How to apply for GATS - Work Permit

27 October, 2022

How to apply for GATS - Work Permit

General Agreement on Trade in Services provides an accelerated avenue for qualified individuals to obtain a Canadian work permit without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

What Is GATS?

Canada is a signatory of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), administered by the World Trade Organization (WTO). GATS facilitates trade and movement of certain business persons among its member countries worldwide. As of July 20th, 2016, there were 164 member countries. The following business persons are exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment:

  • Business visitors
  • Intra-company transferees
  • Professionals

Canadian companies may utilize primarily the subcategories of professionals and intra-company transferees to seek the services of highly skilled individuals from abroad.


A professional under GATS is a person from another member country who seeks to engage in the delivery of a service contract to a Canadian company. The applicant must:

  • have citizenship of a member nation or the right of permanent residence in Australia or New Zealand.
  • Deliver a service as per a signed contract between a Canadian service consumer and a service provider of a WTO member country. In the case of foreign legal consultants, urban planners and senior computer specialists, the foreign service provider must not have a commercial presence in Canada.
  • have professional qualifications in an occupation identified in the chart below.
  • NOT provide service in any of the following sectors: education, health-related or recreational, culture and sports services.
  • have qualifications recognized, where applicable, by the professional association in Canada.
  • Comply with existing immigration requirements for temporary entry, including Temporary Resident Visa requirements.
  • In the case of foreign legal consultants, urban planners and senior computer specialists, the employer in Canada must be engaged in substantive business.
  • In the case of senior computer specialists, a limit of ten entrants per project has been imposed.
  • Entry is for a period of 90 days.


Educational & Experience Requirements


Baccalaureate degree

Other requirements:
Provincial licence


Baccalaureate degree in agriculture or related science plus four years of related experience

Other requirements:
Licensing required in New Brunswick, Alberta & Quebec. Temporary licensing required in British Columbia.


Baccalaureate degree in architecture

Other requirements:
Provincial licence and certificate required to practice

Forestry Professionals

Baccalaureate degree in forestry management or forestry engineering, or a provincial licence

Other requirements:
Licensing as a forester or forestry engineer is required in Alberta, British Columbia & Quebec.

Geomatics Professionals

Baccalaureate degree in surveying, geography or environmental sciences plus three years related experience.

Land Surveyors


Baccalaureate degree

Other requirements:
Provincial licence

Foreign Legal Consultants


Baccalaureate degree in law

Other requirements:
Provincial licence

Urban Planners

Baccalaureate degree in urban planning

Other requirements:
Provincial licence

Senior Computer Specialists

Graduate degree in computer sciences or related discipline and ten years of experience in computer sciences.


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