Under the provisions of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), certain contractual service suppliers and independent professionals may work in Canada without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) needing to be obtained.

Under CETA, applicants in either category may stay in Canada for a cumulative period of no more than 12 months in any 24-month period or for the duration of the contract, whichever is less.

Applicants in either category must be:

  • citizens 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); and
  • contracted to provide a service in accordance with the regulations set out in CETA.

Applicants must also possess:

  • a university degree or a qualification demonstrating knowledge of an equivalent level; and
  • professional qualifications if required to practice an activity pursuant to the laws or requirements in the province or territory where the service is supplied.

Some categories of engineering and scientific technologists are eligible to enter Canada as professionals without a university degree.

Specific criteria for contractual service suppliers

Contractual service supplier means an employee of an enterprise in the European Union (EU) who has a contract to supply a service to a Canadian consumer. The EU enterprise cannot have an establishment in Canada.

In addition to the general criteria listed above, as a contractual service supplier, the applicant must also:

  • be engaged in the supply of a service on a temporary basis as an employee of an enterprise which 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; and
  • 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

Independent professional means a self-employed professional who has a contract to supply a service to a Canadian consumer.

In addition to the general criteria listed above, as an independent professional, the applicant must also:

  • be engaged in the supply of a service on a temporary basis as a self-employed person; and
  • 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.

Service sectors

Contractual services suppliers or independent professionals may enjoy facilitated entry to the Canadian labour market if their work is in one of the following sectors or sub-sectors.

  1. Legal advisory services in respect of public international law and foreign law
  2. Accounting and bookkeeping services
  3. Taxation advisory services
  4. Architectural services and urban planning and landscape architectural services
  5. Engineering services and integrated engineering services
  6. Medical and dental services
  7. Veterinary services
  8. Midwives services
  9. Services provided by nurses, physiotherapists and paramedical personnel
  10. Computer and related services
  11. Research and development services
  12. Advertising services
  13. Market research and opinion polling
  14. Management consulting services
  15. Services related to management consulting
  16. Technical testing and analysis services
  17. Related scientific and technical consulting services
  18. Mining
  19. Maintenance and repair of vessels
  20. Maintenance and repair of rail transport equipment
  21. Maintenance and repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, snowmobiles and road transport equipment
  22. Maintenance and repair of aircrafts and parts thereof
  23. Maintenance and repair of metal products, of (non-office) machinery, of (non-transport and non-office) equipment and of personal and household goods
  24. Translation and interpretation services
  25. Telecommunication services
  26. Postal and courier services
  27. Construction and related engineering services
  28. Site investigation work
  29. Higher education services
  30. Services relating to agriculture, hunting and forestry
  31. Environmental services
  32. Insurance and insurance related services advisory and consulting services
  33. Other financial services advisory and consulting services
  34. Transport advisory and consulting services
  35. Travel agencies and tour operators' services
  36. Tourist guides services
  37. Manufacturing advisory and consulting services

  1. Legal advisory services in respect of public international law and foreign law
  2. Architectural services and urban planning and landscape architectural services
  3. Engineering services and integrated engineering services
  4. Computer and related services
  5. Research and development services
  6. Market research and opinion polling
  7. Management consulting services
  8. Services related to management consulting
  9. Mining
  10. Translation and interpretation services
  11. Telecommunication services
  12. Postal and courier services
  13. Higher education services
  14. Insurance related services advisory and consulting services
  15. Other financial services advisory and consulting services
  16. Transport advisory and consulting services
  17. Manufacturing advisory and consulting services 

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