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CETA European Union Work Permit Agreement

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) provides a facilitated immigration path towards so called ‘CETA Work Permit.’

Qualified individuals from the European Union member countries may apply for a work permit without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). As a result, the entire process is easier, faster and cheaper.   

What Is CETA?

 

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is one of Canada’s major free trade agreements. It facilitates trade and movement of business persons between Canada and the European Union (EU) member countries and it recognizes the following groups of eligible applicants:

  • Business visitors
  • Investors
  • Independent Professionals and Contractual Service Supplier
  • Intra-Corporate Transferees
 
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Canada CETA FTA

Special Hiring Program

What Are the European Union Member Countries?

 

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

 

Independent Professionals and Contractual Service Suppliers

 

Independent Professionals

Under the term ‘Independent Professional’ it is understood a person who is self-employed as a professional and who has a contract to deliver a service to a Canadian entity. The main requirements for such person are:

  • be a citizen of the European Union member country.
  • participate in a temporary supply of service for a time period not exceeding 12 months (If exceeding 12 months, the CETA provisions will apply only for the initial 12 months.).
  • have been contracted to supply a service as per the Annex 10-E Concordance Table.
  • have a university degree or a qualification at an equivalent level.
  • must possess professional qualifications as per laws or requirements of the destination province or territory if required to practice an activity related to the delivery of the service.
  • be engaged in the delivery of a service as a self-employed person.
  • have at least 6 years of professional expertise in the sector of the professional activity.

Example: A self-employed Architect seeks entry to Canada to provide specialized architectural services to an Architectural company in Vancouver under a pre-arranged contract.

Contractual Service Suppliers

A Contractual Service Supplier is an employee of a company in the European Union who has a contract to provide a service to a Canadian consumer. At the same time, the EU company cannot be established in Canada.

  • be a citizen of the European Union member country.
  • participate in a temporary supply of service for a time period not exceeding 12 months (If exceeding 12 months, the CETA provisions will apply only for the initial 12 months.).
  • have been contracted to supply a service as per the Annex 10-E Concordance Table.
  • have a university degree or a qualification at an equivalent level.
  • must possess professional qualifications as per laws or requirements of the destination province or territory if required to practice an activity related to the delivery of the service.
  • must be an employee of the company which was granted a service contract.
  • be an employee of the EU-headquartered company for a minimum one year prior to application.
  • have at least 3 years of professional experience in the activity that is the subject of the service contract at the time of application.
  • not receiving Canadian remuneration for the provided services other than the remuneration paid by the employing EU company.

Example: A Canadian engineering company contracts a German company to provide services in the area advanced mechanical testing. An experienced mechanical engineer employed by the German company in Hamburg seeks entry to Canada to provide mechanical engineering services under the pre-arranged contract.

Who Cannot Apply for a CETA Work Permit

The following sectors are not included in the CETA agreement and therefore European nationals may not benefit from the LMIA-exempt CETA Work Permit. Applicants must follow the standard Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) route.

  • medical and dental services
  • veterinary services
  • midwifery services
  • services provided by nurses, physiotherapists and paramedical personnel
  • higher education services
 

Intra-Corporate Transferees

 

Canadian companies may hire an employee of an EU company as long as the Canadian and EU company are a part of the same international corporation. Intra-corporate transferees must:

  • be currently employed by a company of a European Union member country or be a partner in a company of an EU member country.
  • have been employed or a partner for at least one year at the time of the CETA work permit application.
  • be temporarily transferred to a company that is either a subsidiary, branch or head company of the company in Canada.

The applicant must also fall under one of the below categories:

  • senior personnel
  • specialists
  • graduate trainees

Senior Personnel

Senior personnel definition is equivalent to the NAFTA agreement understanding of an individual in an ‘executive capacity.’ The criteria are as follows:

  • manages the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization;
  • supervises and controls the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, or manages an essential function within the organization, or a department or subdivision of the organization;
  • has the authority to hire and fire or recommend those, as well as other, personnel actions (such as promotion and leave authorization); if no other employee is directly supervised, functions at a senior level within the organization hierarchy or with respect to the function managed; and
  • exercises discretion over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which the employee has the authority

Specialists

Specialists are individuals with ‘specialized knowledge’ as understood by the NAFTA agreement. To have specialized knowledge an intra-corporate transferee applicant would be required to demonstrate, on a balance of probabilities, a high degree of both proprietary knowledge and advanced expertise.

Graduate trainees

The subcategory of graduate trainees includes the following criteria. The applicant must:

  • have a university degree
  • be temporarily transferred to a company in Canada for professional development or to obtain training in business techniques or methods.

Length of Work Permit

Senior personnel and specialist may be issued a work permit of up to less than three years depending on the length of the contract. Graduate trainees are eligible for a work permit of less than one year depending on the length of the contract.

Where to apply for a CETA Work Permit

 

Applicants may apply for a CETA Work Permit at a Canadian Port-of-Entry (i.e. airport, land crossing, harbour), providing that they do not need visa to enter Canada. Alternatively, applications may be submitted in paper or online at a Canadian visa office abroad. Those European nationals who are already in Canada may apply from within Canada without having to depart and apply from abroad. 

CETA Work Permit Processing Times

 

Canadian Port-of-Entry – application submitted upon arrival to Canada at an airport, land crossing or harbour are processed immediately by the immigration officer at the border. Note that those planning to use air travel to come to Canada must apply for eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) prior to their departure.

Paper/Online Applications – Those from visa-required countries of the European Union must apply and be approved for a CETA work permit prior to the departure for Canada. This option is voluntary for those who otherwise do not need visa to enter Canada. The processing times depend on the workload at the responsible Canadian visa office abroad. Click here to verify the current processing times.  

Extending a CETA Work Permit

 

A majority of CETA work permits may be extended at the immigration officer’s discretion. Independent professionals and contractual service suppliers may be extended only to a total of 12 months within a 24-month period. The subcategories of intra-corporate transferees: senior personnel and specialist may be extended for 18 months. On the other hand, graduate trainees may not be extended at all. In all the permitted cases, the applicants must submit evidence that the extension is required and justified.

NOC equivalents of Canada’s commitments in Annex 10-E for contractual services suppliers and independent professionals

CPC Sector or Sub-sector NOC Equivalent Exceptions
Legal advisory services in respect of public international law and foreign law (i.e., laws other than Canadian laws) (part of CPC 861) 4112 Lawyers and Quebec notaries: only public international law and foreign law (non-EU law) related occupations
Accounting and bookkeeping services (CPC 86212 other than “auditing services,” CPC 86213, CPC 86219 and CPC 86220) 0111 Financial managers: only occupations with an accounting designation 1111 Financial auditors and accountants: only for accounting occupations Independent professionals in these occupations may not enter Canada under CETA
Taxation advisory services (CPC 863) 1111 Financial auditors and accountants: only advisory services and excluding auditors (covered under Auditing Services) 4162 Economists and economic policy researchers and analysts: only taxation advisory services related occupations Independent professionals in these occupations may not enter Canada under CETA CPC 863 does not include legal advisory and legal representational services on tax matters, which are to be found under legal advisory services in respect of public international law and foreign law.
Architectural services (CPC 8671) 0212 Architecture and science managers: only architectural related occupations 2148 Other professional engineers, n.e.c.: only naval architects 2151 Architects
Urban planning and landscape architectural services (CPC 8674) 0212 Architecture and science managers: only urban planning and landscape architecture related occupations 2152 Landscape architects 2153 Urban and land use planners
Engineering services and Integrated engineering services (CPC 8672 and CPC 8673) 0013 Senior managers – financial, communications and other business services: engineering designation required 0015 Senior managers – trade, broadcasting and other services, n.e.c.: engineering designation required 0016 Senior managers – construction, transportation, production and utilities: engineering designation required 0211 Engineering managers 2122  Forestry professionals: engineering designation required 213 Civil, mechanical, electrical and chemical engineers: all occupations 214 Other engineers: all occupations 2173 Software engineers and designers: only software engineers
Computer and related services (CPC 84) 0213 Computer and information systems managers 2147 Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers): 217 Computer and information systems professionals: all occupations
Research and development services (CPC 851, 852 excluding psychologists’ services, 853) 0211 Engineering managers: only research and development related occupations 0212 Architecture and science managers: only research and development related occupations 0213 Computer and information systems managers: only research and development related occupations 211 Physical science professionals: only research and development related occupations 2121 Biologists and related scientists: research and development related occupations 2122 Forestry professionals: only research forester 2123 Agricultural representatives, consultants and specialists: only agrologists and agricultural research related occupations 2161 Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries: only research and development related occupations 213 Civil, mechanical, electrical and chemical engineers: research and development related occupations 214 Other engineers: only research and development related occupations 3132 Dieticians and nutritionists: only research and development related occupations 4161 Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers: only research and development related occupations 4162 Economists and economic policy researchers and analysts: only research and development related occupations 4163 Business development officers and marketing researchers and consultants: only research and development related occupations 4164 Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers: only research and development related occupations 4167 Recreation, sports and fitness policy researchers, consultants and program officers: only research and development related occupations 4169 Other professional occupations in social science, n.e.c.: only research and development related occupations Psychologists’ services are part of medical and dental services, which are not covered under CETA
Advertising (CPC 871) 0013 Senior managers – financial, communications and other business services: only advertising related occupations 0015 Senior managers – trade, broadcasting and other services, n.e.c.; only sales and advertising vice-presidents – excludes broadcasting 0124 Advertising, marketing and public relations managers 1123 Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations: only advertising related occupations 5121 Authors and writers: only advertising related occupations 5122 Editors: only advertising related occupations Independent professionals in these occupations may not enter Canada under CETA
Market research and opinion polling (CPC 864) 0124 Advertising, marketing and public relations managers: only market research and opinion polling related occupations 0125 Other business services managers: only market research and opinion polling related occupations 2161 Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries: only opinion polling statisticians 4163 Business development officers and marketing researchers and consultants: only market research and opinion polling related occupations 4164 Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers: only market research and opinion polling related occupations
Management consulting services (CPC 865) 0124 Advertising, marketing and public relations managers: only public relations services 0125 Other business services managers: only management consulting services 1122 Professional occupations in business management consulting 1123 Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations: only public relations services
Services related to management consulting (CPC 866) 1122 Professional occupations in business management consulting (e.g. project management services other than for construction, arbitration and conciliation services) 1121 Human resources professionals: only management consulting related services (e.g. conciliation services)
Technical testing and analysis services (CPC 8676) Exclusion: mineral prospecting services, oil and gas field exploration, and geophysical (e.g. seismic) and geological surveying services are classified under class 8675 (engineering related scientific and technical consulting services) 2112 Chemists: only technical testing and analysis services related occupations   2115 Other professional occupations in physical sciences: only technical testing and analysis services related occupations   2131 Civil engineers: only technical testing and analysis services related occupations   2132 Mechanical engineers: only technical testing and analysis services related occupations   2133 Electrical and electronics engineers: only technical testing and analysis services related occupations   2134 Chemical engineers: only technical testing and analysis services related occupations   2142 Metallurgical and materials engineers: only technical testing and analysis services related occupations   2146 Aerospace engineers: only technical testing and analysis services related occupations   2147 Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers): only technical testing and analysis services related occupations 2173 Software engineers and designers: only technical testing and analysis services related occupations Independent professionals in these occupations may not enter Canada under CETA
(Engineering) Related scientific and technical consulting services (CPC 8675) 2113 Geoscientists and oceanographers: only engineering related scientific and technical consulting services related occupations 2143 Mining engineers: only engineering related scientific and technical consulting services related occupations 2144 Geological engineers: only engineering related scientific and technical consulting services related occupations Independent professionals in these occupations may not enter Canada under CETA
Mining (CPC 883, advisory and consulting services only) 0811 Managers in natural resources production and fishing: only mining advisory and consulting services related occupations 2143 Mining engineers: only advisory and consulting services related occupations 2144 Geological engineers: only mining advisory and consulting services related occupations 2145 Petroleum engineers: only mining advisory and consulting services related occupations 2148 Other professional engineers, n.e.c.: only mining advisory and consulting services related occupations 2154 Land surveyors: only mining advisory and consulting services related occupations 4163 Business development officers and marketing researchers and consultants: only mining advisory and consulting services related occupations
Maintenance and repair of vessels (part of CPC 8868) 2132 Mechanical engineers: only maintenance and repair of vessels related occupations 2133 Electrical and electronics engineers: only maintenance and repair of vessels related occupations 2142 Metallurgical and materials engineers: only maintenance and repair of vessels related occupations 2148 Other professional engineers, n.e.c.: only marine, naval, shipbuilding and ship construction related to maintenance and repair of vessels occupations Contractual service suppliers – managers are excluded Independent professionals in these occupations may not enter Canada under CETA
Maintenance and repair of rail transport equipment (part of CPC 8868) 2132 Mechanical engineers: only maintenance and repair of rail transport equipment related occupations 2133 Electrical and electronics engineers: only maintenance and repair of rail transport equipment related occupations Contractual service suppliers – Managers are excluded Independent professionals in these occupations may not enter Canada under CETA
Maintenance and repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, snowmobiles and road transport equipment (CPC 6112, CPC 6122, part of CPC 8867 and part of CPC 8868) 2132 Mechanical engineers: only maintenance and repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, snowmobiles and road transport equipment related occupations Contractual service suppliers – Managers are excluded Independent professionals in these occupations may not enter Canada under CETA
Maintenance and repair of aircraft and parts thereof (part of CPC 8868) 2132 Mechanical engineers: only maintenance and repair of aircraft and parts thereof related occupations 2133 Electrical and electronics engineers: only maintenance and repair of aircraft and parts thereof related occupations 2142 Metallurgical and materials engineers: only maintenance and repair of aircraft and parts thereof related occupations 2146 Aerospace engineers: only maintenance and repair of aircraft and parts thereof related occupations Contractual service suppliers – Managers are excluded Independent professionals in these occupations may not enter Canada under CETA
Maintenance and repair of metal products, of (non-office) machinery, of (non-transport and non-office) equipment and of personal and household goods (CPC 633, CPC 7545, CPC 8861, CPC 8862, CPC 8864, CPC 8865 and CPC 8866) Note: Maintenance and repair services of office machinery and equipment including computers (CPC 845) are to be found under computer services 0621 Retail and wholesale trade managers: only maintenance and repair of metal products, machinery, equipment and personal and household goods related occupations – except all office or transport related occupations 0714 Facility operation and maintenance managers: only maintenance and repair of metal products, machinery, equipment and personal and household goods related occupations – except all office or transport related occupations 2132 Mechanical engineers 2133 Electrical and electronics engineers 2148 Other professional engineers, n.e.c.: only agricultural, agroprocessing, biomedical, bio-resource, dairy plant, food and textile, for maintenance and repair related occupations Contractual service suppliers – Managers in utilities are excluded Independent professionals in these occupations may not enter Canada under CETA
Translation and interpretation Services (CPC 87905, excluding official or certified activities) 5125 Translators, terminologists and interpreters: except official or certified activities
Telecommunication services (CPC 7544, advisory and consulting services only) 2147 Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers): only telecommunications advisory and consulting services related occupations 2173 Software engineers and designers: only telecommunications advisory and consulting services related occupations Contractual service suppliers /independent professionals – managers are excluded from CETA commitments
Postal and courier services (CPC 751, advisory and consulting services only) Not applicable Contractual service suppliers /independent professionals – managers are excluded from CETA commitments
Construction and related engineering services CPC 511, 512, 513, 514, 515, 516, 517, 518. BG: CPC 512, 5131, 5132, 5135, 514, 5161, 5162, 51641, 51643, 51644, 5165, 517. 2131 Civil engineers: only construction and related engineering services related occupations 2231 Civil engineering technologists and technicians Contractual service suppliers – managers are excluded from CETA commitments Independent professionals in these occupations may not enter Canada under CETA
Site investigation work (CPC 5111) 2113 Geoscientists and oceanographers: only related to site investigation work for construction occupations 2115 Other professional occupations in physical sciences: only soil scientists and materials scientists 2131 Civil engineers: only related to site investigation work for construction occupations 2153 Urban and land use planners: only related to site investigation work for construction occupations Independent professionals in these occupations may not enter Canada under CETA
Agriculture, hunting and forestry (CPC 881, advisory and consulting services only) 0811 Managers in natural resources production and fishing: only agriculture and forestry advisory and consulting services related occupations 0821 Managers in agriculture: only advisory and consulting services related occupations 2121 Biologists and related scientists: only agriculture, hunting and forestry advisory and consulting services related occupations 2122 Forestry professionals: only advisory and consulting services related occupations 2123 Agricultural representatives, consultants and specialists: only advisory and consulting services related occupations 2148 Other professional engineers, n.e.c.: only agricultural advisory and consulting services related occupations 4161 Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers: only agriculture, hunting and forestry advisory and consulting services related occupations Independent professionals in these occupations may not enter Canada under CETA
Environmental services (CPC 9401, CPC 9402, CPC 9403, CPC 9404, part of CPC 94060, CPC 9405, part of CPC 9406, CPC 9409) Note: CPC 9401 corresponds to sewage services CPC 9404 corresponds to cleaning services of exhaust gases CPC 94060 corresponds to parts of nature and landscape protection services 0211 Engineering managers: only sewage, trash, garbage related occupations 0212 Architecture and science managers: only environmental services related occupations; excludes agriculture, forestry and mining related occupations 0714 Facility operation and maintenance managers: only sewage, trash, garbage, sanitation, air pollution, landscape protection and noise control related occupations 0912 Utilities managers: only environmental services related occupations, excluding power generation and distribution, petroleum and nuclear related occupations 2113 Geoscientists and oceanographers: only environmental geologists, geochemists and hydrologists 2112 Chemists: only environmental services related occupations; excludes agriculture, forestry and mining related occupations 2121 Biologists and related scientists: only landscape (excluding forests), their respective fauna, flora and habitats; environment and climate relationships; natural disaster assessment and abatement services; landscape protection services; not elsewhere classified related occupations 2131 Civil engineers: only environmental services, municipal, public works, sanitation and water management related occupations 2134 Chemical engineers: only environmental services and waste related occupations 2153 Urban and land use planners: only land use and environmental services related occupations 4161 Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers: only environmental services related occupations Independent professionals in these occupations may not enter Canada under CETA
Insurance and insurance related services (advisory and consulting services only) 0013 Senior managers – financial, communications and other business services: only insurance and insurance related services for advisory and consulting services related occupations 0121 Insurance, real estate and financial brokerage managers: only insurance and insurance related services for advisory and consulting services related occupations 2161 Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries: only insurance and insurance related services for advisory and consulting services related occupations 4112 Lawyers and Quebec notaries: only insurance and insurance related services for advisory and consulting services related occupations
Other financial services (advisory and consulting services only) 0121 Insurance, real estate and financial brokerage managers: only advisory and consulting services related occupations; except insurance and insurance related services 0111 Financial managers: only advisory and consulting services related occupations 0122 Banking, credit and other investment managers: only advisory and consulting services related occupations 0125 Other business services managers: only financial services for advisory and consulting services related occupations; except accounting and auditing 1113 Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers: only advisory and consulting services related occupations 1112 Financial and investment analysts: only advisory and consulting services related occupations 1114 Other financial officers: only financial services for advisory and consulting services related occupations
Transport (CPC 71, 72, 73, 74, advisory and consulting services only) 2131 Civil engineers: only transportation advisory and consulting services related occupations 2153 Urban and land use planners: only transportation advisory and consulting services related occupations Contractual service suppliers /independent professionals – managers are excluded from CETA commitments
Travel agencies and tour operator services (including tour managers) (CPC 7471) 0015 Senior managers – trade, broadcasting and other services, n.e.c.: only travel agencies and tour operator services related occupations 0621 Retail and wholesale trade managers: only travel agencies and tour operator services related occupations 0651 Managers in customer and personal services, n.e.c.: only travel agencies and tour operator services related occupations Independent professionals in these occupations may not enter Canada under CETA Includes CSS category tour managers whose function is to accompany a tour group of a minimum of 10 persons without acting as guides in specific locations
Tourist guide services (CPC 7472) 0621 Retail and wholesale trade managers: only tourist guide services related occupations 0651 Managers in customer and personal services, n.e.c.: only tourist guide services related occupations Independent professionals in these occupations may not enter Canada under CETA
Manufacturing (CPC 884 and 885, advisory and consulting services only) 2141 Industrial and manufacturing engineers: only manufacturing advisory and consulting services related occupations Contractual service suppliers /independent professionals – managers are excluded from CETA commitments