Canada’s participation in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) means that professionals and technicians from Australia, Japan, and Mexico may be eligible for Canadian work permits. If you’re a professional or technician from Australia, Japan, or Mexico, this is your guide to Canadian work permits through the CPTPP.

Before we dive into the detailed requirements, please be aware that you must already have a job offer from a Canadian employer in order to apply for a CPTPP work permit for professionals and technicians. 

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What is a CPTPP work permit?

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a broad agreement designed to facilitate trade between Canada and 10 other participating nations. As a part of this agreement, Canada has arranged special work permit agreements with Australia, Japan, and Mexico in order to allow professionals and technicians with specialized knowledge to work temporarily in one anothers’ countries. 

Canada allows eligible workers to obtain work permits of up to one year in length (with the possibility of extension) to complete work contracts with Canadian employers. These work permits are exempt from requiring a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which saves Canadian employers time and money when hiring foreign talent.

If you are eligible for a CPTPP work permit, it is a relatively simple and fast way to gain the authorization to work in Canada. Plus, from a Canadian employer’s perspective, it is also a relatively straightforward process for hiring a foreign worker, especially when compared to a costly and time consuming LMIA-based work permit.

Eligibility criteria for CPTPP work permits

In order to be eligible for a CPTPP work permit for professionals and technicians, the foreign worker has to meet several criteria:

Residence / Citizenship

Applicants must be a citizen or permanent resident of Australia, Japan, or Mexico. The other countries in the TPP do not have the same agreement with Canada. 

Canadian job offer at prevailing wage

Applicants must have a job offer from a Canadian employer. This job offer must be for a profession on the list of eligible occupations (included below). 

The applicant’s wage must be equal to or above the prevailing wage for other similarly qualified professionals and technicians in the region of employment.

Specialized knowledge

Applicants must demonstrate they hold specialized knowledge — both in a theoretical and practical capacity. This must be further proven through one of these two means:

  • If the occupation requires a license/certificate to practice in Canada: Proof of licensing/certification from a Canadian regulatory body or a foreign equivalent.
  • If the occupation does not require a license/certificate: Proof of past education in the field (theoretical) and proof of past work experience in the field (practical).

Education & work experience

For professionals: 

  • Education: Professionals must have completed a minimum of a 4-year degree required for entry into their occupation, unless otherwise stated in the occupation list (included below).
  • Work experience: Professionals must have a minimum of 2 years’ paid work experience in the sector of their Canadian job offer.

For technicians:

  • Education: Technicians must have completed a minimum of a 2-year program required for entry into their occupation, unless otherwise stated in the occupation list (included below).
  • Work experience: Technicians must have a minimum of 4 years’ paid work experience in the sector of their Canadian job offer.

Language abilities

Applicants must demonstrate their ability to communicate in either English or French. There is no language testing requirement for CPTPP work permits, but applicants may be asked to provide evidence of their language abilities through proof of English- or French-language education, past work experience in English or French, etc.

Which occupations are eligible for CPTPP work permits?

Only certain occupations are eligible for CPTPP work permit for professionals and technicians. And, these occupations vary depending on whether you’re applying as a resident of Australia, Japan, or Mexico. Here’s a breakdown of eligible occupations for each country:

Australia

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Professionals

Most managerial and professional occupations are eligible — that is to say, occupations at National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Level 0 and A. These jobs typically require a post-secondary degree.

However, there are a few of these occupations which are not eligible:

  • health, education and social services occupations and related occupations
  • judges, lawyers and notaries, except foreign legal consultants
  • managers in postal and courier services
  • managers of telecommunications carriers
  • occupations related to cultural industries
  • recreation, sports and fitness program and service directors

Technicians

Only a few technical occupations are deemed eligible, with most NOC B occupations excluded. The current list of eligible occupations includes:

  • civil engineering technologists and technicians
  • computer and information systems technicians (occupations include elements of NOC A)
  • construction inspectors and estimators
  • electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
  • electricians
  • engineering inspectors, testers and regulatory officers
  • graphic designers and illustrators
  • industrial engineering technologists and technicians
  • industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
  • interior designers
  • mechanical engineering technologists and technicians
  • contractors and supervisors in the following areas:
    • electrical trades and telecommunications occupations
    • heavy construction equipment crews
    • installers, repairers and servicers
    • other construction trades

Japan

>

Professionals

Most managerial and professional occupations are eligible — that is to say, occupations at National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Level 0 and A. These jobs typically require a post-secondary degree.

However, there are a few of these occupations which are not eligible:

  • health, education and social services occupations and related occupations
  • judges, lawyers and notaries, except foreign legal consultants
  • managers in postal and courier services
  • managers of telecommunications carriers
  • occupations related to cultural industries
  • recreation, sports and fitness program and service directors
  • researchers, except those working at an academic entity

 

Technicians

A Japanese associate’s degree, the equivalent of such a degree or a higher level of education is required.

Only a few technical occupations are deemed eligible, with most NOC B occupations excluded. The current list of eligible occupations includes:

  • aircraft instrument, electrical and avionics mechanics, technicians and inspectors
  • architectural technologists and technicians
  • civil engineering technologists and technicians
  • computer and information systems technicians (occupations include elements of NOC A)
  • construction inspectors and estimators
  • drafting technologists and technicians
  • electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
  • engineering inspectors, testers and regulatory officers
  • graphic designers and illustrators
  • industrial designers
  • industrial engineering technologists and technicians
  • industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
  • interior designers
  • international purchasing and selling agents
  • land survey technologists and technicians
  • mechanical engineering technologists and technicians
  • oil and gas well drillers, servicers and testers (excluding operators)
  • technical occupations in geomatics and meteorology
  • supervisors in the following areas:
    • carpentry trades
    • electrical trades and telecommunications occupations
    • food, beverage and tobacco processing
    • forest products processing
    • heavy construction equipment crews
    • installers, repairers and servicers
    • machinists and related occupations
    • mechanic trades
    • metal forming
    • mineral and metal processing
    • mining and quarrying
    • oil and gas drilling and service
    • other construction trades
    • petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities
    • pipefitting trades
    • plastic and rubber products manufacturing
    • printing and related occupations
    • shaping and erecting trades
    • textile processing

Mexico

>

Professionals

Most managerial and professional occupations are eligible — that is to say, occupations at National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Level 0 and A. These jobs typically require a post-secondary degree.

However, there are a few of these occupations which are not eligible:

  • health, education and social services occupations and related occupations
  • judges, lawyers and notaries, except foreign legal consultants
  • managers in postal and courier services
  • managers of telecommunications carriers
  • occupations related to cultural industries
  • recreation, sports and fitness program and service directors

Technicians

Only a few technical occupations are deemed eligible, with most NOC B occupations excluded. The current list of eligible occupations includes:

  • civil engineering technologists and technicians
  • computer and information systems technicians (occupations include elements of NOC A)
  • construction inspectors and estimators
  • electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
  • electricians
  • engineering inspectors, testers and regulatory officers
  • graphic designers and illustrators
  • industrial engineering technologists and technicians
  • industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
  • interior designers
  • mechanical engineering technologists and technicians
  • contractors and supervisors in the following areas:
    • electrical trades and telecommunications occupations
    • heavy construction equipment crews
    • installers, repairers and servicers
    • other construction trades

How to apply for a CPTPP work permit?

If you meet the eligibility criteria for a CPTPP work permit for professionals and technicians, you can apply in any of three ways:

  1. From within Canada
  2. At a Canadian port of entry
  3. At a Canadian mission abroad 

Spouses of CPTPP work permit applicants are eligible to apply for an open work permit as long as the principal applicant meet is either of the following:

  • A citizen of Australia, Japan, or Mexico
  • A permanent resident of Australia

The spousal open work permit will match the validity period of their partner’s work permit. 

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