International Mobility Program: Canada-European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
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 will continue to issue work permits to United Kingdom nationals under CETA until December 31, 2020. These permits will be valid until the expiry date fixed on the permit. As work permit duration under CETA is capped at 12 months in any 24-month period, existing, new or renewed work permits cannot extend beyond December 31, 2021. For more information, refer to the Trade Commissioner’s webpage.
As of January 1, 2021, applications from nationals of the United Kingdom (UK) are no longer to be processed under CETA. They will be processed under the new Canada-UK Trade Continuity Agreement (Canada-UK TCA) after it is ratified, which is expected to occur in early 2021.
All applications from UK nationals under CETA will be processed under CETA, up to and including applications received on December 31, 2020.
Applications received from UK nationals on or after January 1, 2021, but before the coming into force date of the Canada-UK TCA will have to be accompanied by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or meet the eligibility requirements of an LMIA-exempt work permit category.
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 (LMIAs). Chapter ten of the agreement covers the three following categories of visitors for business purposes:
- Key personnel: including intra-corporate (company) transferees, investors, and business visitors for investment purposes;
- Contractual service suppliers and independent professionals; and
- Short-term business visitors.
Instructions for CETA short-term business visitors and foreign workers
As detailed below, new LMIA exemption codes have been created to better capture data about visitors from EU member states coming to Canada for work and business purposes. 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.
- Business visitors and business visitors for investment purposes (work permit exempt under R186(a)/R187)
- Investors (work permit required/LMIA exemption code T46)
- Contractual service suppliers and independent professionals (work permit required/LMIA exemption codes T47 and T43)
- Intra-corporate (company) transferees (work permit required/LMIA exemption code T44) and spouses (open work permit/LMIA exemption code T45)
- Engineering technologists and scientific technologists (work permit required/LMIA exemption code T48)
Extending work permits issued under CETA
Most CETA work permits may be extended at the discretion of the officer who is assessing the application, provided the necessary documentary evidence has been submitted by the applicant to support the request.
Intra-corporate (company) transferees may be extended only for a period of up to 18 months, and graduate trainees are prohibited from receiving any extensions. Permits for contractual service suppliers, independent professionals and engineering and scientific technologists may be extended only up to 12 months from the start of the initial work permit and must fall within the overall 24-month window permitted for these categories. Investor work permits are eligible for extensions, per the discretion of the reviewing officer.
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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