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CIC Issues Instructions on Assessing “Specialized Knowledge” Intra-Company Transferees

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has released new instructions providing additional guidance to immigration officers on the assessment criteria for Intra-Company Transferees (ICTs) in the “specialized knowledge” category.

The instructions, issued July 4, 2011, clarify the assessment criteria for ICT specialized knowledge applicants as set out in CIC’s Foreign Worker Manual (FW 1 Manual), including the factors and characteristics officers should consider in determining specialized knowledge claims. In particular, the instructions provide additional guidance on the role of salary and wages in the assessment process.

The instructions also direct officers to give reasons in the Global Case Management System notes if refusing an ICT application. Officers are reminded that the notes should be related to the criteria stated in the FW 1 Manual, and must “demonstrate transparency and a justification/rationale for a refusal.”

The latter instruction can be traced to a recent Federal Court of Canada case in which the Court held that an immigration officer’s reliance on factors not found the FW 1 Manual was “not a decision making process demonstrating justification, transparency and intelligibility as required by the reasonableness standard” (Arora v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [2011] F.C.J. No. 362 (QL), at para 35).

For further information on the requirements and process in applying for a work permit as an Intra-Company Transferee, please contact the immigration law specialists at Green and Spiegel LLP.