Chapter 13 : Mobility of Business People




APEC Economies will:

a.                   enhance the mobility of business people who are engaged in the conduct of trade and investment activities in the Asia-Pacific region; and

b.                  enhance the use of information and communications technology (ICT) to facilitate the movement of people across borders, taking into account the Leader’s Statement on Counter Terrorism.





Each APEC economy work toward achieving the above objectives:


a.                   abiding by directions and statements from APEC Leaders and Ministers;

b.                  recognising APEC Principles on Trade Facilitation; and

c.                   consistent with the Informal Experts Group on Business Mobility’s (IEGBM) capacity building standards and annually agreed goals.



Collective Actions


APEC economies will:


Exchange Information

Exchange information on regulatory regimes in regard to the mobility of business people in the region, including through regularly updating the information in the online APEC Business Travel Handbook


Short-Term Business Entry

Streamline short-term entry requirements fro business people.  APEC economies will strive on a best endeavours basis and according to their immigration procedures to implement one or more of the following options:

i)                     visa free or visa-waiver arrangements;

ii)                   participating in APEC Business Travel Card scheme;

iii)                  multiple short-term entry and stay visas which are valid for at least 3 years.


Business Temporary Residency

Implement streamlined temporary residence processing arrangements fro the intra-company transfer of senior managers and executives, and specialists as defined by individual economies.


Capacity Building (Technical Cooperation and Training)

Develop and implement the mutually agreed standards and benchmarks essential to capacity building and engage in the capacity building initiatives necessary to provide streamlined visa application and immigration entry, stay and departure processing arrangements.


Dialogue with Business

Continue to maintain a dialogue with the APEC Business Mobility Group and the APEC business community (including APEC fora) on mobility issues important to the APEC region and the APEC business community.



The current CAP relating to mobility of business people can be found in the Mobility of Business People Collective Action Plan.




Canada’s Approach to Mobility of Business People in 2003


The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, in force since June 28 2002, further streamles and improves the efficiency of document processing  for temporary foreign workers. The new approach facilitates the entry of highly skilled workers when the result is of net economic benefit to Canada. This approach moves away from a strict protection of specific job opportunities for Canadians to a broader direction focussing on facilitating and promoting growth within the Canadian economy. This is an opportunity to respond to the globalization of economies by facilitating the entry of workers in an efficient, effective, and timely manner.


Canada continues to work to facilitate the flow of business people across borders by exploring the use of technologies for automated inspection systems to expedite processing at Canadian airports. Advanced Passenger Processing (API) has been implemented at several airports.


Canada continues to improve transparency by providing up-to-date information on short-term visa requirements and on entry mechanisms of foreign workers for inclusion in the APEC  Secretariat web site (
  Canada is providing easily accessible information on its own web site.


For visitor and temporary residency information please visit (links to applications can be found on the same page:



Canada participates in the APEC Informal Experts’ Group on Business Mobility and supports the actions agreed upon in the Group’s Collective Action Plan.  



For more information, contact:

Sylvie Doucet

Citizenship and Immigration Canada





For more information, contact:

[ name ]

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

[ e-mail ]





Canada’s Approach to Business Mobility in 2003


Improvements Implemented Since Last IAP

Current Business Mobility Related Policies and Arrangements

Further Improvements Planned


Regulatory Visa Regimes




Canada has participated in meetings of the Business Mobility group to share information on visa regimes.




To facilitate information exchange, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) maintains a website which provides information on visiting Canada. It can be accessed at:


Information specific to APEC economies can be found in Canada’s entry in the APEC Business Travel Handbook:



Canada will continue to participate in activities of the Business Mobility group to exchange information.




Short Term Business Entry 




No changes have been made to Short-term Business Entry procedures or policies since the 2002 IAP.


Canada conducted a survey on the mobility issues of business women in the APEC region.  The survey will contribute to the integration of women into APEC.








Business people entering Canada for short-term visits require a visitor visa (exempt APEC economies include Australia, Brunei, Hong Kong, China (HK SAR and HK BNO passport holders), Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, and the United States). Canada issues multiple entry visas for up to five years or the life of the passport, which ever is longer, but they are not granted automatically. Upon arrival in Canada, entry can be granted for a stay of up to 6 months.  The duration of stay may be extended once the person is in Canada.


Applicants are not required to lodge their visa applications in person, however, an interview may be required.  Processing takes one to five working days.


For further information, please visit the CIC website at:


Canada does not participate in the APEC Business Travel Card scheme.  However, short-term visa-free access is available to most APEC economies.  Others may apply for a long-term multiple entry visas.



Canada will continue to monitor the impact of the new Immigration and Refugee Protection Act on the temporary movement of people to Canada.


Canada has accelerated the development and implementation of its Advance Passenger Information/Passenger Name Record (API/PNR) Program. 


Collection of API data began on October 7, 2002, and that of PNR data on July 8, 2003 .




Business Temporary Residency




No changes have been made to Business Temporary Residency procedures or policies since the 2002 IAP.




Citizens from all APEC economies are required to

apply for an employment authorization to enter Canada for temporary business residency.  Depending on the circumstances of each individual, there are several ways to obtain employment authorization for temporary business residency. 


Streamlined procedures are available for intra-company transfers of senior executives and managers (and of persons with specialized knowledge under the North American Free Trade Agreement, the General Agreement on Trade in Services and the Canada Chile Free Trade Agreement) who require employment authorization but are exempt from confirmation by a Human Resource Centre of Canada (HRCC). To qualify for confirmation exemption, individuals in the senior executive and manager category must carry a letter from a company conducting business in Canada which identifies the holder as an employee of a branch, subsidiary or parent of the company which is located outside of Canada.  The holder must be transferring to a senior executive or managerial level position at a permanent and continuing establishment of that company in Canada for a temporary period.  In the case of specialized knowledge, evidence must also be provided that the person has such knowledge and that the position in Canada requires such knowledge.


The temporary residency of foreign workers is also being expedited through the Software Development Worker project which permits firms to recruit high level skilled workers in the information technology sector through streamlined procedures.  In addition,  spouses of highly skilled workers may obtain an employment authorization without a labour market test.


Processing of an application for temporary business residency can take from one day to four months. The decision of whether a personal interview is required is made on a case-by-base basis.


Validity is based on the duration of employment. In most cases, an employment authorization, on initial entry, is issued for up to three years. The applicant must demonstrate that the purpose of their stay in Canada is temporary.


For more information, please visit the Temporary Foreign Worker guidelines web page at:



No further improvements are planned at this time. Canada will continue to monitor the impact of the new Immigration and Refugee Protection Act on the temporary movement of people to Canada.


Technical Cooperation and Training




Canada sent an expert to the Professional Conduct workshop in Bangkok, Thailand in Feb. 2003 to provide training on developing codes of conduct for immigration officers and on organizational morale and culture.


Canada provides input where possible on training and technical assistance projects.




The possibility of a follow up workshop was discussed at the Phase II workshop on Professional standards. Canada supports this and will participate as required.


Dialogue with Business




Canada continues to dialogue with various stakeholders, including industry representatives (eg. the diamond industry in the NWT) on issues related to Temporary Foreign Workers and Skilled Workers.


Canada, through CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada), does not have a formal mechanism for dialogue with business specifically on APEC business mobility issues.  However, in conjunction with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), CIC participates in consultations with various stakeholders on international trade issues when mobility of business people is raised.




CIC will continue to work in conjunction with DFAIT on consultations with its Canadian ABAC members for APEC specific issues.




Improvements in Canada’s Approach to Business Mobility since 1996*


Position at Base Year (1996)*

Cumulative Improvements Implemented to Date


Regulatory Visa Regimes




CIC’s (Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s) web site was on-line as of March 1995.  Basic information on Canada’s visa regime was available on the site.


In addition, information on Canada’s visa regime was available through CIC publications and from Canadian missions abroad.





CIC has been updating its web site to include more information on Canada’s visa regime (since 1995). 

Please visit the web site at:


Canada has participated in the Informal Experts’ Group on Business Mobility meeting which allows for the opportunity to share information with other APEC economies on visa regimes and through such initiatives as the APEC Business Travel Handbook (since 1997).



Short Term Business Entry




Canada had an established liberal visitor visa policy (1996).  Citizens of most APEC economies entered Canada freely without a visa if they held a valid passport.  For those economies that did require a visitor’s visa to enter Canada, it could be obtained in one to five days after initial application at one of Canada’s diplomatic missions abroad.  Visas granted to business people were usually valid for six months but could be renewed or extended once in Canada.  Multiple-entry visas were also available when appropriate.


Canada continues to seek to issue long term multiple entry visas to legitimate business travelers to facilitate their entry.  Efforts are made to render the process as seamless as possible by providing clear information on the process and waiving interviews.  Canada has regularly reviewed the requirements for maintaining visitor visas. 


Revenue Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Canadian Passport Office worked on a project to improve automated inspection systems for implementation at Canadian airports (1998).


In 2000, Canada and the United States began a jointly managed frequent crosser border pass program called NEXUS.  NEXUS provides simplified entry to low-risk, pre-approved users of the program.


In 2002, CIC will be implementing Advanced Passenger Information (API) at selected airports in Canada. [ ????? did this happen ? ]




Business Temporary Entry




Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker program placed more emphasis on the protection of the domestic labour market and needed to be fine-tuned to better reflect the realities of the global economy (1996).


With the new Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of 2002, Canada has revised its Temporary Foreign Worker program to move away from a program that emphasized the protection of employment opportunities for Canadians to a program that balances the protection of Canadian workers with the need to meet employers’ requirements for highly skilled workers.  These changes will respond more directly to fill skill shortages when the result is a net economic benefit to Canada.  This approach facilitates the entry of foreign workers in an efficient, effective, and timely manner (since 1996).


Canada established two pilot projects to enhance the mobility of workers in key economic sectors:  the Software Development Worker and the Spousal Employment pilot programs (1997 and 1998). In 2001, the spousal program became a permanent part of Canada's immigration program. In 2002, CIC continued with the software or Facilitated Processing for Information Technology Workers program and used it as a model for a similar program for construction workers for the Greater Toronto Area.




Technical Cooperation and Training




There were no business mobility technical cooperation activities  (1996).


Since 1996, Canada has participated in delivering training and technical cooperation.


Canada, in cooperation with Japan, developed training modules and conducted training for trainers of Korean and Chinese Taipei officials regarding travel document fraud (1999).


Canada co-delivered another training on document fraud detection with the United States in April 2001 for Peru, Philippines, Chile and Mexico.


Canada participated as a co-trainer with Mexico in the Phase II Working Session of the APEC Business Mobility Group in Bangkok, Thailand, Feb 10-12, 2003. The objective of the working session was to assist trainee economies develop strategies to implement the criteria for Professional Conduct Standards for Immigration officers, developed in the Phase I workshop. Canada provided training on developing codes of conduct and on morale and organizational culture.


Dialogue with Business




CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) had not established a formal mechanism to consult with business specifically on APEC business mobility issues.


Canada’s APEC Business Advisory Council members have played a significant role in representing broader business community interests in APEC to the Canadian government (each year since 1996).


The Canadian government consulted with industry associations to obtain input on priorities for Canada’s APEC objectives in 2000 for trade facilitation, including business mobility (1999).



*  1996 is to be used as the Base Year for IAP reporting across all sub-fora.  While the Informal Experts’ Group on Business Mobility did not commence until May 1997, it is considered that the information to be reported as ‘base information’ would not vary significantly for most Member Economies from 1996 to 1997.