Do you want to move to Canada from the U.K. to work? The new Canada U.K. Trade Agreement or CUKTCA as it's also known, allows U.K. nationals to live and work in Canada.
Introduced on April 1, 2021, CUKTCA was introduced, post-Brexit, to help those who previously applied under the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), find their way to Canada.
After the U.K. made the decision to exit the European Union on January 1, 2021, Canadian citizens found that they were no longer allowed to process their work visas under CETA.
What is the Canada UK Trade Agreement?
CUKTCA and CETA are basically identical except that applicants will need to use a new processing code.
- CUKTCA = Agreement on Trade Continuity between Canada and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- EU-CETA = Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement
Like CETA, CUKTCA is an LMIA-exempt program. This means that if a Canadian employer wants to hire a U.K. national through the program, they do not have to prove that they have attempted to fill the position locally.
Canada UK Trade Agreement Programs
There are five different options to live and work in Canada through CUKTCA:
1. Business Visitors
There are two different types of business visitors permitted under CUKTCA: short-term and business visitors for investment purposes. Both are permitted to stay in Canada for a maximum of 90 days in a six-month period, unless they are deemed work permit-exempt under R186(a)/R187).
There is also a list of approved activities under the business visitors category:
- Meetings and consultations;
- Research and design;
- Marketing research;
- Training seminars
- Trade fairs and exhibitions;
- After-sales or after-lease service;
- Commercial transactions; Tourism personnel;
- Translation and interpretation.
Please note that short-term business visitors can’t:
- engage in selling a good or service to the general public
- receive remuneration directly or indirectly from a source in Canada
- be engaged in the supply of a service, except as provided in Annex 10-D
Business visitors for investment purposes have to be:
- in a managerial or specialist position;
- responsible for setting up an enterprise but don’t engage in direct transactions with the general public; and
- Will not receive direct or indirect remuneration from a Canadian source.
To qualify under the investor category of CUCKTA you will need to meet the following requirements:
- will establish, develop, or administer the operation of an investment in a capacity that is supervisory or executive
- are the investor
- are employed by an enterprise that has committed or is in the process of committing a substantial amount of capital
Investors are allowed to stay in Canada for up to one year, with the possibility to extend.
3. Contractual service suppliers and independent professionals
To qualify under either one of these categories, you will need to meet the following requirements:
- Be a citizen 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.
- Have a university degree or a qualification demonstrating knowledge of an equivalent level and
- Have a professional qualification if required to practice an activity pursuant to the laws or requirements in the province or territory where the service is supplied.
Please note that some engineers and scientific technologists are allowed to enter Canada under this category without having a university degree.
General Criteria for engineering and Scientific technologists
- 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 that 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 specific to the type of technologist (outlined below)
- 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
Specific criteria for engineering and scientific technologists
Engineering technologists must possess the following education credentials:
- a 3-year post-secondary degree from an officially recognized institution in engineering technology, which shall be considered equivalent to a university degree
Scientific technologists must possess the following education credentials:
- a 3-year post-secondary degree from an officially recognized institution in the discipline of agriculture, architecture, biology, chemistry, physics, forestry, geology, geophysics, mining, or energy, which shall be considered equivalent to a university degree
Applicants are allowed to stay in Canada for no longer than 12 months in a 24-month period, however may be extended under certain circumstances.
Specific Criteria for Contractual Service Suppliers
- be engaged in the supply of a service on a temporary basis as an employee of an enterprise that 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 of an application for entry into Canada
- 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
Specific Criteria for Independent professionals
- 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
Ready to start your application?
If you intend to move to Canada from the UK, you may want to look into the Canada UK Trade Agreement (CUKTCA). Whether you want to work in Canada on a temporary basis or take your trade and investment deals abroad, CUKTCA may be the way forward for you. To find out if you’re eligible simply click the link below and fill in your details to get the ball rolling on a fresh start in Canada.