Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement has the aim and target to increase Free trade between the European Union and Canada. It provides more business opportunities and is designed to create a better environment for important personnel, professionals, service-suppliers, and business visitors coming on a short-term to carry out their developmental activities in Canada.

It will eliminate 98% tariffs between the European Union and Canada. CETA comes into effect in September as an interim measure and a few member states have not ratified it yet. It is estimated that this Agreement will increase the trade volume by 20% between the two entities.

CETA allows the entry of businessmen, who are citizens of Canada and EU states, and has removed the requirement for LMIA, which was required earlier for doing any type of work in Canada in a legal manner. Through LMIA, Canadian companies could only hire at the international level, in a situation where no Canadian citizens or PRs were ready and willing to do that work. It had also included advertising these requirements and took more processing time. With the present exemption, the process becomes easy and delivers quick results.

CETA covers the following categories of visitors to do business:

  1. Important personnel like investors, intra-corporate transferees, and business visitors who are interested in investment;
  2. Service suppliers on Contract, independent professionals; and
  3. Business visitors arriving for a short duration.

LMIA exemption codes have been put in place to collect the data about EU business visitors. These exemptions are given in the International Mobility Program through which the government aims to improve and enhance better cultural and economic relations. It also provides a competitive advantage for the country.

Business Visitors

The duration of stay for short-term business visitors to make an investment is 90 days in a six-month period. The eligible activities, for business visitors, are different in CETA when compared to the North American Free Trade Agreement. It includes categories like:

  • Meetings and consultations
  • Training seminars
  • After-sales services includes after-lease services


In CETA persons can be transferred to work in Canada when is in the same company. Senior personnel and specialists possess the eligibility to enter Canada without a LMIA. The transferees must:

  • Have been employed by an EU enterprise for at least one year; and
  • Have been transferred temporarily to the subsidiary or branch, or the head company of an enterprise

Graduate trainee applicants must have a university degree and must be transferred temporarily to a Canada-based enterprise for pursuing career development and must also be ready to undergo training.


Eligible investors are allowed to stay for a year. The investor must do the activities like establishing/ developing/ administering the investment and is required to play either a supervisory or Executive role, and must also be employed by an enterprise which is committed to bringing substantial capital into the country.

Contractual service suppliers and independent professionals can stay in Canada for 12 months or for the duration of the contract, whichever is less.

Applicants must be qualified professionals and citizens of EU member states:

  • They must perform service for 12 months and must be contracted to serve as per the Annex 10 E Concordance Table.
  • They must have a university degree and possess professional qualifications to practice a legal activity in the provinces/territories.
  • A few categories of Engineering and Scientific Technologists can enter Canada without having a university degree.
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