Intra-Company Transfers – Specialized Knowledge

10th Jun 2014 Comments Off on Intra-Company Transfers – Specialized Knowledge

Last updated on September 5th, 2019

On June 9, 2014, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada published Operational Bulletin 575 – Expanded Guidelines for Officers Assessing Work Permit Applications for Intra-Company Transferees with Specialized Knowledge (“OB-575“).  OB-575 introduced more stringent requirements to the Intra-Company Transferee  – Specialized Knowledge program.  Specifically, what constitutes “specialized knowledge” is more restrictive, and most ICT – Specialized Knowledge applicants must now meet the Prevailing Wage.

Specialized Knowledge

In order to qualify as an Intracompany Transeferee (“ICT“) – Specialized Knowledge applicantsmust  demonstrate a high degree of both proprietary knowledge and advanced expertise.  Specialized knowledge is unique and uncommon, and according to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC“) website “it will by definition be held by only a small number or a small percentage of employees of a given firm,” and that “specialized knowledge workers must therefore demonstrate that they are key personnel, not simply high skilled.”  The onus is on applicants to provide evidence that they meet these requirements.

Proprietary knowledge is company-specific expertise related to a company’s product or service.  It implies that the company has not divulged specifications that would allow other companies to duplicate the product or service. Although IRCC does not mandate that “advanced proprietary knowledge” is required, it states that:

Advanced proprietary knowledge would require an applicant to demonstrate:

    • uncommon knowledge of the host firm’s products or services and its application in international markets; or
    • an advanced level of expertise or knowledge of the enterprise’s processes and procedures such as its production, research, equipment, techniques or management.

An advanced level of expertise requires specialized knowledge gained through significant and recent (defined as within the last 5 years) experience with the organization and used by the individual to contribute significantly to the employer’s productivity.

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