Yes. In addition to existing International Mobility programs, the new Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (“CETA”) facilitates economic relations between Canada and Europe. According to the Government of Canada’s website*, the trade in goods and services between the two parties increased by $110.6 billion since CETA came into force in September 2017.
On the immigration side, CETA facilitates the entry of key personnel, including intra-company transferees, investors, independent professionals, contracted service providers and business visitors. European workers who fall within these categories can apply for their work permits as they enter Canada without their Canadian employers having been subjected to a lengthy labour market approval (“LMIA”) process on their behalf.
Intra-Company Transfers: Similar to provisions under NAFTA (and its proposed successor, the USMCA, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement) a key employee with at least 1 year of experience in a European company can be temporarily transferred to the Canadian entity, subsidiary or branch, to undertake various functions as a specialist, senior personnel or (unlike NAFTA), as a graduate trainee. Work permits may be extended for up to 7 years as a senior manager or executives, up to 5 years for “specialised knowledge “ personnel, and 1 year for trainees.
Contract Service Suppliers: This category facilitates work permits for European service providers employed for at least 1 year by an EU company, without a Canadian presence, to provide pre-arranged contracted services to a Canadian client.
Independent Professionals: Unlike Contract Service Suppliers, Independent Professionals are self-employed European workers with at least six years experience in their field, who are contracted to perform services in Canada.
To ease entry into Canada, Service Suppliers and Self-Employed Professionals need to demonstrate a relevant combination of educational and professional experience within their field of expertise. These foreign workers can be issued a work permit valid for one year with limited possibilities to extend their stay.
Business Visitors: under CETA, a European Business Visitor can enter Canada to evaluate market potential, attend meetings or set up a company only if no remuneration, either direct or indirect, is received from a Canadian source and without engaging in direct transactions with the general public.
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