On October 25, 2018, Canada passed legislation which will implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership’s (CPTPP) provisions into domestic law. Canada became the fifth country of the 11 signatory states to complete formal ratification procedures. Six countries are required to ratify the agreement, and since Australia has also just done so, the CPTPP will now officially come into effect by the end of 2018.
Six of the eleven signatories to the agreement, namely Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia and Canada have ratified the CPTPP, which enables it take effect on December 31, 2018. The countries that are still in the process of ratifying the agreement are Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Peru and Vietnam.
As outlined in PwC Law’s immigration alert published on March 8, 2018, the immigration provisions found in the CPTPP provide employers with facilitated access to hire certain highly-skilled foreign nationals from member states more quickly than would otherwise be possible under current immigration legislation. The CPTPP also provides facilitated market access to investors, and in certain circumstances, lower-skilled workers entering Canada to carry out technical roles. Although Canadians and foreign nationals from certain countries including Mexico and Chile already benefit from the temporary entry provisions outlined in free trade agreements such as the NAFTA and the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement, the CPTPP will, in general, provide employers with more predictable access to international talent through which to grow their business.
It is anticipated that closer to the date the CPTPP comes into force, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will publish instructive guidance regarding the interpretation and practical application of the agreement’s temporary entry provisions. Once effective, employers and foreign nationals from the signatory states can benefit from the liberalized temporary entry provisions contained in the agreement. In light of the competitive market for highly skilled talent in Canada in certain sectors, Canada’s broad commitments under the CPTPP should greatly assist employers in filling their skilled talent shortages. In this regard, employers are advised to monitor the status of any IRCC updates, and keep watch for future communications from PwC Law LLP on this subject.
For more information on the CPTPP or any other immigration matter, please contact a member of our team at PwC Law LLP.