International Mobility Program: International Free Trade Agreements – Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement

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.

January 1, 2015 is the effective date for the Temporary Entry for Business Persons chapter of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

The basic North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) provisions remain the same in the Canada-Korea FTA and are set out in Chapter Twelve of the agreement.

There are, however, a number of differences, primarily in the appendices which support two of the categories of business persons — Business Visitors and Professionals, and in the inclusion of an additional sub-stream of ‘Intra-company transferees’ (see below). Work provisions for accompanying spouses and common-law partners are also included in the Canada-Korea Agreement.

The rules for traders and investors (T21/T22) are the same as in the NAFTA.

Differences from NAFTA

Business visitors (work permit exempt under R186(a)/R187)

Appendix 12-A-1 of the Canada-Korea FTA, which supports the Business Visitor category, provides a list of permissible activities for entry as a Business Visitor. No substantively new activities were added to Appendix 12-A-1 when compared to NAFTA, although the description of after-sales service was modified to also include after-lease services. In addition, some activities were removed (harvest owners, customs brokers, and tour bus operators).

Documentation requirements to substantiate requests under the Business Visitor category are the same as the NAFTA (see sections 2.4 and 2.6.8 in the NAFTA guidance).

The following constitutes the list of acceptable activities for business visitors under the Canada-Korea FTA:

Research and Design

  • Technical, scientific and statistical researchers conducting independent research or research for an enterprise located in the territory of the other Party;

Growth, Manufacture and Production

  • Purchasing and production management personnel conducting commercial transactions for an enterprise located in the territory of the other Party;

Marketing

  • Market researchers and analysts conducting independent research or analysis or research or analysis for an enterprise located in the territory of the other Party;
  • Trade-fair and promotional personnel attending a trade convention;

Sales

  • Sales representatives and agents taking orders or negotiating contracts for goods or services for an enterprise located in the territory of the other Party but not delivering goods or providing services;
  • Buyers purchasing for an enterprise located in the territory of the other Party;

Distribution

  • Transportation operators transporting goods or passengers to the territory of a Party from the territory of the other Party or loading and transporting goods or passengers from the territory of a Party, with no unloading in that territory, to the territory of the other Party;

After-Sales or After-Lease Service

  • Installers, repair and maintenance personnel, and supervisors, possessing specialized knowledge essential to a seller’s contractual obligation, performing services or training workers to perform services, pursuant to a warranty or other service contract incidental to the sale or lease of commercial or industrial equipment or machinery, including computer software, purchased or leased from an enterprise located outside the territory of the Party into which temporary entry is sought, during the life of the warranty or service agreement;

General Service

  • Professionals engaging in a business activity at a professional level;
  • Management and supervisory personnel engaging in a commercial transaction for an enterprise located in the territory of the other Party;
  • Financial services personnel (insurers, bankers or investment brokers) engaging in commercial transactions for an enterprise located in the territory of the other Party;
  • Public relations and advertising personnel consulting with business associates, or attending or participating in conventions;
  • Tourism personnel (tour and travel agents, tour guides or tour operators) attending or participating in a convention or conducting a tour that has begun in the territory of the other Party; and
  • Translators or interpreters performing services as employees of an enterprise located in the territory of the other Party.

Where an activity is not listed in Appendix 12-A-1, officers should continue to assess the applicant against the general Business Visitor provisions found in Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) and the related Program Delivery Instructions (PDIs).

Intra-Company Transferees [work permit is required / Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemption code T24]

The Intra-Company Transferee provisions of the Canada-Korea FTA are identical to the NAFTA. (See Guidance for assessing intra-company transferees.)

Note: the mandatory wage floor assessment does not apply to Specialized Knowledge Intra-Company Transferees entering Canada under R204 — i.e., the NAFTA or any other FTAs with coverage of Specialized Knowledge Intra-Company Transferees. Nevertheless, for these applicants, wage remains an important indicator of specialized knowledge and should be taken into account as an important factor in an officer's overall assessment.

Exception – Management Trainee on Professional Development

For the Canada-Korea FTA (similar to the Canada-Peru and Canada-Colombia FTAs), the Intra-Company Transferees category also includes a category for “management trainee on professional development”.

A management trainee on professional development is “an employee with a post-secondary degree who is on a temporary work assignment intended to broaden that employee’s knowledge of and experience in a company in preparation for a senior leadership position within the company”.

Note: Processing officers are to specify in system notes which category of Intra-Company Transferees the foreign national is entering under.

Duration for trainees: Entry and stay for management trainees is for the period of the transfer and extensions are possible. The maximum period of stay is three (3) years provided the conditions on which they are based remain in effect.

Education: The post-secondary degree requirement for the Trainee category is a Bachelor or Baccalaureate degree, or a license at a professional level related to the intra-company activity.

Professionals (work permit required / LMIA exemption code T23)

The Canada-Korea FTA differentiates between two types of professional—the contract service supplier and the independent professional. Both must be requesting entry to provide a pre-arranged professional service and possess the necessary education, or satisfy accreditation or licensing requirements, as stipulated for the profession.

The following definitions apply:

  • contract service supplier means an employee of an enterprise who is engaged in the supply of a contracted service as an employee of an enterprise. That enterprise has a service contract from an enterprise of the other Party, who is the final consumer of the service which is supplied.
    • example: A Canadian high tech company contracts the services of a Korean firm to provide services in the field of engineering. An experienced software engineer employed by the Korean firm in Seoul seeks entry to Canada to provide the engineering services under the terms of the pre-arranged services contract.
  • independent professional means a self-employed professional who seeks to engage, as part of a service contract granted by an enterprise or a service consumer of the other Party, in an activity at a professional level.
    • example: A self-employed Korean management consultant seeks entry to Canada to provide services to a technology company under the terms of a pre-arranged contract.

Similar to the approach used in the NAFTA, the Canada-Korea FTA uses a positive listing of professionals (set out in Appendix 12-A-2), however, it is divided between Contract Service Suppliers and Independent Professionals, as coverage in each category differs.

Note: Processing officers are to specify in system notes which Professionals category the foreign national is entering under.

The full list is reproduced below, including the identified requirements for education and/or other credentials for each profession, much like the lists provided in the NAFTA or Canada-Chile FTA.

Note: In the instances when the listed Korean and Canadian educational requirements differ, for entry into Canada, the Canadian educational requirements shall be deemed to be met whenever the Korean professional has met the Korean educational requirements and the Canadian client or employer has provided a letter indicating that the Korean professional’s qualifications are satisfactory.

Appendix 12-A-2: Listed Professionals

Independent Professionals

Profession Canadian Requirements Korean Requirements
ArchitectFootnote 1 Bachelor degree; or provincial license Bachelor degree; or professional license
Engineer Bachelor degree; or provincial license Bachelor degree; or professional license
Management Consultant Bachelor degreeFootnote 2 Bachelor degreeFootnote 2
Veterinarian Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine; or provincial license Bachelor degree; or professional license

Contract Service Suppliers

Profession Canadian Requirements Korean Requirements
Accountant Bachelor degree; or Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA), Certified General Accountant (CGA), or Certified Management Accountant (CMA) Professional license
Actuary Bachelor degree and membership in a professional actuarial association Professional license
Agrologist Bachelor degree Master degree and three years of experience; or doctorate
ArchitectFootnote 1 Bachelor degree; or provincial license Bachelor degree; or provincial license
Landscape Architect Bachelor degree Bachelor degree
Apiculturalist Bachelor degree Master degree and three years of experience; or doctorate
Auditor Bachelor degree; or CPA, CA, CGA or CMA Professional license

Biologist

This category would include the following:

  • Botanist
  • Biologist
  • Ecologist
  • Embryologist
  • Toxicologist
  • Enzymologist
  • Etiologist
  • Bacteriologist
  • Geneticist
  • Histologist
  • Helminthologist
  • Human Physiologist
  • Pathologist
  • Immunologist
  • Mycologist
  • Naturalist
  • Physiologist
  • Virologist
  • Serologist
  • Plant Pathologist
  • Crop Scientist
  • Anatomist
  • Bryologist
  • Cytochemist
  • Ecobiologist
  • Echthyologist
  • Nematologist
  • Osteologist
  • Entomologist
  • Epidemiologist
  • Biochemist
  • Plant Breeder
  • Animal Breeder
  • Poultry Scientist
  • Soil Scientist
  • Food Scientist
  • Animal Scientist
  • Zoologist
  • Dairy Scientist
Bachelor degree Master degree and three years of experience; or doctorate
Chemist Bachelor degree Master degree and three years of experience; or doctorate
Engineer Bachelor degree; or provincial license Bachelor degree; or professional license
Forester Bachelor degree Master degree and three years of experience; or doctorate

Geoscientist

This category would include the following:

  • Palaeontologist
  • Petrologist
  • Sedimentologist
  • Seismologist
  • Strategrapher
  • Glaciologist
  • Hydrogeologist
  • Hydrologist
  • Mineralogist
  • Oceanographer
  • Petrophysicist
  • Quaternarist
  • Volcanologist
  • Metallurgist
Bachelor degree Master degree and three years of experience; or doctorate
Horticulturalist Bachelor degree Master degree and three years of experience; or doctorate
Management Consultant Bachelor degreeFootnote 2 Bachelor degreeFootnote 2
Meteorologist Bachelor degree Master degree and three years of experience; or doctorate

Physical Scientist

This category would include the following:

  • Physicist
  • Astronomer
  • Aerodynamicist
  • Cosmologist
  • Research Scientist
  • Radiation Biophysicist
  • Rheologist
Post-graduate degree Master degree and three years of experience; or doctorate
Sylviculturalist Bachelor degree Master degree and three years of experience; or doctorate
Urban and Land Use Planner Bachelor degreeFootnote 2 Bachelor degreeFootnote 2
Veterinarian Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine; or professional license Bachelor degree; or professional license
Information System Analyst Database Analyst and Data Administrator Bachelor degree in computer sciences or a related discipline and two years of experience in computer science;
Bachelor degree and five years of experience in the field of computer science and information systems; or
A Canadian I.S.P. designation (Information Systems Professional of Canada) or a license or designation from a recognised foreign certification body
Bachelor degree or Post-secondary diploma in computer science or a related discipline and seven years of experience in computer and information systems;
Bachelor degree or Post secondary diplomas and nine years of experience in computer and information systems; or
Engineering Mobility Forum (EMF) license in the case of Professional engineers
Computer Programmer and Interactive Media Developer Bachelor degree in computer science or a related discipline and two years of experience in computer science;
Bachelor degree and five years of experience in the field of computer science and information systems; or
A Canadian I.S.P. designation (Information Systems Professional of Canada) or a license or designation from a recognised foreign certification body
Bachelor degree or Post secondary diploma in computer sciences or a related discipline and seven years of experience in computer and information systems;
Bachelor degree or Post secondary diplomas and nine years of experience in computer and information systems; or
EMF license in the case of Professional engineers
Software Engineer and Designer Bachelor degree in computer sciences or a related discipline and two years of experience in computer science;
Bachelor degree and five years of experience in the field of computer science and information systems; or
A Canadian I.S.P. designation (Information Systems Professional of Canada) or a license or designation from a recognised foreign certification body
Bachelor degree or Post secondary diploma in computer science or a related discipline and seven years of experience in computer and information systems;
Bachelor degree or Post secondary diplomas and nine years of experience in computer and information systems; or
EMF license in the case of Professional engineers

Spouses and common-law partners (open work permit / LMIA exemption code T25)

The Canada-Korea FTA includes provisions to facilitate work permit issuance for the spouses or common-law partners of Investors or Traders (T21/T22), Intra-Company Transferees (T24), and Professionals (T23).

Each Party shall grant temporary entry and provide an open work permit to a spouse of a business person qualifying for temporary entry under the agreement (with the exception of the Business Visitor Category), if the spouse otherwise complies with existing immigration measures applicable to temporary entry. Such an individual should be processed using LMIA exemption code T25.

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