CETA Work Permits

Under the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), independent professionals, investors, business visitors, intra-company transferees and certain service providers may enter Canada for work purposes without needing to go through the hassles of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

The European Union (EU) and its members states have signed the CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) with Canada. Under CETA, professionals, investors, business visitors, intra-company transferees and certain service providers can enter Canada and perform paid occupations without needing to secure a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Whilst the whole LMIA process may prove challenging for a person from another country to enter Canada for paid employment, the CETA provides a unique opportunity to citizens from the European Union and its member states to be employed in Canada. This is because, if otherwise, the employer would have been required to comply with the LMIA requirements (except if the employer falls under the Atlantic designated employer category) and need to advertise and prove that there was no Canadian citizen and/or permanent resident available to do the job for which the employer is hiring a person from a member state of the European Union. The below category of persons is eligible to enter Canada under the CETA:

Independent workers/Professionals: Self-employed professionals who have a contact to provide service(s) to a Canadian consumer falls under this category.

Investors: The provisions for investors under CETA are mentioned in the “key personnel” category of the CETA. Much similar to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), investors who are coming to Canada under CETA may choose to stay in Canada for a period of up to 1 year without having to secure a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)Extensions are possible after the person’s allowed tenure of stay in Canada, and will be based on the visa officer’s sole discretion.

Business Visitors: Both short-term business visitors as well as businessmen who visit Canada for investment purposes are benefited by the CETA.

Intra-Company Transferees: The intra-company transfers under CETA remains more or less the same as the normal Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) program. The benefited persons under this sub-category are graduate trainees. Under CETA, graduate trainees can also be intra-company transferees. To know more about the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) program, click here.

Note: If you are a person from a member state of the European Union (EU) looking to work for an employer in Canada’s Atlantic province (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Prince Edward Island), there are other fast-track options that are available for you through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP). To learn more about them, click here.

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