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Establish Your Foreign Business in Canada with Start-Up Program

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If you own and/or work in a foreign business, and you wish to establish a business presence in Canada, the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) program may be for you. The ICT Start-Up option was created to bring important workers to Canada who will launch a Canadian branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of a foreign company.

The ICT Start-Up allows key staff members of a foreign business to travel to Canada on a temporary basis. Once in the country, they are expected to open their new office, benefitting both their own enterprise as well as the Canadian economy.

Benefits of the ICT Start-Up Program

The ICT Start-Up program presents a straightforward path for businesses looking to expand into a dynamic, booming economic marketplace. Canada is experiencing steady growth across many sectors, including natural resources, technology, health, and communication. Establishing an office in Canada today may reap financial rewards in the future.

The ICT Start-Up program is also an ideal option for business owners who wish to come to Canada. By opening a Canadian office, owners will be able to relocate to Canada without giving up the company they have worked hard to build.

For individuals wishing to pursue Canadian Permanent Residency, the ICT Start-Up program may present a pathway to achieving this goal. By securing a temporary work permit, applicants can then build Canadian experience, a valuable asset to an immigration application.

The ICT Start-Up Program

Successful applicants to the ICT Start-Up program will receive a 1-year temporary work permit. This permit is conditional and may be extended, should an individual choose to continue working with the Canadian start-up.

Applicants to the program must demonstrate that their company is able to establish itself in Canada. They must provide documentation that shows the company’s ability to financially support a start-up operation. They will also have to outline plans for staffing and doing business in Canada, and prove that they have secured (or are in the process of securing) physical premises.

The individual(s) being transferred must also meet program requirements. Generally speaking, they must be current, full-time employees of the foreign company. Job positions must fall into one of two categories:

  1. Executive/Managerial: The company will have to show that it will be large enough to support an executive or managerial function; or
  2. Specialized Knowledge: The company will have to show that the employee’s knowledge is essential to start-up operations

After securing a 1-year temporary work permit, individuals will be authorized to travel to Canada to work only for their Canadian start-up. In order to qualify for work permit renewal, the company will have to show that:

  1. The foreign and Canadian offices continue to maintain a qualifying relationship (branch, affiliate, subsidiary);
  2. The Canadian entity has been conducting business ; and
  3. The Canadian entity has been staffed (by a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident)

Pursuing an ICT Start-Up application is not limited to large international businesses. Small businesses, provided they have the capacity to establish a Canadian presence and fulfill the above requirements, are also eligible to apply. Big or small, the ICT Start-Up option is an option worth considering for individuals wishing to come to Canada.

To find out if you or your business may be eligible for the ICT Start-Up Program, please fill out a free online assessment.



10 thoughts on “Establish Your Foreign Business in Canada with Start-Up Program

  1. Avatar
    Manu Deep Kalra


    I’m an Entrepreneur having offices in Dubai and Bangalore from last 17 years. Already established a company in Canada from last 2 years but not operational. Can i set up a branch office in Canada?

    We have a staff of 10 employees in Dubai and another 11 employees in India. Audit statements are maintained from 10 years.

    Can i move on a work permit to Canada to start the operations?

    Please advise what are the requirements

    Manu Kalra

  2. Avatar
    Ikram ullah

    Hi sir if some one wanna start a business in Canada what are the requirements for them if he is not a Canadian national

  3. Avatar
    Sam Maher

    I am a Canadian citizen who owns a small Medical Supplies retail store. I’m trying to have a U.S. based related company to assist us to further expand our business, not only with retail aspect, but also with other related ventures. The ventures will include home health care.
    -My concerns or questions are, what are the steps needed for such a company to come and venture with us?
    -What will a company need to follow the guide lines of NFTA, in order to be compliance with the Canadian immigration rules and regulations.
    -What kinds of work permit and business licenses are needed?

  4. Avatar
    Ryunosuke Fujiharu

    To whom it may concern,

    Hi my name is Ryunosuke Fujiharu. I came from Japan to open a brunch of ORIENTAL company that imports a variety of batteries which we have been importing since 2001.Today, I would like to get some advice and help from you to open a brunch for our company because we do not really know how to do it.
    Now we are trusted by the people who have been our customers for a long time and we want to continue to give them the best prices along with a high quality. Right now we do not have a website that is written in English but we are going to set up it soon. So if you have any questions and advice to give, please send us an email and we hope to hear good news from you.
    Thank you for your time.

  5. Avatar

    I have valid canadian visit visa, I want to visit to explore the business possibility and also interested to join start up visa program will you please advise me in this regards

  6. Avatar
    Rajneesh Bahl

    I was a permanent resident of canada till Dec. 2010 and had formed a corporation with myself being the only employee. I couldnot complete required number of days in canada and now no more a resident of canada. I can obtain multiple entry business visa for canada and want to know, can I still run a corporation in canada as have on going business in canada.

  7. Avatar
    Murad Ali

    Dear Madam/ Sir,
    I am a Pakistani National having some money to invest in CANADA. How much will be needed to
    secure an immigration too. what is the minimum limit of investment for getting a Canadian national status.

  8. Avatar

    Dear Madam/ Sir,
    I am a Pakistani National having some money to invest in CANADA. How much will be needed to
    secure an immigration too. what is the minimum limit of investment for getting a Canadian national status.

  9. Avatar
    nayyer ismail

    I have investment of 100000 dollars. my elder brother is Canadian national.
    i am married with two children.
    let me know the possibility of immigration.

  10. Avatar
    Ihsan Ullah

    Hello sir/madam

    I am a Pakistani nationalty holder businessman . I have a well established company in Kuwait I owne 49% share and management atharty from my patnar Kuwait nationalty holder and we diside to open our branch office to Canada please tell me how we can do this .will be very thankful for your cooperation .

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