Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has announced new guidelines enabling intra-company transferees to recapture time spent outside of Canada, thereby facilitating work permit extensions beyond the 5- and 7-year caps currently in place for work permits issued under this category.
The intra-company transfer work permit category allows eligible specialized knowledge workers, senior managers and executives to obtain a Canadian work permit without requiring their employer to first obtain a positive Labour Market Opinion.
Under Canada’s current immigration laws, specialized knowledge workers may hold a work permit under the intra-company transfer category for a maximum duration of 5 years, while senior managers and executives are limited to a maximum 7 years. After intra-company transferees have held a work permit for the maximum time allowed, they must complete one year of full-time employment in the company outside of Canada before they may re-apply under this category.
New Guidance – Recapturing Time
Normally, the duration of the work permit is used to calculate the maximum five- or seven-year time limit that an intra-company transferee is allowed to work in Canada. As such, a specialized technician who has held a work permit for 5 years but only worked in the country for a cumulative 3 years would previously still be required to complete one year of work outside of Canada before reapplying under the intra-company transfer category. However, with CIC’s new guidelines, this has changed. While the caps are still in place, foreign workers who work in Canada on a periodic basis may now ‘recapture’ any documented time spent outside Canada for the duration of the work permit.
For example, if a senior manager intra-company transferee holds a work permit for one year and spends two 2-month stints over the course of the 12 months working in the U.S., then only 8 months would count against their seven-year limit. In summary, documented time spent outside Canada can be “recaptured” to allow the intra-company transferee five or seven full years of physical presence in Canada.
This new guideline, which echoes the recapture provisions utilized by US immigration authorities, comes as welcome news to many companies that rely on the services and expertise of intra-company transferees. In order to fully benefit from this new provision, however, all periods and locations of work must be documented.
For further details and updates regarding this and other Canadian work permit categories, contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP.
Posted by Melodie Hughes » No Comments