Comprehensive Economic & Trade Agreement (CETA)

What is the Comprehensive Economic & Trade Agreement?

The Comprehensive Economic & Trade Agreement, or CETA, is a free trade agreement between Canada and the countries that belong to the European Union (EU). The agreement makes it easier for EU nationals to travel to Canada for business purposes and vice versa.

Generally, when an individual travels to Canada for the purposes of doing work, a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is done to verify that there were no available Canadian citizens or permanent residents with the right skills for the role. The process of obtaining an LMIA can be lengthy, since it includes the time required to advertise the job locally.

CETA removes the LMIA requirement for travelers coming from the EU, thereby encouraging robust economic partnerships between Canada and Europe.

Who can benefit from CETA?

People have many reasons for needing to travel to another country on business. In most circumstances, you will need to apply for a work permit if an employment opportunity is bringing you to Canada. You may be able to benefit from CETA, however, in circumstances that include the following:

  • Business visitors: You are traveling to Canada for short-term business lasting six months or less, or you are visiting for the purposes of investment
  • Intra-company transfers: You are a graduate trainee, specialist or senior staff member who is transferring to the Canadian operation of an international business
  • Investors: You are traveling for investment purposes, with similar provisions to those found in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
  • Contractors and independent professionals: You are a contractual service provider or independent professional in an approved industry

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