Blog

Professional team
CETA and Business Visitors from EU

Posted on 18/06/2020

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the EU went into effect in April of 2017. Chapter 10 of CETA facilitates the entry of certain business visitors that are citizens of Canada or a member state of the EU, by exempting these persons from an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) and in some cases from having to obtain a temporary work permit to enter and do business in Canada.

  • Please note that all business visitors have to enter Canada for temporary purposes only and never in order to obtain permanent residence. CETA Chapter 10 exemptions are not designed for permanent residence and only apply to temporary business/professional visits under carefully designed conditions.
  • Additionally, Brexit (the UK’s leaving the EU) went into effect in January of 2020, with a transition period that will last until December 31, 2020. During the transition period, UK business visitors will continue to be processed under CETA regulations described below. This means, however, that any work permit issued to UK business visitors will, at most (with extensions as described below) be valid until December 31, 2021.
  • However, in case the transition period is extended (which must be done before the end of June 2020) then the maximum validity of work permits for UK business visitors under CETA may change. We will update you when the information is available.

The exemptions for work permits under this agreement apply under strictly defined conditions, so let’s see exactly who can enter Canada as a business visitor under CETA Chapter 10.

I Business visitors

This comprises 2 types of business visitor:

  • Short-term business visitor: these are professionals or other skilled workers who may engage in the following list of activities:
    • Meetings & consultations
    • Research & design
    • Marketing research
    • Training seminars
    • Trade fairs & exhibitions
    • Sales
    • Purchasing
    • After-sales or After-lease servicing
    • Commercial transactions
    • Tourism personnel
    • Translation & interpretation
  • Business visitor for investment purposes: these are employees in a managerial or specialist position responsible for setting up a business in Canada but who:
    • Do NOT engage in direct transactions with the general public, and
    • Are NOT paid directly nor indirectly by a Canadian source.

Unless the business visitor qualifies under the terms of IRPR (Immigration & Refugee Protection Regulations) 186/187 (in which case they do not need a work permit – see below) then the maximum length of their work permit is 90 days within any 6-month period.

If the business visitor will be making repeated visits to Canada in order to complete a project or establish a business, they may be issued a Visitor Record by immigration officials. This is what is called a status document that:

  • May extend or limit the length of a stay in Canada, and
  • May specify the conditions that apply to the temporary resident

The IRPR (Immigration Refugee & Protection Regulations) sections 186 and 187 allow a Business Visitor to enter Canada without a work permit if the business visitor is a foreign national who is:

  • Purchasing Canadian goods & services for a foreign business or government
  • Receiving or giving training within a Canadian parent company or subsidiary
  • Representing a foreign business or government to make sales of goods & services but NOT dealing directly with the general public.
  • The primary source of remuneration is outside Canada
  • The principal business location and profit centre is outside Canada

Please remember that business visitors cannot:

  • Sell a good or service to the general public
  • Receive direct or indirect payment from a source in Canada
  • Supply a service in Canada except for the activities listed above (meetings & consultations, research & design, etc.)

II Investors – work permit required

This category is for people who:

  • Will supervise or administer an investment in Canada, or
  • Are the investor, or
  • Are employed by a business that is investing a substantial amount of capital in Canada

The work permit is for 1 year but can be extended under the discretion of the reviewing immigration officer. Remember that to be granted an extension, the applicant must:

  • Apply before their current work permit expires
  • Continue to comply with all the conditions of their original work permit
  • Be in possession of a valid passport or other travel document and which will remain valid for the entire period of their work permit extension

III Service Suppliers & Independent Professionals – work permit required

A contractual service supplier is defined as:

  • An employee of a business in the EU who has a contract to supply a service to a consumer in Canada
  • Is engaged on a temporary basis in that contract
  • Has been an employee of the EU business for at least 1 year prior to the application
  • Has at least 3 years professional experience in the sector where they will be providing the service
  • Will not be paid by anyone other than the EU business that is providing the service

An independent professional is defined as:

  • A self-employed professional who has a contract to provide a service to a Canadian consumer
  • Is engaged on a temporary basis in that contract
  • Has at least 6 years professional experience in the sector where they will be providing the service

Both service suppliers and independent professionals must:

  • Be citizens of a EU member state
  • Have a university degree or other qualification showing comparable level of knowledge in their area of specialization
  • Have any professional qualifications necessary to practice their profession as per any professional licensing etc. requirements in the province or territory where they will engage in their activities
  • Be engaged in the provision of a service for a period not more than 12 months
  • Any period of time longer than 12 months will mean that after 12 months CETA no longer will apply and you will have to obtain an LMIA and comply with any other IRCC regulations or restrictions that may now apply.
  • Contracted to provide a service in the following areas:

Service Suppliers and/or independent professionals in following areas are eligible to enter Canada under CETA without an LMIA.

Please note that in some areas only one (either service suppliers or independent professionals) are eligible. The NOC occupational code (in the 2nd column) can be used here to find more detailed job descriptions for the NOC occupations listed in the table just below.

Sector – UN CPC Classification NOC Equivalent Exceptions
Legal advisory services – public international law & foreign law (CPC 861) 4112  
Accounting & Bookkeeping services (CPC 86212, 86213, 86219, 86220) 0111, 1111 (financial managers & auditors & accountants) Independent professionals in these categories are excluded from entering Canada under CETA
Taxation advisory services (CPC 863) 1111, 4162 (auditors, accountants, economists and economic analysts) Independent professionals are excluded from this category and may not enter Canada under CETA
Architectural services (CPC 8671) 0212, 2148, 2151 (architecture & science managers, other professional engineers, architects)  
Urban planning and landscape architectural services (CPC 8674) 0212, 2152, 2153 (architecture & science managers, landscape architects, urban planners)  
Engineering services & integrated engineering services (CPC 8672, 8673) 0013, 0015, 0016, 0211, 2122, 213, 214, 2173 (please go here for a full description)  
Computer & related services (CPC 84) 0213, 2147, 217 (computer & info systems managers, computer engineers, computer & info systems professionals  
Research & development services (CPC 851, 852, 853) 0211, 0212, 0213, 211, 2121, 2122, 2123, 2161, 213, 214, 3132, 4161, 4162, 4163, 4164, 4167, 4169 (please go here for a full description) The sub-category of Psychologist’s services (under CPC 852) is excluded from CETA as it falls under medical & dental services
Advertising (CPC 871) 0013, 0015, 0124, 1123, 5121, 5122, (go here for a full description) Independent professionals are excluded
Market research & opinion polling (CPC 864) 0124, 0125, 2161, 4163, 4164 (go here for a full description)  
Management consulting services (CPC 865) 0124, 0125, 1122, 1123 (go here for a full description)  
Services related to management consulting (CPC 866) 1122, 1121 (business management professionals, human resource professionals)  
Technical testing & analysis services (CPC 8676, 8675) 2112, 2115, 2131, 2132, 2133, 2134, 2142, 2146, 2147, 2173 (go here for more detail) Independent professionals are excluded from this area under CETA
Scientific & technical consulting services (CPC 8675) 2113, 2143, 2144 (Geoscientists, oceanographers, mining engineers, geological engineers – only scientific/tech consulting related) Independent professionals are excluded under CETA from this area
Mining (CPC 883) 0811, 2143, 2144, 2145, 2148, 2154, 4163 (go here for more info) Only advisory & consulting services allowed under CETA
Maintenance & repair of vessels (CPC 8868) 2132, 2133, 2142, 2148 ( go here for more info) Contractual service & supply managers are excluded

Independent professionals are excluded and not allowed under CETA

Maintenance & repair of rail transport equipment (CPC 8868) 2132, 2133 (mechanical, electric, & electronic engineers) Contractual service & supply managers are excluded

Independent professionals are excluded and not allowed under CETA

Maintenance & repair motor vehicles, motorcycles, snowmobiles, road transport equipment (CPC 6112, 6122, 8867, 8868) 2132 (mechanical engineers) Contractual service & supply managers are excluded

Independent professionals are excluded and not allowed under CETA

Maintenance & repair aircraft (CPC 8868) 2132, 2133, 2142, 2146 (go here for more info) Contractual service & supply managers are excluded

Independent professionals are excluded and not allowed under CETA

Maintenance & repair metal products, machinery, equipment, household goods (CPC 633, 7545, 8861, 8862, 8864, 8865, 8866) 0621, 0714, 2132, 2133, 2148 (go here for more info) Contractual service suppliers, managers of utilities are excluded

Independent professionals are excluded under CETA

Translation & interpretation services (CPC 87905) 5125 (translators, terminologists & interpreters)  
Telecommunication services (CPC 7544) 2147, 2173 (computer engineers, software engineers & designers) Contractual suppliers & independent professionals excluded from CETA
Postal & courier services (CPC 751) Not applicable Contractual suppliers & independent professionals excluded from CETA
Construction & related engineering services (CPC 511, 512, 513, 514, 515, 516, 517, 518, 2131, 2231 (civil engineers, civil engineering technologists & technicians) Contractual service & supply managers are excluded

Independent professionals are excluded and not allowed under CETA

Site investigation work (CPC 5111) 2113, 2115, 2131, 2153 (geoscientists, oceanographers, soil scientists, material scientists, civil engineers, urban planners) Independent professionals are excluded from this area under CETA
Agricultural, forestry, & hunting – advisory & consulting services CPC 881) 0811, 0821, 2121, 2122, 2123, 2148, 4161 (go here for more info) Independent professionals are excluded from this area under CETA
Environmental services (CPC 9401, 9402, 9403, 9404, 9405, 9406) 0211, 0212, 0714, 0912, 2112, 2113, 2121, 2131, 2134, 2153, 4161 (go here for more info) Independent professionals are excluded from this area under CETA
Insurance & related services (advisory & consulting only) 0013, 0121, 2161, 4112 (go here for more info)  
Other financial services (advisory & consulting only) 0111, 0121, 0122, 0125, 1112, 1113, 1114 (go here for more info)  
Transport (CPC 71, 72, 73, 74) 2131,2153 (civil engineers, urban planners) Contractual service & supply managers are excluded

Independent professionals are excluded and not allowed under CETA

Travel agencies & tour operator services (CPC 7471) 0015, 0621, 0651 (go here for more info) Independent professionals are excluded from this area under CETA

Includes tour managers accompanying groups of 10 or more but not acting as a guide in specific locations

Tourist guide services (CPC 7472) 0621, 0651 (retail & wholesale managers, managers in customer services) Independent professionals are excluded from this area under CETA
Manufacturing (CPC 884, 885 – advisory & consulting only) 2141 (industrial & manufacturing engineers) Contractual service & supply managers are excluded

Independent professionals are excluded and not allowed under CETA

 

As well, there are these requirements for this category:

  • The length of the work permit is up to 12 months in any 24-month period. Extensions are up to the IRCC officer and may not exceed the 24-month total.
  • The following documentation is also required:
    • Proof of citizenship of an EU member state
    • Copy of signed contract with Canadian service customer
    • Documented proof of:
      • Profession involved
      • Province/territory where contract will be carried out
      • Job description, duration of employment, payment arrangements
  • Proof of required professional qualifications to perform the work in Canada
  • The Canadian company involved in the service contract (whether for service suppliers or independent professionals) must apply for the work permit through the IRCC employer portal found here.
  • The Canadian company must pay a $230 fee.
  • The Canadian company is liable under the provisions of the International Mobility Program.

IV Intra-Corporate Transferees – work permit required

These are people who are defined as:

  • Being employed by an EU business, or be a partner in an EU business for at least 1 year
  • Temporarily transferred to the branch, subsidiary, or head office in Canada
  • Belonging to one of the following 3 categories:
    • Senior personnel
    • Specialist
    • Graduate trainees

Each of these 3 categories have slightly different requirements:

  • Senior personnel: they can stay for up to 3 years with possible extensions up to 18 months at the discretion of immigration officials.
  • Specialist: they are equivalent to the specialized knowledge category of NAFTA and can also stay up to 3 years with extensions up to 18 months.
  • Graduate trainees: they have to have a university degree and must be transferred to Canada as part of their career development or as part of a training program. They can only stay for up to 1 year and are NOT allowed any extensions to their contract.

V Engineering Technologists & Scientific Technologists – work permit required

This category has similar criteria to contractual service suppliers and independent professionals with the only difference being the education levels required.

Both engineering and scientific technologists must:

  • Be a citizen of an EU member state (and have proof like a passport)
  • Have a copy of the signed contract between the service provider they work for and the Canadian service consumer
  • Have documentation that shows:
    • Profession they are seeking to enter and work temporarily in Canada under
    • Province/territory where their contract will be carried out
    • Details of their job: job description, duration, method of payment
    • Educational qualifications in accordance with either of the 2 categories (see below)
  • Evidence they have the necessary qualifications to practice their profession in the province or territory where they will work
  • The Canadian company involved in the service contract (whether for service suppliers or independent professionals) must apply for the work permit through the IRCC employer portal found here.
  • The Canadian company must pay a $230 fee.
  • The Canadian company is liable under the provisions of the International Mobility Program.

Both categories (engineering & scientific technologists) who are applying as a contractual services supplier must also:

  • Be supplying a service on a temporary basis as an employee of a business that has a service contract
  • Have been an employee of the EU-based business for at least 1 year
  • Have at least 3 years professional experience in the area that they will be working in
  • Only be paid by the business employing them and not from any other source

Both engineering & scientific technologists who are applying as an independent professional must in addition to the general requirements above also:

  • Be supplying a service on a temporary basis as a self-employed person
  • Have at least 6 years professional experience in the sector where they will be working

Engineering technologists must have:

  • A 3-year post-secondary degree from a recognized institution in engineering technology, which shall be considered equivalent to a university degree

Scientific technologists must have:

  • A 3-year post-secondary degree from a recognized institution in one of the following disciplines: agriculture, architecture, biology, chemistry, physics, forestry, geology, geophysics, mining, or energy, which shall be considered equivalent to a university degree

The length of stay for engineering & scientific technologists is up to 12 months in any 24-month period. Extensions can be granted as long as the total length of stay is not more than 24 months.

European Union

There are currently 27 member countries of the European Union (EU). The United Kingdom withdrew from the EU on January 31, 2020.

By Alphabetical Order:

 

Austria

 

 

France

 

 

Malta

 

 

Belgium

 

 

Germany

 

 

Netherlands

 

 

Bulgaria

 

 

Greece

 

 

Poland

 

 

Croatia

 

 

Hungary

 

 

Portugal

 

 

Cyprus

 

 

Ireland

 

 

Romania

 

 

Czechia

 

 

Italy

 

 

Slovakia

 

 

Denmark

 

 

Latvia

 

Slovenia
 

Estonia

 

 

Lithuania

 

 

Spain

 

 

Finland

 

 

Luxembourg

 

Sweden

 

Posted in Tips and tagged Business visitor, Work Permit

Related Posts