What is CETA Work Permit Canada?

The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a multilateral trade agreement negotiated between Canada and the European Union (EU) which came into effect on the 21st day of September 2017.

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CETA provides unique opportunities for citizens of the European Union to work in Canada. Foreign nationals covered by CETA provisions could also be eligible to work in Canada without the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or even a work permit.

CETA establishes four situations wherein an EU citizen can be considered eligible for facilitated access to Canadian work authorization:

  • CETA Business Visitors
  • CETA Intra-Company Transferees
  • CETA Investors
  • CETA Contractual Service Suppliers and Independent Professionals

CETA Business Visitors

Business visitors under CETA are eligible for short-term entry to Canada without a work permit or a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Business visitors are authorized for a maximum of 90 days in any six-month period. CETA business visitors may seek multiple entries to Canada for a series of normal visits concerning a selected project. Under CETA, there are two categories of business visitors:

  • Business visitors for investment purposes: This category refers to employees in managerial or specialist positions who are liable for fixing an enterprise. Business visitors under this category are most likely to not engage in direct transactions with the overall public, nor may they receive remuneration from a Canadian source.
  • Short-term business visitors: This category refers to business visitors who enter Canada to perform one of the permissible activities listed below. Short-term business visitors cannot engage in selling goods or services to the overall public or receive remuneration from a Canadian source.

Permissible activities for CETA short-term business visitors:

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

CETA Intra-company transferees

Under CETA, intra-company transferees of enterprises located in EU nations can also be considered eligible to get a Canadian working paper without requiring a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). In order to be eligible for the LMIA-exemption, intra-company transferees must meet the subsequent general criteria:

  • Must have been employed by, or partners in, an enterprise located in an EU nation for a minimum of one year
  • Must be temporarily transferred to a Canadian enterprise with one among the subsequent relationships to the EU enterprise: subsidiary, parent, branch, or head company.

In addition to the overall criteria, intra-company transferees are divided into three categories, each encompassing its own specific requirements:

  • Senior Personnel: like the “executive capacity” position under the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Individuals under this category are eligible for a work permit of up to three years with a possible extension of a maximum of 18 months.
  • Specialists: like the “specialized knowledge” positions under NAFTA. Individuals under this category are eligible for a work permit of up to 3 years with a possible extension of a maximum of 18 months.
  • Graduate Trainees: Must possess a university degree and be temporarily transferred to an enterprise in Canada for career development or business training. Individuals under this category are eligible for a work permit of up to 1 year with no possibility for extension.

Applicants curious about applying for CETA working papers, exempt from the LMIA-requirement, may follow the appliance procedures for CETA permits.

CETA Investors

Under CETA, investors from EU member nations could also be eligible to get a Canadian working paper without requiring a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). So as to satisfy the CETA eligibility requirements for investors, an applicant must meet the subsequent criteria:

  • Involved with the establishment, development, administration, or operation of an investment during a capacity which is supervisory or executive;
  • Must be the investor;
  • Must be hired by an enterprise that has committed previously, or is currently committing, a considerable amount of capital in Canada.

Investors are going to be assessed using the standards for investors described within the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Investors approved through CETA could also be issued LMIA-exempt work permits for a maximum of 1 year, with possible extensions at the discretion of a visa officer. Applicants curious about applying for CETA working papers, exempt from the LMIA-requirement, may follow the appliance procedures for CETA permits.

Contractual Service Suppliers and Independent Professionals

Under CETA, certain contractual service suppliers and independent professionals who are citizens of EU nations could also be eligible to get a Canadian working paper without requiring a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). In order to be eligible for the LMIA-exemption, contractual service suppliers and independent professionals must meet the subsequent general criteria (as well as specific criteria elaborated below):

  • Citizens of an EU trade unionist state
  • Engaged in the temporary supply of a service for a maximum of 1 year
  • The service provided must be covered by a National Occupation Classification (NOC) Code included on the table of Canada’s CETA Commitments for Contractual Service Suppliers and Independent Professionals.

In addition to the overall criteria, contractual service suppliers and independent professionals must meet further specifications:

  • Contractual Service Suppliers: An employee of an enterprise located in an EU nation with a contract to provide a service to a Canadian consumer. The EU enterprise cannot have a location in Canada. The applicant must have a minimum of 3 years of experience within the sector of activity within which the service is going to be provided and must have a minimum of 1 year of experience with the EU enterprise.
  • Independent Professionals: A self-employed professional contracted to provide a service to a Canadian consumer. Must be a longtime supplier of service as a freelance with a minimum of six years of experience within the section of activity within which the service is going to be provided.

Applicants curious about applying for CETA working papers, exempt from the LMIA-requirement, may follow the appliance procedures for CETA permits.

Extending Work Permits Issued Under CETA

Most CETA work permits could also be extended at the discretion of the officer who is assessing the application, provided the required documentary evidence has been submitted by the applicant to support the request.

In order to be granted an extension, applicants must:

  • Apply before their current status expires;
  • Meet all the conditions that were imposed on entry; and
  • Be in possession of a passport or travel document that’s valid for the whole period authorized for the applicant’s stay.

In order to increase a CETA working paper, the employer must submit a replacement offer of employment. Officers should review the suggested documentation below when reviewing the work duration requested by the employer.
Examples of acceptable documentation to support an extension includes;

  • A contract extension justification from the offering enterprise
  • Updated business plans
  • a suggestion for a replacement contract
  • Feasibility studies and marketing plans

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