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CETA Work Permit + CETA Gov

Updated: February 14th, 2024

The CETA Work Permit and CETA Gov are integral to Canada's immigration framework, offering invaluable opportunities for skilled workers from European Union member states.

With CETA Gov's comprehensive resource hub, individuals can confidently access vital information and support to navigate the application process. From eligibility criteria to documentation requirements, understanding the nuances of these programs is crucial for those seeking to work and thrive in Canada.

Unlock the secrets to obtaining a CETA Work Permit and easily navigate the intricacies of the Canadian government's processes in our informative guide!

What is the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)?

What is CETA?

The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union (EU) aimed at fostering economic cooperation and enhancing trade relations between the two entities.

CETA seeks to eliminate or reduce barriers to trade and investment by removing tariffs, facilitating market access, and harmonizing regulatory standards across various sectors. The agreement encompasses many areas, including:

  • Goods,
  • Services,
  • Investment,
  • Government procurement, and
  • intellectual property rights.

Eligibility Requirement to Apply for CETA

To apply for a CETA Work Permit, individuals must meet specific eligibility criteria outlined by the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). These criteria can be outlined as follows:

General Criteria for CETA

The general eligibility criteria all CETA applicants must meet include:

  • Being citizens of European Union member states,
  • Engaging in the temporary supply of services no longer than 12 months (If longer than 12 months, CETA commitments only apply for the first contractual 12 months),
  • Having a contract to provide a service based on the Annex 10-E concordance table,
  • A university degree or ECA equivalent qualification, and
  • Relevant professional qualifications.

Please Note

Certain categories of engineering and scientific technologists can enter Canada as professionals without a university degree (Annex 10-C). Extensions are possible at the visa officer’s discretion if they are no longer than 24 months.

For Contractual Service Suppliers

Contractual service suppliers are employees of EU enterprises with contracts to supply services to Canadian consumers or businesses. The EU enterprise must not have a Canadian establishment.

Along with the specified general eligibility criteria above, applicants who are contractual service suppliers must meet the following criteria:

  • Be engaged in the supply of service temporarily 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 before 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, and
  • Not receive remuneration for services other than those paid by the enterprise employing the contractual service suppliers during their stay in Canada.

An example of how contractual service suppliers can be eligible to apply for CETA is if a Canadian high-tech firm contracts the services of a Greek firm to tender engineering services.

An experienced software engineer employee of the Greek firm in Thessaloniki seeks to enter Canada to tender the pre-arranged contractual engineering services for the Canadian high-tech firm. They can do this by applying for a CETA work permit.

Find out more about Canada’s service industry.

For Independent Professionals

Independent professionals are self-employed professionals contracted to supply Canadian consumers or businesses services. Specific eligibility criteria independent professionals must meet to apply for the CETA work permit include:

  • Supplying services temporarily as a self-employed person,
  • Having a minimum of six years of relevant professional experience as of the submission date of your application for entry into Canada.

For example, a self-employed Italian management consultant wants to enter Canada to tender services to a Canadian technology company via a pre-arranged contract. They can apply for a CETA work permit to do so.

For Business Visitors

Two categories of business visitors are eligible to apply for a CETA work permit: short-term business visitors and business visitors for investment purposes. CETA business visitors are eligible to enter and stay in Canada for a maximum of 90 days within six months.

Activities permissible for business visitors in Canada using a CETA work permit include:

  • Meetings and consultations,
  • Research and design,
  • Marketing research,
  • Training seminars,
  • Trade fairs and exhibitions,
  • Sales,
  • Purchasing,
  • After-sales or after-lease service,
  • Commercial transactions,
  • Tourism personnel, and
  • Translation and interpretation.

Short-term Visitors

To be eligible to apply for a CETA work permit, ensure that you don’t:

  • Sell goods or services to the general public,
  • Receive payment directly or indirectly for Canadian services, and
  • Supply services not listed in Annex 10-D.

Business Visitors For Investment Purposes

Business visitors for investment purposes are employees in managerial or specialist positions responsible for setting up an enterprise but don’t engage in direct transactions with the general public or receive indirect or direct payment from Canadian sources.

Learn more about Canada’s Business Visitor Visa.

For Investors

CETA investor provisions are similar to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

To be eligible to apply for CETA as an investor, you have to:

  • Establish, develop, or administer an investment operation as a supervisor or executive,
  • Be an investor,
  • Be employed in an enterprise committed to or will commit a substantial amount of capital.

One year, with possible extensions at the officer’s discretion, if the applicant can provide documentation that satisfies the processing officer of their need to extend their stay.

Investors can stay in Canada for up to a year via a CETA work permit. If you’re able to provide the proper documentation that satisfies the visa processing officer, you may be able to extend your stay.

Learn about Canada’s top 5 cities to invest in.

For Intra-corporate (Company) Transferees and Spouses

The specific eligibility criteria for Intra-corporate transferees include:

  • Being presently employed by a European Union (EU) member state enterprise or partner in an EU member state enterprise and for at least one year at the time of applying,
  • Temporarily transferring to an enterprise (subsidiary, branch, or head company) in Canada, and
  • Belonging to one of the following categories: senior personnel, specialists, and graduate trainees, and
  • As a graduate trainee applicant, you must have a university degree, temporarily transfer to an enterprise in Canada for career development purposes, or get business techniques or methods training.

Senior personnel and specialists can stay in Canada for the period specified in their contract for up to three years, and graduate trainees can stay in Canada for the length of their contract but no longer than a year.

Learn more with the Intra-Company Transfer Program.

For Engineering Technologists And Scientific Technologists

General Criteria

The general criteria for Engineering Technologists and Scientific Technologists who want to apply for a CETA work permit include

  • Proof of the 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 requisite qualifications and identification information,
  • Evidence of professional qualifications required to practice your occupation under the laws or requirements in the Canadian province or territory where your services are supplied.

Specific Criteria

Engineering technologists must possess the following education credentials:

Scientific technologists must possess the following education credentials:

  • 3-year post-secondary degree in agriculture, architecture, biology, chemistry, physics, forestry, geology, geophysics, mining or energy from a DLI in Canada.

Engineering and Scientific Technologists can stay in Canada for a cumulative period of no more than 12 months in a given 24-month period or the duration of their contract. Extensions can be made at the officer’s discretion as long as they don’t exceed 24 months.

How Do I Apply for a CETA Work Permit?

how do i apply for a ceta work permit?

The process of obtaining a CETA work permit is modeled after the International Mobility Program (IMP) application process. This includes the steps outlined below:

  • Step 1: Secure a valid job offer from a Canadian employer,
  • Step 2: Gather the necessary documentation to support the CETA Work Permit application,
  • Step 3: Submit Your CETA Work Permit Application to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and
  • Step 4: Prepare For Your New Job in Canada.

Learn more about how to apply for a CETA work permit.

What Are The Benefits of Applying for a CETA Work Permit?

CETA work permit benefits encompass various aspects of the immigration and employment process, making the CETA Work Permit an attractive option for individuals seeking careers in Canada. This includes:

Professional Mobility

With a CETA Work Permit, individuals gain increased professional mobility, allowing them to explore employment opportunities in different sectors and regions across Canada. This flexibility enables skilled workers to adapt to changing market demands and pursue career paths that align with their skills and aspirations.

Find out more with Professional Immigrant Networks.

Career Advancement

Securing employment in Canada under the CETA agreement opens doors to new career opportunities and advancement prospects. By gaining valuable experience in diverse industries and environments, individuals can enhance their skills, expand their networks, and position themselves for long-term career growth and success.

Learn more about the best career paths for millennials in Canada.

LMIA Exemption

One of the notable benefits of the CETA Work Permit is the exemption from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) requirement. This exemption simplifies the hiring process for Canadian employers, making it easier for them to recruit skilled international workers and fill critical positions in their organizations.

Learn more with our guide to Canada’s LMIA-exempt work permits.

Work Permit Extensions

CETA Work Permits are typically issued for a specified duration. Still, they can be extended beyond the initial period. This flexibility allows individuals to continue working in Canada and contributing to the economy, provided they meet the eligibility criteria for permit renewal.

To apply for a CETA work permit extension, you must:

  • Apply before your CETA work permit status expires,
  • Adhere to the CETA work permit conditions imposed on your entry to Canada, and
  • Possess a passport or travel document valid for the entire period authorized for your stay in Canada.

Facilitated Entry

Under the CETA agreement, eligible individuals and their accompanying family members may benefit from facilitated entry into Canada. This streamlined entry process eases the transition to living and working in Canada, reducing stress and administrative burdens for newcomers.



Can I Apply For Permanent Residency in Canada With a CETA Work Permit?

Yes, individuals holding a CETA Work Permit may be eligible to apply for permanent residency in Canada through various immigration pathways, such as the Express Entry system’s Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Are There Any Restrictions on The Types of Jobs I Can Work With a CETA Work Permit?

While there are no specific restrictions on the types of jobs individuals can work with a CETA Work Permit, the employment must align with the terms and conditions outlined in the job offer provided by the Canadian employer.

Do I Need to Apply For a CETA Work Permit Through the CETA Government Portal?

No, applicants for a CETA Work Permit do not need to apply through the CETA Government Portal. Instead, they can submit their applications directly to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or a Canadian visa office responsible for processing immigration applications, following the standard application procedures.

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