International Mobility Program: Canada-European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

September 21, 2017, is the effective date for CETA. Chapter ten of CETA facilitates entry for certain covered business persons who are citizens of Canada and EU member states by removing the requirement for Labour Market Impact Assessments. Chapter ten of the agreement covers the three following categories of visitors for business purposes:

  1. Key personnel: including intra-corporate (company) transferees, investors, and business visitors for investment purposes;
  2. Contractual service suppliers and independent professionals; and
  3. Short-term business visitors.

Instructions for CETA short-term business visitors and foreign workers

As detailed below, new Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemption codes have been created to better capture data about business visitors from EU member states. Applicants may be processed at the port of entry, or, should they meet the conditions set out within section 199 of the IRPR, they may apply from within Canada or at Canadian missions abroad.

Note: Romanian and Bulgarian citizens are not considered visa exempt for the purposes of R198, and still require a visa. Therefore, they must apply from abroad. Should visa requirements be lifted in the future, Romanian and Bulgarian citizens may apply at the port of entry.

Extending work permits issued under CETA

Contained within CETA are guidelines for extending work permits issued in accordance with the agreement. With the exception of intra-corporate (company) transferees and graduate trainees, work permits may be extended at the discretion of the officer assessing the application provided that the necessary documentary evidence has been submitted by the applicant to support the request.

Intra-corporate (company) transferees may only be extended for a period of up to 18 months, with graduate trainees prohibited from any extensions.

In order to apply for an extension, applicants must:

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

In order to extend a CETA work permit, the employer must submit a new 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

  • A service contract extension justification from the offering enterprise
  • Updated business plans
  • An offer for a new contract
  • Feasibility studies and marketing plans

Additional questions to help officers determine eligibility

  • Consider the intentions of the applicant:
    • What is the applicant doing in Canada?
    • How long has the applicant been here?
    • How long is the request for?
  • Consider the reason given by the applicant for applying for the extension:
    • Are the plans well thought out or merely frivolous?
    • Has the applicant previously received an extension?
  • Consider the applicant’s situation in their home country:
    • What family, employment or other responsibilities and obligations has the person left behind?
    • How have these responsibilities been discharged?
    • Is a prolonged stay in Canada reasonable and feasible?
  • Consider the initial intent of the application:
    • What was the original purpose of the business visit to Canada?
    • Has it been fulfilled?
    • If it has not been fulfilled, was sufficient time originally granted to fulfil the purpose?
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