, NAFTA’s Intra-Company Transfer provisions can help facilitate the process. The provisions allow for the free flow of goods, services, and investment between the three countries, which can lead to economic benefits for all parties involved. The provisions also help to facilitate the transfer of senior personnel and international business knowledge, which can help improve the competitiveness of businesses in the three countries.

If you are considering an intra-company transfer to Canada or the United States under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), it is essential to understand the legal and immigration aspects of this process. NAFTA intra-company transfer is one of the categories of the International Mobility Program (IMP), which facilitates the temporary entry of business persons to Canada and the United States.

To be eligible for an intra-company transfer under NAFTA, you must be a citizen of Canada, the United States, or Mexico, and you must have been employed continuously by the same company for at least one year in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity. The company must also have a qualifying relationship with its Canadian or American affiliate, subsidiary, or branch.

The NAFTA intra-company transfer is subject to a reciprocal agreement between Canada and the United States. This means that Canadian and American companies can transfer their employees to each other’s countries without the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or a work permit. However, you still need to obtain a temporary work permit to work in Canada or the United States.

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) are responsible for processing NAFTA intra-company transfer applications. You can apply for a temporary work permit at a Canadian visa office or a U.S. embassy or consulate.

There are three types of NAFTA intra-company transfer visas: the L-1A visa for executives and managers, the L-1B visa for employees with specialized knowledge, and the TN visa for NAFTA professionals. The TN visa is available to citizens of Canada and Mexico who work in certain professional occupations. The H-1B visa is another type of work visa available to foreign workers in the United States.

In summary, the NAFTA intra-company transfer is a temporary employment option for Canadian, American, and Mexican citizens who work in managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacities for companies with qualifying relationships in Canada or the United States. The process involves obtaining a temporary work permit from IRCC or USCIS, depending on the country of destination, and complying with the eligibility requirements and visa categories. If you have any questions or concerns about NAFTA intra-company transfer, you may want to consult an immigration lawyer for guidance.

Impact on Employees and Employers

If you are an American, Canadian, or Mexican citizen who is employed by a company that has operations in one or more of the other NAFTA countries, you may be eligible for an intra-company transfer. This type of transfer allows you to work for your employer in a different NAFTA country for a temporary period.

For employers, intra-company transfers can be a useful way to move skilled workers between different locations. This can help to ensure that the company has access to the talent it needs to remain competitive. Intra-company transfers can also be a way to provide employees with new opportunities to learn and grow within the company.

One of the key benefits of intra-company transfers is that they can allow skilled foreign workers to gain Canadian citizenship. This can be an important consideration for employees who are looking to settle permanently in Canada.

If you are an employer who is considering an intra-company transfer, there are a number of factors that you will need to take into account. These may include the cost of relocating employees, the need to obtain professional work permits, and the availability of skilled workers in the destination country.

For foreign workers who are considering an intra-company transfer, there are a number of benefits to be aware of. These may include the opportunity to gain valuable international experience, the chance to work with colleagues from different cultures, and the potential for career advancement within the company.

Overall, intra-company transfers can be a useful tool for employers and employees alike. By providing skilled workers with the opportunity to work in different locations, companies can ensure that they have the talent they need to succeed in a global marketplace. At the same time, employees can gain valuable experience and develop new skills that can help them to advance their careers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the process for obtaining an ICT work permit?

To obtain an ICT work permit, the employer must file a petition with the appropriate government agency, such as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The petition must demonstrate that the employee has been employed by the foreign company for at least one year and will be performing duties for the same company in the host country.

What are the eligibility requirements for an ICT work permit?

To be eligible for an ICT work permit, the employee must have been employed by the foreign company for at least one year and be coming to work for the same company in the host country. The employee must also possess specialized knowledge or be a manager or executive.

What is the duration of an ICT work permit?

The duration of an ICT work permit varies depending on the country and the specific circumstances of the employee. Generally, ICT work permits are valid for up to three years, with the possibility of extension for an additional two years. However, in some cases, the duration may be shorter.

What are the benefits of an ICT work permit?

The benefits of an ICT work permit include the ability to work for the same company in a different country, the opportunity to gain international work experience, and the potential for career advancement. Additionally, ICT work permits may provide certain tax benefits and allow for easier travel between the home and host countries.

What are the differences between CUSMA and NAFTA?

CUSMA (the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement) replaced NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) on July 1, 2020. While both agreements provide for ICT work permits, there are some differences in the eligibility requirements and the duration of the permits. For example, under CUSMA, employees must have worked for the foreign company for at least one year in the three years preceding the application, whereas under NAFTA, the requirement was one year in the preceding three years.

What are the TN visa occupation categories?

TN visas are a type of work visa available to citizens of Canada and Mexico under NAFTA and CUSMA. To be eligible for a TN visa, the employee must be coming to work in one of the designated TN visa occupation categories, which include professions such as accountant, engineer, and scientist. The full list of TN visa occupation categories is available on the USCIS and IRCC websites.

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