The Canada - EU Free Trade Agreement is now in Effect

On September 21, 2017 the immigration provisions of the Canada-European Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (“CETA”) came into effect.

Chapter 10 of CETA facilitates the temporary entry of business persons. The European Union’s commitments are the most ambitious that the European Union has ever negotiated in a free trade agreement. For Canada, CETA’s temporary entry provisions contain similar ideas to those contained in the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA“), although there are very significant differences.

CETA is significant from a Canadian immigration perspective because prospective foreign workers who are eligible for work permits under CETA do not require Labour Market Impact Assessments (“LMIAs“). This means that companies do not have to first test the Canadian labour market before hiring a foreign worker, nor do they have to commit to labour market benefits.

The benefits of the agreement are:

1. CETA Contractual Service Providers will not need a LMIA to work in Canada for a 12-month period every 24 months.

2. CETA Independent Professionals will not need a LMIA to work in Canada for a 12-month period every 24 months.

3. CETA's Intra-Corporate Transferee provisions will allow a multi-national company to transfer Senior Personnel, Specialists and Graduate Trainees to Canada.

4. CETA will allow European investors to obtain LMIA exempt work permits to start their business.

5. CETA Introduces new Business Visitor possibilities.

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