x
(403) 452-9515
Ackah Business Immigration Law – Personal and Corporate Immigration

Search Ackah Law...

Contact us

Contact Information

1 (403) 452-9515

1 (800) 932-1190

Book a Consultation

More Options...

GATS: General Agreement on Trade in Services

Work Permits Pursuant to the General Agreement on Trade in Services

The General Agreement on Trade in Services or (GATS) is often described as being similar to the North American Free Trade Agreement. It is an agreement under the World Trade Organization that came into force in January 1995. Contact us today at (403) 452-9515 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email us directly.

The main purpose of GATS immigration regulations is to facilitate the entry of business personnel, technical personnel and executives of a company located in one of the member nations to a company located in another member nation (e.g. Canada) with which it is already doing or wishes to do business with, or plans to open a branch office or subsidiary in other member nations.

However, there are some larger differences. For example, under GATS, the Canadian government has created only three categories of businesspersons allowed an exemption under the agreement. These are:

  • Business visitors
  • Intra-company transferees
  • Professionals

The business visitor category does not require a work permit because the individual is not entering the Canadian labour market. Naturally, that person has to meet all of the specific qualifications, showing that they will not enter the Canadian labour market, that their employer is outside of Canada and that they are being paid by the foreign employer.

The intra-company transferee category is a work permit category – same as for professionals category, but the conditions for qualification for professionals are more complex. The intra-company transferee must prove the relationship between the foreign and Canadian company and show why the foreign worker is more qualified than existing or potential Canadian workers for the position in Canada. GATS professionals must meet minimum educational requirements as well as certain licensing requirements. The professionals must also have a contract in place before arriving that shows they will be employed in their professional capacity and will be remunerated in this capacity with the fair market wage in the region of the employment.

Fundamentally, GATS offers certain foreign nationals and their employer's relief from the need for an LMIA, but not always the need for work permits. Because you will have to have all of your documentation in order before you arrive, it is best to begin the application processes ahead of time, and discuss any questions you might have with legal experts on such matters.

Contact us today at (403) 452-9515 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email us directly.

Canadian Citizenship Through Marriage or Homeownership?

Canada immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah spoke to Financial Advisor Gerry Scott of Snowbirds Wealth Management about the Canada Spousal Open Work Permit, and whether citizenship ...

Read More

How to Apply For an Intra-company Transfer to Canada in 2022

If a multinational business owner wants to transfer foreign employees to a Canadian location, an intra-company transfer to Canada is available. The foreign employee must currently ...

Read More

FAQs: As An American, Do I Need a Work Visa to Freelance in Canada?

My husband will be taking an intra-company job transfer to Canada. We're Americans, and I am a freelance writer. Will I need a work visa to continue to freelance in Canada for my U.S. ...

Read More

Updates to Bridging Open Work Permit Eligibility

Canada's IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) has made updates to the Bridging Open Work Permit that make the work permit more available and flexible to immigrant ...

Read More

Proposed Updates To Protect Temporary Foreign Workers

Canada has announced proposed updates to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) to "strengthen protections for temporary foreign workers to prevent potential ...

Read More

Canada's New Open Work Permit for Essential Workers and International Graduates

Essential workers and international graduates who have applied for permanent residence under the 6 new temporary pathways launched in May 2021 can now apply for an open work permit ...

Read More

Featured Resource

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Next Steps Thank you for your interest in receiving our Monthly Immigration Newsletter. Please take a moment to complete the form below to confirm your registration. ...

View Resource

Thank you so much for the call.Really grateful to you and your team. God bless you beyond measures!

E.E.

View All Testimonials