Like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the temporary entry of business persons under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) can be facilitated without the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment. In the area of temporary entry of individuals, Canada requested and offered access for three categories of business persons: business visitors, intra-company transferees and professionals.

Both business visitors and intra-company transferees entering under GATS qualify under Canada’s generally applicable immigration rules: R186(a) and R205(a) C12. However, there are unique rules for the entry of professionals under GATS. These professionals may be granted work permits pursuant to R204, T33 if they meet the criteria outlined below.

A GATS Professional is a person who seeks to engage, as part of a services contract obtained by a company in another Member nation, in an activity at a professional level in a profession set out below, provided that the person possesses the necessary academic credentials and professional qualifications, which have been duly recognized, where appropriate, by the professional association in Canada. The Professionals category is designed to facilitate the short-term entry of a limited list of professionals employed by service providers of Member nations, in those service sectors to which Canada has made commitments.