What does the CPTPP mean for temporary entry?
Business people sometimes face obstacles at the border that affect their ability to enter another market to engage in trade and investment activities. Temporary entry provisions in free trade agreements (FTAs), such as those in the CPTPP, eliminate many barriers encountered at the border and thereby facilitate business travel or relocation on a temporary basis for specific categories of business persons. Removal of these barriers—which can negatively affect the ability of Canadian enterprises to do business—helps Canadian companies expand and thrive.
Temporary entry in the CPTPP
- Temporary entry for business persons through FTAs does not lead to citizenship, permanent residency or permanent employment. Canada maintains its flexibility in requiring a visa for entry, where it is deemed necessary.
- Canada has included wage, education and experience requirements for professionals and technicians under the CPTPP to protect Canadian workers and maintain the integrity of the domestic labour market.
- The CPTPP will require that temporary workers have a pre-arranged contract or employment offers prior to coming to Canada. This means that workers will not be eligible to enter Canada under the CPTPP with the objective of seeking employment.
- Only when these safeguards are met (i.e. wage, education and experience requirements, and a pre-arranged contract) would foreign workers be covered by Canada’s commitments and therefore be eligible to enter Canada under the CPTPP.
Key CPTPP provisions
Canada’s CPTPP commitments aim to increase opportunities and support economic growth for Canadians and Canadian businesses. The commitments are also consistent with Canada’s existing immigration requirements and the approach taken in other free trade agreements.
Canada has taken commitments in the CPTPP that aim to support and enhance opportunities for Canadian businesses. These commitments cover the following categories of business persons and are based on the principle of reciprocity:
- Business Visitors: business persons attending meetings or seminars, or conducting market research
- Intra-Corporate Transferees: executives and managers
- Investors: such as an executive of a company that has committed a substantial amount of capital in a country
- Highly skilled Professionals and Technicians: such as engineers, actuaries, graphic designers and architectural technologists
The principle of reciprocity means that the access Canada grants to other CPTPP parties will be the same as the access Canada receives from those parties. Reciprocity protects and strengthens the opportunities available to Canadian businesses and business persons under the CPTPP.
Canada’s reciprocal commitments
The CPTPP commitments aim to facilitate temporary entry for these four specific categories of business people. They do so by eliminating numerical restrictions (such as quotas) and economic needs tests (such as labour market tests, known in Canada as labour market impact assessments). Canada will make a reciprocal commitment to another CPTPP country only after that country makes a similar commitment to Canada. In practice, this reciprocity means:
- Business visitors may stay in Canada / the other CPTPP country for up to six months, with a possible extension.
- Intra-corporate transferees who are executives and managers may stay in Canada / Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand or Peru for up to three years, with a possible extension.
- Regarding information and communications technology (ICT) specialists, Canada offered reciprocal commitments to Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Peru.
- Investors may stay in Canada / Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Mexico, Peru or Vietnam for up to one year, with a possible extension.
- Highly skilled professionals and technicians, on a case-by-case basis, may stay for up to one year, with possible extensions.
Canada also received new market access commitments from Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand and Peru. This means that, as a result of the CPTPP, certain Canadian business persons entering those markets are ensured greater certainty and predictability.
For questions related to the Temporary Entry of Business Persons under Canada’s free trade agreements, please contact: enquiry-demande.TE@international.gc.ca.
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