November 15, 2019
CPTPP: LMIA-Exempt Work Permits for Eligible “Business Persons”
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (“CPTPP”) presents opportunities for facilitating the temporary entry of “business persons” into Canada from 10 signatory countries.
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (“CPTPP”), which came into force in 2018, presents opportunities for facilitating the temporary entry of “business persons” into Canada from 10 signatory countries in the Asia-Pacific Region, which currently includes: Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
Specifically, the CPTPP removes the requirement for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”), a process whereby employers are required to first demonstrate that no Canadian citizen or permanent resident is qualified to fulfill the role a foreign national will be occupying before the foreign national can apply for a work permit. Instead, under the CPTPP, certain business persons in the categories below are able to obtain LMIA-exempt work permits under Canada’s International Mobility Program:
- Intra-Corporate Transferees: Executives/Managers/Specialists/Management Trainees who are currently employed by an enterprise in a CPTPP country, have been continuously employed by the enterprise in a CPTPP country for at least one (1) year in the previous three (3) years, and are transferring to a qualifying enterprise (parent/subsidiary/affiliate) in Canada.
- Available to citizens of Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, and Peru and to permanent residents of Australia and New Zealand
- Investors: For individuals in roles that are supervisory, executive, or involve essential skills, and who are establishing, developing, or administering an investment to which a substantial amount of capital was or is being committed,
- Available to citizens of Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Mexico, Peru, and Vietnam and to permanent residents of Australia
- Professionals and Technicians: For certain professionals and technicians, such as engineers, actuaries, graphic designers, and architectural technologists. The eligibility requirements and the qualifying professional/technician roles vary by country.
- Available to citizens of Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Mexico, Peru, and Malaysia
Under the CPTPP, “business persons” also include certain visitors engaging in business-related activities such as attending meetings and seminars or conducting market research. These individuals will not be issued work permits, but rather will be permitted to perform business activities in Canada with a Visitor Record. This business visitor category is available to citizens of all 10 signatory countries.
The commitments above are consistent with the approach taken in other trade agreements and are based on the principle of reciprocity, meaning that the access Canada grants to other CPTPP signatories will be the same as that which Canada receives from those signatories.
It is anticipated that by continuing to create LMIA-exempt routes to work permits for foreign nationals of signatory countries, the CPTPP will facilitate economic growth by providing Canadian businesses with easier access to foreign professionals.
Information provided by Mathews Dinsdale & Clark LLP. The information provided in this article is necessarily of a general nature and must not be regarded as legal advice. For more information about Mathews Dinsdale & Clark LLP, please visit www.mathewsdinsdale.com.