Make the most of your LMIA-free expat visa

6 Jul 2024
Canada's Intra-Company Transfer Visa does not require an LMIA, and its biggest advantage is that it streamlines the process. To obtain an LMIA, a Canadian employer must post a job opening and prove that no Canadian or permanent resident is available to fill the position. This can be a time-consuming process, but the Intra-Company Transfer Visa eliminates this step, expediting the application process. This means that if you have a branch or subsidiary in Canada, you can easily send highly skilled employees to work for you. This not only facilitates the movement of human resources between companies, but also contributes positively to the Canadian economy. There are also many benefits for the individual employees who receive these visas.

The expatriate visa is part of Canada's International Mobility Program, which allows employees of foreign companies to relocate and work for a branch, subsidiary, division, or affiliate in Canada. It streamlines the administrative process by eliminating the need for a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and allows for faster visa processing. However, this visa is not available to everyone, but is targeted at skilled workers such as executives, senior managers, and those with specialized skills. 

To apply for an expatriate visa, you must meet a few requirements The applicant must have worked full-time for the parent company for at least one year out of the last three years, and must be in an executive, senior manager, or specialized skill holder role as mentioned above. Parent companies that want to establish a branch or subsidiary in Canada must also meet certain requirements. It must have a head office, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate relationship with the company being incorporated in Canada, and it must operate a business that regularly and continuously provides goods and services. Simply having an office in Canada does not meet the requirements.

There are a number of benefits for both the company and the individual employee if they meet the requirements and are granted an expatriate visa. First, it's a great way to advance your career globally, especially since it's relatively easy to get a visa and start working in Canada quickly compared to a regular LMIA visa, allowing you to expand your understanding of new markets and experience different cultures and economic environments. Second, the spouse of an employee on an expatriate visa can get an open work permit, giving them the freedom to work wherever they want. Third, their children are eligible for free education, giving them access to the same quality education as local children within the Canadian public education system. Fourth, you can take advantage of Canada's free healthcare. As an uninsured foreigner with access to Canada's public healthcare system, medical expenses can be expensive. However, with this visa, you and your family will have free access to Canadian healthcare, which is beneficial for your health and safety. Fifth, gaining work experience in Canada on an expatriate visa can give you an advantage in your future permanent residency application. After working in Canada for at least one year, you can apply for permanent residency through Express Entry if your English and work experience meet the requirements, and you'll receive an additional 50 to 200 points due to the position being eligible for an expatriate visa, increasing your chances of being approved for permanent residency. 

 Because of these benefits, more and more people are choosing to come to Canada on an expatriate visa and taking advantage of this program. For those with businesses in other countries, it is also a more accessible and relatively safe strategy to come to Canada by establishing a branch or subsidiary first, instead of going through the more expensive and risky business immigration program. 

In a global economy, Canada's expatriate visa program is an important contributor to Canada's economic growth by facilitating the movement of human resources between companies. It allows companies to create greater business opportunities in Canada, and Canada to gain access to highly skilled talent to enhance its competitiveness. It also allows individuals to increase their value as global talent and explore new opportunities in Canada. Whether you are a business or an individual, the expatriate visa program is a very attractive program to take advantage of.



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