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Episode 60: A Deep Dive Into CETA: The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement

Podcast posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Canada Work Permits, CETA and Podcast

Episode 60: A Deep Dive Into CETA: The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement

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Calgary immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah explains why CETA is a really good option for Canadian businesses that want to hire or bring in professionals from Europe into Canada to do work.

CETA stands for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. It is a free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union (EU) that aims to create new opportunities for trade and investment between the two regions while promoting regulatory cooperation, labor rights, environmental protection, and sustainable development.


If you are interested in hiring workers to come to Canada under CETA, in this podcast, I will discuss:

  • the benefits of hiring professionals under the CETA agreement
  • CETA for intercompany transfers
  • bringing skilled workers and contract workers to Canada under the CETA provisions
  • similarities and differences between NAFTA and CETA
  • the streamlined CETA application process
  • cost savings by hiring foreign workers under the CETA agreement

About Evelyn Ackah

Evelyn Ackah is the Founder and Managing Lawyer at Ackah Business Immigration Law. We work with individuals and business owners from all over the world who want to cross borders seamlessly. For more information on immigration to Canada or the United States, Ask Evelyn Ackah at Ackah Business Immigration Law today at (403) 452‑9515 or email Evelyn directly at contact@ackahlaw.com.

The Ask Canada Immigration Lawyer Evelyn Ackah podcast by Calgary Immigration Lawyer Evelyn Ackah was named #1 Best Canada Immigration Podcast in 2022 by Feedspot.



Evelyn Ackah:

Good day everyone. It's Evelyn Ackah. Welcome to the LinkedIn Live Today, where we're going to be talking about CETA. If you haven't heard about it, CETA is the Canadian European Trade Agreement, Canada European Union comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. We call it CETA. And it used to include, as you know, the United Kingdom. But since the decision on Brexit, the United Kingdom has their own trade agreement now with Canada. So I want to talk today about CETA and why it's a really good option for those of you who may be hiring or bringing in professionals from the European trade community into Canada to do work. So CETA is one of the best kind of treaties that Canada has because of the comprehensive nature of all the countries in Europe. There's so many of them that are members of this treaty, and the benefit is it allows people to come to Canada and may not need to go through all the same hoops as somebody who's a brand new hire or a service provider to Canada.

So CETA has different components. The first one is it lets you bring in people for a short-term business visitor activity. So for instance, somebody wants to come in and they're thinking about investment to Canada. They can come in and they're work permit exempt, and they're able to obtain a business visitor entry to do activity related to considering investment purposes as a business visitor. So that's one of the options under CETA. Another one is an investor work permit because these are for people who really want to invest and they're coming from European country and they want to make Canada a target of investment. They're able to come in as well and they're exempted from needing labor market impact assessment. Just like for Americans who come to Canada under NAFTA, the treaty with North American Free Trade Agreement, or now it's called the USMCA, it allows people to bypass the need to obtain a labor market impact assessment.

And this is why I think is really great, is that CETA does the same thing. CETA, in addition to having business visitor category investment category, it also has a contractual service and supplier category where independent professionals can get work permits. One of my clients used this when they had somebody coming and they wanted to give him a 12-month work permit to see if he would really work out. He came with his entire family, his spouse and children, and he obtained at the airport with our strong application material, a 12-month work permit, which allowed him to work for the company and for them to suss him out and make sure everything was working well before they went to the trouble of getting him a labor market impact assessment to lead him down the path to permanent residents long term.

So CETA is very useful for that 12-month piece, so long as a person you're bringing is educated or has experience running either their own company or working as an independent professional. Another component for CETA is the intercompany transfer. We use this all the time as well under NAFTA, but it also applies for non-NAFTA citizens. Under CETA, people who are working for related company in Europe can also transfer to Canada as a worker to work for the related company in Canada. And it has almost the same requirements as NAFTA. So it means they can come for two years or three years and work in Canada and it's renewable, and instead of NAFTA being the treaty, it's CETA that is permitting them to be here to work and contribute to the related entity.

Another category under CETA is the engineering technologists and scientific technologists. This is really great because again, the NAFTA professional has a list of up to 70 professions. However, CETA doesn't provide that. And so for people who are coming in to do engineering work, technology work, technician work, even sometimes we use this for people coming who are doing warranty work, CETA is one of those options that you can implement if you're bringing people, let's say from France, from Germany, from Italy, from any of the countries that are members of the European Union, they can come to Canada and usually, they don't require visas. And so that means these applications are actually being submitted at the airport upon arrival with their perfect documentation. Sometimes they need a contract, a consulting agreement, an offer, a business plan. So it depends on which category they're entering, business visitors, investors, intercompany transfers, or coming as engineering and technicians and technologists.

So when you're looking and you're trying hard to bring in your skilled workers or people that you've identified as contract labor and you want to bring them in, don't forget that CETA is a valuable, valuable option. And at Ackah Business Immigration Law, we'd love to help you determine if your candidate qualifies and how we can help you prepare the application package. Please do give us a call at the number above so we can help you determine if CETA is a great option for you. Thank you so much for joining our LinkedIn Live and we look forward to speaking with you soon. Take care. Bye, bye.

Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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