Expand Your Existing Business to Canada: A Step-by-Step Guide

Want to expand your existing business to Canada? Here is a step-by-step guide on how to move your existing business to Canada.

Many foreign businesses end up expanding their operations to Canada each year. Business owners typically make this move to reap the many benefits of operating in the country. This includes access to Canada’s wealthy customers, skilled labour, and a stable economy. This North American country has been a top destination for investors seeking new business opportunities for many decades, and expanding a business here is one of the best ways to do this.

This guide will discuss how you can expand your existing business to Canada through the Intra-Company Transfer Program.

How to Expand Your Business to Canada?

Expanding your company to Canada via the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Program is possible. This is a unique program designed to allow foreign businesses to set up operations in Canada along with their staff.

Business owners and staff approved under this program will receive a special ICT work visa that allows them to enter the country and perform business activities. Business owners interested in using this program must follow the steps explained below.

Step 1: Eligibility Check

Before diving into the process, ensure that your company meets the eligibility criteria for the ICT Entrepreneur Visa. Factors like active business operations, a minimum business age of one year, financial stability, and a clear business purpose are essential.

Step 2: Determine Business Relationship

Decide how your Canadian business entity will relate to your existing company. Depending on your expansion strategy and goals, it can be structured as a parent, subsidiary, or affiliate.

Step 3: Register Your Canadian Business

Once the structure is clear, register your business in Canada. This may involve choosing a location for your corporate office and understanding any specific requirements based on the province you choose.

Step 4: Prepare Documents

Gather all necessary documents to support your ICT Entrepreneur Visa application. These documents typically include proof of your existing business’s operations, financial records, employment history, business plan for expansion, and more.

Step 5: Apply for the ICT Entrepreneur Visa

Submit your application for the ICT Entrepreneur Visa, including all the required documentation. The application process involves demonstrating your eligibility and outlining your business expansion plan.

Step 6: Await Visa Approval

Once your application is submitted, you’ll need to wait for the visa approval, which may take a few months. It’s crucial to have patience during this period.

Step 7: Arrive in Canada

Upon visa approval, you’ll be issued an ICT work permit that allows you and your staff to enter Canada. You can then set up your Canadian business operations.

Step 8: Start Business Operations

Initiate your business activities in Canada, ensuring your company has a physical presence and is actively engaging in business. Compliance with Canadian regulations is essential.

Step 9: Extend Your Work Permit

To extend your ICT work permit, demonstrate that your Canadian business is running successfully. This includes having local employees and actively participating in business operations.

Step 10: Apply for Permanent Residence

After operating your business in Canada for a minimum of 12 months, you may become eligible to apply for Canadian permanent residence through programs like Express Entry or Provincial Nominee Programs.

Step 11: Seek Professional Guidance

Throughout the process, it’s highly recommended to seek guidance from immigration experts who specialize in business immigration to Canada. They can provide valuable insights, ensure compliance, and streamline expansion.

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Timeline to Permanent Residence Through Express Entry

  1. Document Preparation and Incorporation of Your Canadian Company: This process typically takes approximately three months. During this time, you will gather and prepare the necessary documents for your Canadian company, and the incorporation process will be completed.
  2. Submission of ICT (Intra-Company Transfer) Application and Waiting for Approval: After incorporating your Canadian company, you will submit your ICT application. The processing time for ICT applications is generally around three months. During this period, you will patiently await the approval of your ICT application, which will allow you to work and live in Canada.
  3. Accumulating 200 Points in Your Express Entry Profile: Once you get your ICT application approved, you will obtain a work permit. After working in Canada for 12 months, you will be eligible to claim 200 additional points in your Express Entry profile. This can significantly enhance your overall Express Entry score, increasing your chances of being invited to apply for permanent residency.
  4. Submission of Express Entry Application and Waiting for Official Approval: Once you have met the eligibility criteria and accumulated the desired points, you can submit your Express Entry application. On average, the processing time for Express Entry applications is approximately six months. During this period, your application will undergo thorough assessment and review, leading to its official approval.

Please note that these timeframes and processes may vary depending on individual circumstances, immigration policies, and the specific details of your application. It’s advisable to stay informed about the latest updates and requirements from the Canadian immigration authorities to ensure a smooth and successful immigration process.

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How Elaar Immigration Can Help?

If you’re interested in expanding your business to Canada, please contact Elaar Immigration. Our team of Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants understands the application process for the Intra-Company Transfer program and has assisted many foreign business owners in expanding their business to Canada. Contact us today and bring your business to one of the best markets in the developed world.

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