Canada-European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) – Contractual service suppliers and independent professionals (work permit required/LMIA exemption codes T47 and T43)

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.

The CETA covers two types of professionals: contractual service suppliers and independent professionals.

CETA includes a list of service sectors (set out in Annex 10-E) applicable to contractual service suppliers and independent professionals. Note that the list of covered sectors can be different for contractual service suppliers and independent professionals.

A table has been created to demonstrate equivalency between Annex 10-E and Canada’s National Occupational Classification codes, and to highlight those occupations where Canada has taken commitments to facilitate temporary entry for contractual service suppliers and independent professionals.

The service contract must comply with Canada’s laws and other legal requirements.

General criteria for contractual service suppliers and independent professionals

Applicants in both categories of professionals must be:

  • citizens of a European Union member state
  • engaged in the temporary supply of a service for a period not exceeding 12 months
    • If longer than 12 months, the commitments in CETA will only apply for the initial 12 months of the contract
  • contracted to provide a service in accordance with the Annex 10-E concordance table

Both must possess:

  • a university degree or a qualification demonstrating knowledge of an equivalent level
  • professional qualifications if required to practice an activity pursuant to the laws or requirements in the province or territory where the service is supplied

Note: Some categories of engineering and scientific technologists are eligible to enter Canada as professionals in accordance with Annex 10-C, without a university degree.

Length of stay: A cumulative period of no more than 12 months in any 24-month period or for the duration of the contract, whichever is less. Extensions are possible at the officer’s discretion. For more information, see:

Documentation needed for contractual service suppliers and independent professionals

Applications in both categories of professionals must provide:

  • proof of citizenship of a European Union member state
  • a copy of a signed contract between the service provider and the Canadian service consumer
  • documentation which provides the following information:
    • the profession for which entry is sought
    • their province or territory of destination
    • details of the position (job description, duration of employment, arrangements as to payment)
    • the educational qualification or alternative credentials required to discharge job duties in Canada
  • evidence that the applicant has the necessary professional qualifications required to practice an activity pursuant to the laws or requirements in the province or territory where the service is supplied

Note: In both cases, the Canadian company needs to submit an offer of employment through the IRCC Employer Portal. They must also pay the $230 employer compliance fee, as it is the  Canadian company that is creating the need for the temporary worker to enter Canada. The offer of employment is only for the assessment of a work permit and does not establish the standard employee/employer relationship as normally understood in the labour force. It is simply a requirement of the employer compliance program.

Specific criteria for contractual service suppliers

Contractual service supplier means an employee of an enterprise in the EU who has a contract to supply a service to a Canadian consumer. The EU enterprise cannot have an establishment in Canada.

In addition to the general criteria listed above, as a contractual service supplier, the applicant must also:

  • be engaged in the supply of a service on a temporary basis as an employee of an enterprise which has obtained a service contract
  • have been an employee of the EU-headquartered enterprise for at least one year prior to application
  • possess three years of professional experience in the sector of activity that is the subject of the contract at the date of submission
  • not receive remuneration for the provision of services other than the remuneration paid by the enterprise employing the contractual service suppliers during their stay in Canada

Example: A Canadian high tech company contracts the services of a Greek firm to provide services in the field of engineering. An experienced software engineer employed by the Greek firm in Thessaloniki seeks entry to Canada to provide the engineering services under the terms of the pre-arranged services contract.

Specific criteria for independent professionals

Independent professional means a self-employed professional who has a contract to supply a service to a Canadian consumer.

In addition to the general criteria listed above, as an independent professional, the applicant must also:

  • be engaged in the supply of a service on a temporary basis as a self-employed person
  • possess at least six years of professional experience in the sector of activity which is the subject of the contract as of the date of submission of an application for entry into Canada

Example: A self-employed Italian management consultant seeks entry to Canada to provide services to a technology company under the terms of a pre-arranged contract.

Work permit issuance in the Global Case Management System (GCMS)

Under the “Application” screen, officers must enter the following:

  • Case Type: 52

Based on fields in the “Offer of Employment” section, officers should enter the following under the “Application” screen:

  • Province of Destination: address of physical job location
    • If there is more than one location, officers should enter the primary location in the “Province of Destination” field and the secondary location in the “Remarks” field.
  • City of Destination: address of physical job location
    • If there is more than one location, officers should enter the primary location in the “City of Destination” field and the secondary location in the “Remarks” field.
  • Exemption Code: CSS = T47 and IP = T43
  • NOC: National Occupational Classification code
  • Intended Occupation: job title
  • Salary: “amount per year” as indicated wage in Canadian dollars and number of work hours
  • Employer: business operating name
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