LMIA-exempt alternatives under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – a bonus for both Employers and Temporary Workers

Aussie! Aussie! Oy Oy Oy!!

Australians (and other nationalities such as Peruvians, Chileans, Koreans, Japanese, and Colombians – to name a few) can benefit from the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in several ways, particularly in the context of temporary entry into Canada for work purposes. Under the CPTPP, Australian citizens are eligible for facilitated temporary entry into Canada if they fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Business Visitors: Australian business visitors are work permit exempt under paragraph R186(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), allowing them to engage in certain business activities without a work permit.
  2. Investors (Administrative code T50): Australian investors who are seeking to establish, develop, or administer an investment in Canada may apply for a work permit under the CPTPP, which allows them to work in Canada to manage their investment.
  3. Intra-corporate Transferees (Administrative codes T51, T54, T55): This category allows for the temporary transfer of Australian executives, managers, and specialized knowledge workers to a Canadian branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of their employer.
  4. Professionals and Technicians (Administrative code T52): Australian professionals and technicians who have a pre-arranged contract to provide services in Canada in an occupation listed in the CPTPP may be eligible for a work permit.
  5. Spousal Provisions (Administrative code T53): The spouses of Australian investors, professionals, technicians, or intra-corporate transferees may be eligible for an open work permit, allowing them to work for any employer in Canada without a job offer.

The provisions of the CPTPP facilitate the movement of workers between Australia and Canada, enhancing economic ties and providing opportunities for Australian citizens to work and conduct business in Canada with fewer barriers. It’s important to note that each category has specific requirements and conditions that must be met, and applicants must comply with all regular immigration requirements for their respective categories.

The 2 most useful categories for temporary workers from Australia are Professionals and Technicians.

Professionals are on a negative list, e.g., any occupation that is NOT on the list is eligible. To qualify, you must have an undergraduate degree and at least have 2 years of paid work experience in the sector of activity of the contract.

All TEER 0 and 1 occupations (Management) are eligible, except the following:

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

There is a positive list for technicians, e.g., your Tier 2 or 3 occupation must specifically be on the list in order for you to qualify.


The following occupations that are listed as TEER 2 and 3 (NOC B for applications received on or before November 15, 2022) are permitted:

  • 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 TEER 1/ NOC A)
  • construction inspectors and estimators
  • drafting technologists and technicians
  • electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
  • electricians
  • 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
  • plumbers
  • technical occupations in geomatics and meteorology
  • supervisors in the following areas:
    • food, beverage and tobacco processing fields
    • forest products processing field
    • machinists and related occupations
    • mineral and metal processing
    • mining and quarrying
    • oil and gas drilling and service
    • petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities
    • plastic and rubber products manufacturing
    • printing and related occupations
    • textile processing
  • Contractors and supervisors in the following areas:
    • carpentry trades
    • electrical trades and telecommunications occupations
    • heavy construction equipment crews
    • installers, repairers and servicers
    • mechanic trades
    • metal forming
    • other construction trades
    • pipefitting trades
    • shaping and erecting trades

As you can see, some trades are on the list e.g.,  electricians and plumbers, as well as fore(wo)men and supervisors in carpentry, mechanic trades, and other construction trades.

To qualify, you need a full-time job offer from an employer and proof that you meet the eligibility requirements and unlike an LMIA, it costs the employer only $230 (for a job offer number through the employer portal), which makes it much easier to hire an Australian for the position than someone who is not LMIA exempt.