Canada–International Non-Trade Agreements [R204(a) – T11]: International Mobility Program

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Canada has negotiated a number of international instruments with other countries—pertaining to subjects other than trade—in the form of agreements (treaties) that intend to create international obligations for Canada and the other signatory country, or cooperation arrangements such as Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs), which are a non-binding type of instrument.

Note: Not included under these non-trade agreements are diplomatic agreements with United Nations Organizations, such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Persons entering under diplomatic agreements may be facilitated under R186(b). (See Foreign representatives, family members and domestic workers.)

Agreements/arrangements and descriptions

Airline Personnel

Numerous bilateral air transport agreements exist between Canada and other countries. See Unique work situations: Airline personnel for specific occupations.

Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques

The Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques (SITA) is located in Montreal and does the following:

  • develops the fields of transmission of information necessary for airline operation
  • processes all categories of information necessary for airline operation
  • studies any problems related to airline operation to promote air transportation safety and dispatch reliability in all countries

It cooperates with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and other governmental and non-governmental bodies in these fields. Given the existing Memorandum of Understanding and the benefits of having the North American and Caribbean headquarters of SITA in Canada, IRCC has undertaken to facilitate such foreign workers as deemed essential and necessary to the continued operations of SITA headquarters.

Canada-U.S. Understanding of Arrangement

U.S. IRS employees

See United States government personnel for more information.

Public Safety Canada

Emergency service providers are facilitated under R186(t). However, from time to time, there are agreements in place with Public Safety Canada for foreign workers to come to Canada for the purpose of incidents which are not of an emergency nature.

Fulbright Program between Canada and the U.S.

The Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the United States of America, also known as the Fulbright Program, is an organization that facilitates academic (both work and study) exchanges for participants. Work permits are fee exempt [R299(2)(h)].

See Study permits: Scholarship and Award Recipients for more information

International Air Transport Association (IATA)

Headquartered in Montreal, IATA is an association of over 220 of the world’s airlines. The Government of Canada completed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding IATA operations in Canada in 1987. Included in the MOU is a commitment to facilitate issuance of work permits made to officers, employees or specialists contracted to IATA.

International Pacific Halibut Commission

Sea and port samplers are employed to conduct research at various ports in British Columbia during the halibut season. Their entry is pursuant to the Pacific Halibut Fishery Regulations, a Canada/U.S. Agreement.

Learn more:

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Persons entering Canada to take employment at facilities located at Foley Lake, Nova Scotia or Carp, Ontario. Their stay in Canada may be for many years and consequently long-term work permits may be issued pursuant to R204. See military personnel and family members.

NATO nations are covered by the Status of Forces Agreement (taken from the Visiting Forces Act). Military personnel coming to Canada under NATO, including the civilian component, are exempt from a work permit pursuant to R186(d).

North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES); North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC) and Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO)

These are intergovernmental scientific bodies that promote and coordinate marine scientific research, and as such, bring in scientists under Intern or Visiting Scientist programs which occur under international arrangements that Canada has with other member countries. These organizations enjoy special status under the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act and are therefore exempt from the employer compliance regime. As Canada is a State Member of each organization it follows that Canadian citizens are eligible to apply for the respective internship programs.

Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD)

Exchanges are arranged in Canada through the Public Service Commission. Individuals are provided with copies of the International Assignment Agreement as it relates to their assignments and should be in possession of their agreement when seeking entry. A work permit may be issued for the length of time specified in the agreement. Alternatively, if the individual qualifies under R186(e), they may be authorized to work in Canada without a work permit.

Pacific Salmon Commission (PSC)

The PSC is an international scientific body created to implement the Pacific Salmon Treaty, signed in 1985 between the governments of Canada and the U.S. As with the Halibut Commission, samplers and scientists should be allowed an LMIA-exempt entry.

Roosevelt Campobello International Park

Persons entering Canada from the U.S. to take employment under the terms of the Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the U.S. relating to the establishment of the Roosevelt Campobello International Park.

Supporting documentation: an offer of employment from the Park’s Commission. Fee exempt.

Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreements

Canada has signed agreements with a number of countries to facilitate and encourage scientific and technological cooperation and exchanges of information and personnel between the agencies, organizations and enterprises in the public and private sectors of the two countries. Fields of cooperation may vary from year to year.

Consult Global Affairs Canada to search for agreements with specific countries.


Telefilm administers coproduction agreements on the Canadian government's behalf. The official coproduction agreements enable Canadian producers and their foreign counterparts to pool their creative, artistic, technical and financial resources to co-produce films and television programs that enjoy the status of national productions in each of the countries concerned.

See Film co-producers for more information on document requirements and Telefilm guidelines.

U.S. Government Personnel

Note: Instances may occur where workers come forward pursuant to a valid agreement that may not be on the list. In such cases, admission should be facilitated if workers can satisfy the officer that there is an agreement that covers their admission. Family members may be eligible for open work permits.

Consult United States government personnel for more information.

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