Trade Agreement between the European Union and Canada is welcome news for tech industry
Posted on - Feb 27, 2018

By Matthew Morawski

Matthew Morawski

Canadian companies seeking skilled tech professionals and skilled EU tech professionals seeking to work in Canada will benefit from the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (“CETA”) that came into effect in 2017.

CETA is a big advantage because it allows employees to obtain work permits exempt from the time consuming and expensive Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”) process usually required to hire foreign skilled workers.

In this article I will outline three types of EU workers who can utilize CETA:

  1. Intra-corporate transferees;
  2. Professional contractual service suppliers; and
  3. Independent professionals.

A. Intra-Corporate Transferees

Intra-corporate transferees from an EU company that is related to a Canadian company can utilize CETA to transfer workers temporarily.

Senior personnel who have decision making authority, specialists who have intimate knowledge about the business or its products, or graduate trainees who hold a university degree and are transferred to obtain on the job training can be transferred using CETA.

Senior personnel and specialists can stay for up to 3 years in Canada (with discretionary extensions) and graduate trainees can stay for up to 1 year.

B. Professional Contractual Service Suppliers

Professional contractual service suppliers from EU companies who supply services to an unrelated Canadian company can also utilize CETA to transfer workers temporarily for a maximum of 12 months within a 24 month period. EU service suppliers need to be paid completely by the EU company for their services and cannot become employees of the Canadian company.

Each EU tech professional service suppliers must also:

  • hold a university degree or qualifications demonstrating knowledge of an equivalent level;
  • have at least one year of experience with the EU company immediately prior to utilizing CETA;
  • have at least 3 years of experience in one of the specified sectors; and
  • provide services in a skill level 0 or A job.

C. Independent Professionals

Self-employed EU professionals can also utilize CETA to work temporarily for a maximum of 12 months within a 24 month period.

The requirements for independent professionals are similar to the contractual service suppliers with the exception that independent professionals need at least 6 years of experience in one of the specified sectors.


From the perspective of a Vancouver immigration lawyer, CETA provides new work permit options for EU citizens wanting to work in Canada. This agreement will assist in the exchange of foreign skilled talent in many industries. One sector that is sure to capitalize on CETA is Canada’s tech sector where there is great deal of demand for tech managers, professionals, and engineers.

CETA will benefit tech workers as it creates a smooth transition to work in Canada for: senior and specialized intra-company transferees, for professional service providers from EU companies with 3 years of experience, and even for independent EU professionals with at least 6 years of experience.

Matthew Morawski is a Vancouver immigration lawyer at Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre in Vancouver, BC Canada. If you would like to learn more about immigrating to Canada, bringing a family member to Canada, or becoming a permanent resident please email Matthew at or call him at 604-689-5444.

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