CANADA – Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership
On 8 March 2018, Canada signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), along with Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
Amongst other free-trade provisions, the CPTPP provides eased reciprocal immigration provisions for the entry and stay of nationals of partner countries as short-term business visitors, temporary foreign workers and investors.
Once the CPTPP has been ratified by at least six of the partner countries, it will enter in effect and more details of the implementation of its provisions will be published.
Below are some key Canadian business immigration commitments from the CPTPP.
This category allows nationals of partner countries (offering reciprocal terms) to undertake the following business activities in Canada for a period of up to six months:
Meetings and consultations; Research and design; Manufacture and production; Marketing; Sales; Distribution; After-sales or after-lease service; General service.
This category allows nationals of partner countries (offering reciprocal terms) to undertake intra-company transfers (ICT) for up to three years (extendable). The assignee may be accompanied by a spouse, who will also be issued with a work permit.
To qualify the partner country national must have been employed continuously by the sending company for at least one year within the three-year period immediately preceding the date of the application.
Intra-company transferees can be:
Specialists, with specialised knowledge of the company’s products or services and their application in international markets, or an advanced level of expertise or knowledge of the company’s processes and procedures. This category is closed to nationals of Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam; Management Trainees; and Managers and Executives.
This category allows nationals of partner countries (offering reciprocal terms) to establish, develop or administer an investment to which the business person or the business person's enterprise has committed, or is in the process of committing, a substantial amount of capital, in a capacity that is supervisory, executive or involves essential skills.
The length of stay for this category is up to one year (extendable) and a spouse may accompany the investor and may be issued a work permit
Professionals and Technicians
This category allows nationals of partner countries (offering reciprocal terms) to undertake a nationally-determined specialty occupation. The length of stay for this category is up to one year (extendable) and a spouse may accompany the investor and may be issued a work permit.
Professionals must meet educational requirements as set out in the National Occupation Classification (NOC) for that occupation, along with two years of experience, and remuneration ‘at a level consummate with other similarly-qualified professionals within the industry in the region where the work is performed’. It is not clear that this is limited to Job Bank based median wage estimates, as is typically otherwise required. Technicians have similar requirements but need four years of work experience.
CPTPP is a variation on the original TPP without the United States, which withdrew in January 2017. In the last few years, Canada has also signed free trade deals with South Korea and the European Union.
Employers who may benefit from the immigration provisions of the CPTPP should consult their immigration specialist for further updates during the ratification and implementation process.