(403) 452-9515

Ackah Law

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 business persons 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 employers 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.

Foreign Film and TV Workers Get 14-Day Priority Work Permit Processing

On September 28, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced a new measure to give foreign nationals working in the film and television industry workers priority ...

Read More

5 Reasons American Expats Choose Canada

Canada is increasingly becoming an attractive destination for Americans who want to move to a better quality of life. While some people look for a change of scenery by moving from the ...

Read More

UPDATE: Temporary Policy Allowing Visitors to Apply For a Work Permit Without Leaving Canada

Canada's government has released an update to the temporary policy allowing visitors to Canada who have a valid job offer to apply for a work permit without the normal requirement ...

Read More

Does Nearshoring Tech Jobs Help Build A Stronger Canada?

The Toronto Star ran an article questioning, What is ‘nearshoring’? Is it good for Canada — or is our immigration system just bailing out Silicon Valley? Our Canada business immigration ...

Read More

What Are the Best Options for Hong Kong Residents to Move to Vancouver?

Hong Kong's new security laws went into effect on July 1, 2020, and give China more authority over Hong Kong's governance and residents. Vancouver, Canada has strong connections ...

Read More

Intra-Company Transfers For International Businesses

If you currently work for a company that has a parent company, branch office, subsidiary, or affiliate company in Canada, you may qualify for a Canadian work permit through Canada's ...

Read More

Featured Resource

Calculate Your Express Entry Score

Are you qualified to move to Canada? Try our free Express Entry Calculator Express Entry is Canada's skilled-worker immigration application process for high-skilled foreign workers ...

View Resource

Many thanks for the great news. I and my family are extremely happy and extremely thankful for the devotion and sincerity with which you processed this case. It was a complex case and without your special attention, things might not have this great outcome as we have. We will be submitting our passports on Sunday to the embassy as per instructions in the letter and I will keep you updated on the progress. Many thanks once again and looking forward to see you folks soon.

– A.A.

View All Testimonials