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Changes to Regulations for Investors Corporate Transferees Professionals and Technicians

Posted on 25/06/2022

Are you a business visitor, an investor, an intra-corporate transferee, or a professional or technician who works across borders and visits Canada to do business or work? You may very well be eligible for a work permit exemption.

With Peru entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPPComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) back in September of 2021, there have been some updates to immigration regulations in Canada. These updates primarily affect investors, managers, professionals, and technicians who might come to Canada to work temporarily under CPTPP.

Let’s review the updated regulations on exemptions to work permits, as they affect business visitors, investors, transferees, professionals, and technicians.

I: Business Visitors Authorized to Work in Canada Without a Work Permit

You are allowed to stay in Canada without a work permit to do your activity for up to 6 months. If you need to stay longer, Border Services officials will issue you a Visitor Record.

In general, to be eligible for this exemption a business visitor:

  • Is not entering the Canadian Labour Market because
    • Their remuneration comes mostly from outside Canada.
    • Their principal place of business is outside Canada.
    • Their profits are mostly earned outside Canada.
  • Works for an international company/organization.

Here are examples of business visitors who are exempt from work permit requirements:

  • Doing after-sales services – only for citizens/permanent residents of Australia & New Zealand, and for citizens of Mexico.
  • Installing specialized equipment bought outside Canada.
  • Dismantling specialized equipment to be sent outside Canada.
  • Training Canadians to use specialized equipment.
  • Servants, personal assistants, or nannies of short-term residents in Canada.
  • Attending a Board of Directors meeting (usually on a quarterly basis).
  • Doing quality assurance or product inspection for services provided to the foreign national’s company by Canadian companies.

II: Business people who are citizens of CPTPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership)

You are allowed to stay for up to 6 months in Canada without a work permit. Extensions may be granted if you can provide sufficient evidence of your need to stay longer.

Business people from the following countries can apply for exemption of a work permit at the port of entry in Canada:

  • Australia
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • Vietnam
  • Peru

These business people must be one of the following:

  • Business visitors who are work-permit exempt (as explained in the previous section)
  • Investors under LMIA exemption code T50
  • Intra-corporate transferees under LMIA exemption code T51
  • Professionals and technicians under LMIA exemption code T52

However, they must have obtained a temporary resident visa or an electronic travel authorization before coming to Canada.

Additionally, open work permits may be available to the business person’s spouse for citizens of Australia, Japan, or Mexico as well as for permanent residents of Australia.

III: Investors under CPTPP

While investors can apply for the exemption at your port of entry, immigration officials suggest you do so at a migration office in Canada. The length permitted is 6 months although extensions may be granted if sufficient evidence for the need to stay longer is presented to immigration officials.

To be eligible for exemptions to work permits an investor must:

  • Be a citizen of Australia, Japan, Mexico, Peru, or Vietnam
  • Establish or administer an investment with a “substantial amount of capital.”
    • The guidelines for IRCC officials gives a general list of things like economic benefits, cultural benefits, and social benefits. Also, preventing disruptions to Canadian workers and industries is another factor officials use to assess a potential investor.
  • Be the owner or employee of the foreign enterprise seeking to invest
  • Be in a supervisory or executive role with essential skills

As well the investor needs to provide:

  • Proof of citizenship
  • Proof that their proposed investment is real and active
  • Proof of funds
  • Proof that the investment will expand capacity and create jobs in Canada
  • If the investor is an employee, they require a detailed letter from their employer that shows the following:
    • Their position & job title, job description, and whether while in Canada they will be an executive, a supervisor, or an employee with essential skills
    • Evidence of essential skills (if applicable)
    • Duration of stay
    • Financial arrangement of the investment

IV: Intra-Corporate Transferees under CPTPP

Transferees refers to business people employed by international corporations in TPP countries – except Singapore and Vietnam – who provide services to Canadian companies that are Parent Companies, Subsidiaries, or Affiliates of international enterprises. The intra-corporate transferees must work as:

  • An executive
  • A manager
  • A specialist

The maximum duration for a transferee is 3 years. Intra-corporate transferees can stay for less than 3 years and still be eligible for the exemption, of course.

Eligibility for intra-corporate transferees

  • They must be a citizen of: Australia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, or Peru
    • Or a permanent resident of Australia or New Zealand
  • Have been working for the organization for at least 1 year during the previous 3 years
  • Their enterprise has to be from a CPTPP country – it does NOT have to be from the same country as their citizenship or permanent resident status.
  • They must be transferred to a qualifying Canadian enterprise (subsidiary, parent, or affiliate)
  • Be either: an executive, a specialist, or a manager

V: Professionals & Technicians under CPTPP

This exemption allows professionals and technicians to work for up to 1 year in Canada. Extensions may be granted if documentary evidence is presented showing the need for the professional or technician to remain in Canada beyond 1 year. To get an extension, the employer has to submit a new offer of employment for the additional time the professional or technician is required to stay in Canada.

You can apply for temporary entry into Canada without a work permit at a Canadian diplomatic mission abroad, at your port of entry, or even from within Canada.

To be eligible for the exemptions on work permits you must:

  • Be a citizen of Australia, Japan, Mexico, or Peru
  • Professionals must also:
    • Have a temporary offer of employment in NOC 0 (management), A (professional), or B (technical) occupations
    • Have a post-secondary degree of 4 or more years of study
    • Have 2 years paid work experience in the activity you’ll be doing in Canada
    • Be paid similar to other professionals in the same region of Canada, based on the prevailing wages in that activity and area of Canada
  • Technicians must also:
    • Have a temporary offer of employment in NOC 0, A, or B as listed above
    • Have a post-secondary degree of 2 years or more of study
    • Have 4 years paid work experience
    • Be paid a wage similar to the prevailing wage in that activity and area of Canada

You’ll need to bring:

  • Letter of employment with all the details of your contract
  • Proof of educational qualifications
  • Any licensing or certification necessary for your activity in whatever province/territory you’ll be working
  • Proof of your work experience
  • You may also be interviewed by an immigration official in order to assess your language abilities against the requirements of your work in Canada

Spouses of professionals or technicians may be granted open work permits under LMIA Exemption T-53.

  • For professionals or technicians, the principal applicant (the professional or technician) must be a citizen of Australia, Japan, or Mexico, OR a permanent resident of Australia.
  • The open work permit for the spouse can be issued at the port of entry.


Posted in News Tips and tagged CPTPP, Work Permit, Work permit exemption

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