The Canada-European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) — a free trade agreement between Canada, the EU and its member states —came into effect on September 21, 2017

New Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemption codes have been created to better facilitate the mobility of labour between Canada and the European Union. CETA includes provisions for the following categories:

  • short-term business visitors (work permit exempt)
  • business visitors for investment purposes (work permit exempt)
  • Investors (work permit required/LMIA exempt)
  • Contractual service suppliers (work permit required/LMIA exempt)
  • Independent professionals (work permit required/LMIA exempt)
  • Intra-corporate (company) transferees (work permit required/LMIA exempt) and spouses (open work permit/LMIA exempt)

Business Visitors

Under CETA, there are two categories of business visitors: short-term business visitors and business visitors for investment purposes. The maximum length of stay for either type of business visitor is 90 days in any six-month period.

Eligible activities for business visitors include:

  • Meetings and consultations
  • Research and design
  • Marketing research
  • Training seminars
  • Trade fairs and exhibitions
  • Purchasing and Sales
  • After-sales or after-lease service
  • Commercial transactions
  • Tourism personnel
  • Translation and interpretation

A business visitor for investment purposes is an employee in a managerial or specialist position who is responsible for setting up a business but does not engage in direct transactions with the general public and will not receive direct or indirect remuneration from a Canadian source.

Investors

The investor provisions listed under CETA are similar to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). To be eligible as an investor under CETA, applicants must demonstrate that they:

  • will establish, develop, or administer the operation of an investment in a capacity that is supervisory or executive
  • are the investor
  • are employed by an enterprise that has committed or is in the process of committing a substantial amount of capital

The permitted length of stay is one year, with possible extensions at the officer’s discretion.

Contractual Service Suppliers

Contractual service supplier means an employee of an enterprise in the EU who has a contract to supply a service to a Canadian consumer. The EU enterprise cannot have an establishment in Canada. To qualify for a LMIA exemption, the contractual service supplier must:

  • be a citizen of a European Union member state;
  • be engaged in the supply of a service on a temporary basis as an employee of a European Union enterprise which has obtained a service contract in Canada;
  • have been employed by the European Union enterprise for at least the year immediately preceding the date of entry into Canada;
  • generally possess a university degree or a qualification demonstrating knowledge of an equivalent level;
  • generally possess professional qualifications where such qualifications are required to exercise an activity pursuant to the law, regulations or other requirements of Canada, where the service is supplied; and
  • possess three years of professional experience in the sector of activity that is the subject of the contract.

The CETA Professionals Contractual Services Suppliers category applies to all occupations which Canada classifies as professional or managerial in the following thirty-seven sectors:

  1. Legal advisory services in respect of international public law and foreign law (i.e. non-EU law)
  2. Accounting and bookkeeping services
  3. Taxation advisory services
  4. Architectural services and urban planning and landscape architecture services
  5. Engineering services and integrated engineering services
  6. Medical and dental services
  7. Veterinary services
  8. Midwives services
  9. Services provided by nurses, physiotherapists and paramedical personnel
  10. Computer and related services
  11. Research and development services
  12. Advertising services
  13. Market research and opinion polling
  14. Management consulting services
  15. Services related to management consulting
  16. Technical testing and analysis services
  17. Related scientific and technical consulting services
  18. Mining
  19. Maintenance and repair of vessels
  20. Maintenance and repair of rail transport equipment
  21. Maintenance and repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, snowmobiles and road transport equipment
  22. Maintenance and repair of aircrafts and parts thereof
  23. Maintenance and repair of metal products, of (non-office) machinery, of (non-transport and non-office) equipment and of personal and household goods
  24. Translation and interpretation services
  25. Telecommunication services
  26. Postal and courier services
  27. Construction and related engineering services
  28. Site investigation work
  29. Higher education services
  30. Services Relating to Agriculture, Hunting and Forestry
  31. Environmental services
  32. Insurance and insurance related services advisory and consulting services
  33. Other financial services advisory and consulting services
  34. Transport advisory and consulting services
  35. Travel agencies and tour operators’ services
  36. Tourist guides services
  37. Manufacturing advisory and consulting services

Independent Professionals

Independent Professionals are self-employed individuals in the European Union who have contracts in Canada.  To be eligible to work in Canada as a CETA Independent Professional, a European Union citizen must:

  • be engaged in the supply of a service on a temporary basis as a self-employed person in Canada;
  • have at least six years professional experience in the sector of activity which is the subject of the contract;
  • possess a university degree or a qualification demonstrating knowledge of an equivalent level; and
  • possess professional qualifications where this is required to exercise an activity pursuant to the law, regulations or other requirements of the Party, where the service is supplied.

The CETA Professionals Independent Professionals category applies to all occupations listed which Canada classifies as managerial or professional in the following sectors:

  1. Legal advisory services in respect of international public law and foreign law (i.e. non-EU law)
  2. Architectural services and urban planning and landscape architecture services
  3. Engineering services and integrated engineering services
  4. Computer and related services
  5. Research and development services
  6. Market research and opinion polling
  7. Management consulting services
  8. Services related to management consulting
  9. Mining
  10. Translation and interpretation services
  11. Telecommunication services
  12. Postal and courier services
  13. Higher education services
  14. Insurance related services advisory and consulting services
  15. Other financial services advisory and consulting services
  16. Transport advisory and consulting services
  17. Manufacturing advisory and consulting services

Intra-corporate (company) transferees

The CETA Intra-Corporate Transferee (ICT) provisions are similar to existing Intra-Company Transferee provisions, with the addition of a Graduate Trainee category.  It allows those who have been employed by an enterprise in the European Union or who have been partners in it for at least one year and who are temporarily transferred to a subsidiary, branch, or parent company in Canada to obtain work permits. 

Applicants must belong to one of the following categories:

  • Senior Personnel
  • Specialists
  • Graduate trainees

Under CETA, all intra-company transferees must:

  • have been employed by an enterprise of, or have been partners in an enterprise of, an EU member state for at least one year; and
  • be temporarily transferred to an enterprise (that may be a subsidiary, branch, or head company of the enterprise) in Canada.

Graduate trainee applicants must also:

  • possess a university degree; and
  • be temporarily transferred to an enterprise in Canada for career development purposes or to obtain training in business techniques or methods.