The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) has now been ratified by the European Union (EU). CETA will apply to Canada and the EU and focus in the areas of business visitors, intra-company transfers, and business visitors with the intention of investment.
- Individuals that fall in this category will be allowed to enter Canada without a work permit for up to 90 days in any six month period. These business visitors will be limited to certain business activities during their stay. This includes: attending meetings, training seminars, conducting research and negotiating sales. It is not permissible to sell goods or services directly to the general public or receive remuneration from a source in Canada.
- Employees in a managerial or specialist position who are responsible for setting up an enterprise will be considered as business visitors with the intention of investing.
The intra-company transfers (ICT) rules of CETA are similar to the existing ICT arrangements in Canada. The rules allow entry and stay without labour market testing or quotas.
Under CETA, all Intra-company transferees must have been employed by or have a partner relationship with the sending company for at least one year. This individual must also fall under one of the three groups –
- Senior personnel or Specialists – these individuals may qualify for work permits valid for stays for up to 3 years with an option to extend for an additional 18 months; or
- Graduate trainees – these individuals will be allowed permits for up to 1 year. There will be no option to extend the length of this permit. Eligible graduate trainees must have a university degree.
Due to CETA, the existing business visitor provisions are amended. The main change will be the widening of the scope which eligible candidates seek to enter Canada for the purposes of business, particularly for short term business and for business visitors with investment purposes.
Investors who are eligible under CETA can obtain work authorisation for up to one year and will not be subject to labour market testing or quotas. Extensions will be at the discretion of the Canadian immigration authorities.