CANADA – Intra-company transferees must meet stricter criteria
June 10, 2014
IMPACT – HIGH
What is the change? Canada has released guidelines that raise the criteria for intra-company transferees (ICTs).
What does the change mean? The guidelines introduce a more rigorous definition of “specialized knowledge” and impose mandatory wage requirements for some ICTs.
Background: Yesterday, Canada released Operational Bulletin 575 for officers who assess work permit applications for ICTs with specialized knowledge.
The assessment guidelines define “specialized knowledge” as requiring both proprietary knowledge and an advanced level of expertise. The bulletin details the documentary evidence officers will consider and the definitions of “proprietary knowledge,” “advanced proprietary knowledge” and “advanced level of expertise” that officers will use in making their assessments. In addition, the bulletin directs officers who are assessing such knowledge or expertise to consider:
“Citizenship and Immigration Canada considers specialized knowledge to be knowledge that is unique and uncommon,” the bulletin says. “(I)t will by definition be held by only a small number or small percentage of employees of a given firm. Specialized Knowledge workers must therefore demonstrate that they are key personnel, not simply highly skilled.”
These new guidelines would not technically affect ICT applicants from countries with bilateral agreements with Canada, including NAFTA, Chile, Colombia and Peru where the wording of individual agreements would have priority. However, the new guidelines are likely to have a chilling effect on how officers will now view specialized knowledge applications for ICTs.
Specialists with a high standard of specialized knowledge in their industry must meet a mandatory wage floor, set at the prevailing wage. Officers will determine the Canadian prevailing wage for the specific occupation and regions of work by using Employment Skills Development Canada (ESDC) “Working in Canada”