November 5, 2015 – The full text of the Trans-Pacific
Partnership (TPP) has been released and the schedule of
Canada's commitments for the temporary entry of business
persons promises to open the door to a broad array of foreign
national professionals and technicians to work in Canada.
The TPP is a multi-party free trade agreement comprising twelve
Pacific Rim countries: Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand, Chile, the
United States, Australia, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico, Japan
and Canada. The agreement covers a range of economic policies from
trade and tariffs to labour mobility and patent rights. The
agreement creates the largest trading zone in the world, covering
over 800 million people and comprising 40% of the world's
While not yet ratified, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has
committed to promoting the deal and it is widely expected to pass
the House of Commons.
Entry of Business Persons to Canada
Canada has committed to extending an occupational commitment
under various categories to business persons of other signatory
parties, where those parties have made the same commitment in
respect of the same occupation, for Canadian nationals. These
categories include business visitors, intra-company transferees,
investors and independent executives, and professionals and
While many had anticipated a schedule of professions akin to the
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the TPP is in fact
much broader in scope. Canada will admit, without economic needs
tests or numerical limitations, and with few exceptions, professionals in all NOC
O and NOC A jobs from Australia, Chile, Peru, Japan, and Mexico. In
addition, other foreign nationals of other signatories in certain
scheduled professional and technical occupations will also be
eligible for canadian work permits.
Implications for Business
Canadian business will have greater freedom to recruit
international professionals from among signatory countries without
first needing to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
– an economic needs test that is the procedural precursor to
hiring most foreign nationals.
The broad categories of occupational LMIA exemptions for certain
foreign nationals is matched by reciprocal agreements for Canadian
professionals in those same countries – meaning Canadian
professionals and technicians will have greater freedom to seek
international work opportunities, and Canadian businesses will have
improved access to expand abroad.
Timeline for Implementation
The TPP must be ratified by all twelve signatories before it can
be implemented. The upcoming election in the United States, as well
as electoral issues in other member states, may delay ratification
and, as a result, there is no known reliable projected timeline for
implementation. Green and Spiegel will continue to monitor
developments in this area.
For more information about work permits, international labour
reciprocity agreements, or for assistance with making an
contact Green and Spiegel.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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