Canada: New Canadian Immigration Options Resulting From The Coming Into Force Of The Comprehensive And Progress Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)

Last Updated: January 7 2019
Article by Richard Leuce

The Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is the latest trade agreement impacting Canadian immigration policy. The CPTPP takes effect as of December 30, 2018 and brings forth an expansion of the International Mobility Program (IMP). This expansion will see new exemptions to the requirement for companies to perform local labour market impact assessments for certain categories of business people.

Work authorization in Canada is granted under two main programs, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP). The new CPTPP exemptions will fall under the IMP program, alongside other trade deals such as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreements (USMCA) or the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

Eligible natural persons of the 11-country Asia-Pacific trade agreement signatory parties will receive consideration under CPTPP. At the time of the writing of this article only six (6) countries have ratified the agreement: Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore. Vietnam has also ratified, however the coming into force will only occur in early 2019. The remaining countries yet to ratify CPTPP include Brunei, Chile, Malaysia and Peru. Canada already has existing free trade agreements with Chile and Peru, so the CPTPP will provide an additional layer of categories for their nationals.

The eligible categories include business visitors [as per R186(a) and 187 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations], Investors, Intra-Corporate Transferees, Professionals and Technicians and Spouses.

1. Business Visitors – After-sales/lease service providers

As aforementioned, the CPTPP will include business visitors as defined in sections R186(a) and 187 of the IRPR. An important distinction must be made with respect to personnel entering Canada pursuant to the after-sales or after-lease service agreements. The first important distinction is that this specific subcategory is available only to citizens of Australia, Mexico and New Zealand. Citizens of these countries could already enter Canada under the general authorization to work without a work permit, so this will result in little to almost no change.

The second important distinction is that the program delivery instructions provide clarity on the type of eligible personnel and specifically name installers, repair and maintenance personnel and supervisors. It does not specifically contain the provision against hands-on building and construction work, however officers are referred to consult the general guidelines for business visitors when assessing such requests. The expectation is that these individuals will continue to be documented with a Visitor Record, should their stay be required for periods exceeding two (2) days.

2. Business Visitors – Other permissible activities

Unlike the aforementioned after-sales/lease subcategory, short-term BVs will be exempt from the requirement to obtain a work permit for a variety of permissible activities. The requirement to not enter the local labour market remains, as the primary source of remuneration must be outside Canada and the principal place of business and accrual of profits remain outside Canada.

Specifically, this category only applies to those services in the following activities:

  1. Meetings and Consultations - attending meetings or conferences, or engaged in consultations with business associates;
  2. Research and Design - applicable to technical, scientific and statistical researchers performing independent, or enterprise sponsored, analysis;
  3. Manufacturing and production - purchasing or production management personnel conducting commercial transactions;
  4. Marketing  - for market researchers and analysts conducting research (also cover trade-fairs or promotional personnel attending trade conventions);
  5. Sales - representatives taking orders or negotiating the sale of services or goods or entering into agreements for same, without actually being involved in the delivery of the goods/services themselves. Cannot engage in making direct sales to the general public;
  6. Distribution - transportation operators who are transporting goods or passengers from the territory of a party to Canada or loading and transporting goods or passengers from Canada;
  7. After-Sales or After-Lease Service - relating to installers, repair and maintenance personnel, and supervisors, all whom must possess specialized knowledge essential to a seller's contractual obligations. Such services must be performed during the life of the warranty or service agreement. Special provisions apply (see above);
  8. General Services - covers Professionals and technicians, management and supervisory personnel engaging in commercial transactions, financial services and tourism personnel, and translators or interpreters. Certain restrictions apply.

2. Investor – T50

The Investor work permit category will be exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) under code T50. It will allow temporary entry to citizens of Australia, Japan or Mexico and to permanent residents of Australia and New Zealand. This new category is an expansion of the existing Investor criteria found under LMIA exemption code T22. The CPTPP serves as an extension to also include the permanent residents of Australia and New Zealand.

Applications can be made for persons establishing, developing or administering the Canadian operation of a foreign entity in either a (1) supervisory or (2) executive capacity or (3) one that involves an essential skill. This category would allow the temporary entry of individuals seeking entry to establish a business, and also temporarily manage the newly-formed entity. The requirement for either the investor, or the enterprise employing that person, to committ a substantial amount of capital remains. Officers are instructed to refer to the NAFTA [sic] instructions for assessment procedures of the above referenced requirements and definitions.  Applications made under this sub-category can receive consideration for one (1) year duration, with a possible discretionary extension. Spouses of investors are also eligible for an Open work permit, under new LMIA exemption T53.

3. Intra-Corporate Transferees (ICTs) – T51

Generally, the intra-corporate (also called intra-company, depending on agreement) transferee category is one of the most popular work permit options. Citizens of Australia, Japan, Mexico and New Zealand can benefit from such work permits under CPTPP; permanent residents of Australia and New Zealand can also receive consideration. Furthermore, they must work in an executive, managerial or specialist position (note: the IRCC website lists management trainees on professional development, but this may change).

Regarding specialists (analogous to Specialized Knowledge worker sub-category within GATS) they will only require one of either (a) uncommon knowledge of the enterprise's products/services or an advanced level of expertise/knowledge of the enterprise's process and procedures. The main difference is that the requirement under CPTPP only requires one of the two levels of knowledge, while applications made under GATS require both. Additionally, there will be no assessment of the prevailing wage for specialists under CPTPP. This benefit is offset by a shorter work permit time cap, with three (3) year maximums, but open to discretionary extensions.

4. Professionals and Technicians – T52

The general criteria for both professionals and technicians focus on ensuring that foreign nationals get paid no less than prevailing wage for the occupation. The secondary focus is on ensuring that both professionals and technicians meet a certain level of educational and professional competency, in addition to also assessing language ability to perform the job.

As this is an LMIA-exempt category, it falls under the International Mobility Program (IMP). On a practical level, this once again requires the Canadian entity to submit an offer of employment via an Employer Portal account in support of such applications. Similar to CETA, an explanatory note clarifies that submitting such an offer of employment does not establish a typical employee-employer relationship.

For professionals, only those positions listed under level "0" and "A" of Canada's National Occupational Classification (NOC) code will qualify under this category in certain sub-sectors. For technicians, these occupations will generally fall under NOC level "B". Professionals must have a post-secondary degree of 4 or more years of study (except for Australia) and must have accumulated at least two (2) years of paid work experience in the sector of the contractual activity to be performed. Technicians on the other hand, must possesses at a minimum a two (2) year post-secondary or technical degree, and four (4) years of paid work experience. A full list of country-specific occupation is available here.

The interesting new requirement is the language requirement criteria, as officers must now be satisfied, that the individual can communicate in either English or French. Considering that the Professionals and Technicians work permit categories apply only to Australia, Japan and Mexico, it is likely this requirement will be more important for applicants from the latter two countries.


As the CPTPP is now in force, new opportunities become available for foreign service suppliers with respect to Canadian work permits. The CPTPP will provide new avenues for obtaining work permits, as well as providing overlapping coverage for existing previous agreements. This will also make matters easier for Canadian employers wishing to hire foreign personnel, thereby avoiding the costs associated with LMIA applications.  

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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Richard Leuce
In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions