Case Study: Sharp makes the Intra Company Transfer program work for two immigrant entrepreneurs

Sharp Business Plans found a winning way for not just one, but two immigrant entrepreneurs to move to Canada and establish a business in the Canadian agriculture industry. 

It started when Sharp began working with an immigration lawyer who knew two entrepreneur friends in India who had been trying to immigrate to Canada for a number of years, without success.

They failed because they lacked the financial means to score well in the PNP entrepreneur programs and their businesses, though fairly successful back home, were not innovative enough to qualify for the Start-Up Visa program in Canada. 

After reviewing their resumes, Sharp discovered that two of their businesses were involved in the international trade of agricultural goods – specifically pulse and grain products. They also had strong networks of buyers throughout South Asia and the Middle East.

Canada happens to be one of the largest producers and exporters of pulse and grain products in the world. And it so happened that Canada was having some difficult trade relations with one of its largest customers; China. Sharp saw an opportunity that would work for both Canada and the India-based entrepreneurs.

As an alternative, Sharp looked into the feasibility for their businesses to open subsidiaries in Canada to facilitate the sale of Canadian pulse and grain to their international network of food processors, manufacturers, and distributors. 

We discovered it was achievable with the help of an underused pathway called the Intra Company Transfer Program.

The Intra Company Transfer program 

The Intra Company Transfer program (sometimes called the Canadian ICT Visa) is a unique federal immigration program that allows foreign companies to transfer high-level workers to Canada, on a temporary basis, in order to help these businesses to become established in the Canadian market and strengthen the Canadian economy. 

There are Four main requirements that must be met to be eligible:

1. Foreign nationals must have been working for the foreign entity full-time in a similar position for at least one year. Only executives, senior managers, and specialized knowledge workers can apply.

CHECK: Both business owners were paid salaries for their executive roles in their respective companies which provided a paper trail to satisfy the first requirement for Intra Company Transferees

2. Foreign business must be a legal entity and be doing regular business (defined as providing goods or services to the public for at least 18 months).

CHECK: Both the men’s businesses had been operating in India for several years, satisfying this requirement. 

3. A Canadian corporation must be registered and have available start-up capital in a Canadian bank ($100,000+), and plan on doing business in Canada, 


4. The foreign and Canadian entities must have a qualifying relationship. The Canadian entity must be a subsidiary, branch, or affiliate of the foreign entity.

CHECK: After incorporating their Canadian businesses as subsidiaries of the foreign entities and transferring funds to a Canadian bank, both applicants had satisfied the third and fourth requirements of the Intra Company Transfer program.

Once these requirements were established, Sharp proceeded to write strong business plans that highlighted the synergies between the new Canadian entities and their foreign parent companies. Sharp was able to explain how these new businesses would add significant value to the Canadian economy through job creation and increased exports.


Final Approval

Three months following the submission of their applications, both entrepreneurs were approved for their one-year ICT work permits. 

Following their arrival in Canada, the entrepreneurs then used their capital to fund operating initiatives and staff their offices, coinciding with the investment and hiring strategies in their business plans. 

Both obtained renewals to their work permits, and then applied for their permanent residency through Express Entry. 

Their year of Canadian work experience granted them an additional 200 points on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and both received Invitations to Apply for permanent residency (PR) due to their boosted scores.  

The immigration consultant who introduced these entrepreneurs to Sharp was unfamiliar with the ICT program previously but now utilizes it with any suitable applicant. 

In our experience, ICT applications are approved much more quickly than PNP, Start-Up Visa, C10, and C11 applications. And ICT applicants who qualify under the Global Skills Strategy (GSS), enable their applications to get processed in as little as two weeks.


What is the Global Skills Strategy?

The federal government created the Global Skills Strategy that enables ICT applications to get processed in as little as two weeks, and many ICT clients can qualify.

The program is helpful in a number of circumstances. For instance, let’s say a Japanese video game developer has a project deadline in their Vancouver office but they don’t have the available labour force locally to get the work done on time. The GSS enables the company to expedite workers from their Tokyo office to their Vancouver office to complete the project on time.

A person needs to meet a list of requirements to receive an expedited work permit under the Global Skills Strategy, but they’re not too difficult to obtain.