International Agreements

International Agreements

International Agreements

The Government of Canada has significant agreements with various countries. An international agreement is bound by international law. These international agreements aim to facilitate movement through borders for the benefit of both countries.

International agreements between Canada and another country allow for easier business travel, working while on holiday, and other situations where easier mobility benefits Canada. There are also international agreements for humanitarian purposes to facilitate potential refugees seeking asylum.

Oro Immigration helps those interested in visiting or working and living in Canada, whether you are looking for a temporary visa or hope to eventually become a permanent Canadian citizen. We can advise you whether you are eligible to come to Canada under one of the international agreements that the Government of Canada is bound by.

In addition to international agreements which impact immigration and temporary residency, a regional agreement may be relevant, such as for a provincial nominee work program.

International Agreements or International Law Impacting Visiting or Immigrating to Canada

Free Trade Agreements

International Free Trade Agreements are reciprocal agreements aimed at facilitating temporary entry for business persons, for the specific purpose of doing business. These agreements are made in the spirit of cooperation and aim to benefit both countries.

The North American Free Trade agreement is a significant international agreement for immigration purposes, and governs labour market impact assessment-exempt work permits, intra-company transfer opportunities, and business visitors.

The Government of Canada has similar international agreements with Chile, Peru, Columbia and Korea, which allow temporary entry to four types of business persons. Business visitors, intra-company transferees, professionals, and traders and investors can enter Canada under these agreements.

The Canada-European Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement has similar provisions to grant temporary entry to professionals, business visitors, investors, and intra-company transferees, although entry requirements differ significantly in some categories.

The Agreement on Trade Continuity between Canada and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has provisions similar to the Canada-European Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, but there are differences in coding for work permit assessments.

Labour Market Impact Assessment-Exempt Work Permits

Work permits falling under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement are exempt. Examples of this include investors, business visitors, traders, and other professionals. In these cases, the work is deemed a significant benefit to Canada.
This allows eligible employers to hire foreign nationals without a Labour Market Impact Assessment needing to be completed. The onus is on the employer to prove that hiring a foreign national is a benefit to Canada.

Intra-Company Transfer

The intra-company transfer program allows international organizations and companies to transfer certain types of employees to Canada, where the transfer is beneficial to Canadian interest. Executives, senior managers and specialized knowledge workers may be eligible under this program.

United Nations Refugee Convention

Canada signed the 1951 Convention on the status of refugees and respects the right of an individual to claim asylum. The Government of Canada has created a system to allow individuals to apply for asylum and have their applications assessed.

Safe Third Country Agreement

The Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the United States is part of the U.S. – Canada Smart Border Action Plan. Under this agreement, Canada is considered a safe third country for potential refugees to seek protection for human rights and humanitarian reasons. Refugee claimants must request refugee protection in the first safe country they arrive in, unless they qualify for an exception.

Exceptions include specific cases for unaccompanied minors, refugees with family members in the other country, document holder exceptions for those with a valid visa, work permit, or other similar document, and exceptions for public interest. This means that if you are a refugee and landed in the US, you are generally unable to seek asylum with Canada at the land border, and can’t make a claim in the US if you first arrived in Canada.

Working Holiday Agreements

The Government of Canada has working holiday visa agreements with multiple countries, as part of maintaining positive international relations, which allows young travellers to work and financially support a holiday, without having to be a part of a university exchange or similar program. The Government of Canada recognizes certain international organizations which facilitate these programs.

Does an International Agreement Affect Your Entry into Canada?

There are multiple legally binding treaties that impact the ability of foreign nationals to visit or temporarily reside in Canada. Oro Immigration can help you navigate these treaties and agreements to determine the best method for you to apply for a visa.