Import / Non-Import Definition Change as per New CBA


The agreement changes the way players are classified. Instead of being known as non-imports and imports, they will now be classified as nationals and internationals.

A player will be considered a national player if he was a Canadian citizen at the time of signing his first contract, was classified as a non-import prior to May 31, 2014, or was physically resident in Canada for an aggregate period of five years prior to reaching the age of 18.

In the past, a player could be born in Canada and have Canadian citizenship, but not qualify for non-import status if he received his football training outside of Canada. One example would be the sons of some former CFL players, who may have been born in Canada but learned their football in the U.S.

While some have long argued non-import players should simply be called Canadians, there remain some players in the league who were counted as non-imports even though they are not Canadian citizens.

Nationals and internationals.. classy.

Sounds good to me. I don't know why but these designations sound like soccer for some reason.

to me a big part of it was leveling the playing field a bit for job opportunity. Yes a big part of it was to ensure there were Canadians in the Canadian game, and that is awesome, but another part of it was recognizing that the US developmental program was a lot further along than Canada's, much as the hockey system in Canada vs the US historically. This takes potential opportunity away from foreign players without that US progression system...and that I am not a big fan of. Getting the odd foreign player and tucking them in under the NI status gave them a shot they may not have had otherwise, and some great international exposure for the game.

I like it. A lot.

That's right. Australian punter Josh Bartel will be grandfathered in as already having been considered a non-import but players like him will now be labelled an international player and have to compete with the Americans for roster spots.

right...and all I am saying is it takes away the likelihood of seeing players from outside of NA and exposing the CFL for basically free abroad

I agree, a lot less paper work for those Canadians who received their training outside Canada to jump threw, should speed up the process if nothing else.

But wouldn't it then open the door for US players who come up to play CIS instead of NCAA ball, like Akiem Hicks did, to get national status as long as they apply and get citizenship before they sign a CFL contract? You've got all the Americans at SFU, Concordia just added a OL from Texas, think there were another few US born players that agreed to play with another CIS team. There's also the QB from Idaho with the Calgary Dinos plus a couple of other position players.

Not just them, anyone who gets citizenships before signing their first CFL contract would qualify, if I'm reading that correctly.

But its not like you can do that overnight. Shouldn't become a plague. You have to give up your American Citizenship and that alone can take 18 months. I doubt too many players would go that route.

Exactly. To apply to become a Canadian citizen, you must be at least 18 years old, must have permanent resident (PR) status in Canada, and must have resided in Canada for at least three years (1,095 days) in the past four years before applying. Being a permament resident means they have officially immigrated to Canada. I don’t see many American players jumping through those hoops. If they get Canadian citizenship they have made a commitment to Canada and to CIS football. Like imports in the CHL, they raise the competition level (good for prospective CFLers). The players they bump down the depth chart and potentially cost a spot are marginal players; not potential pros.

Incorrect, Americans would not have to relinquish US citizenship as both Canada and US allow dual citizenship. The US prefers that any of it's citizens that take on foreign citizenship renounce their US one just because it's easier to follow people if they have only one passport but it is not mandatory AFAIK.


I would have liked to see a naturalized Canadian rule. Like "Something to the effect of "has acquired Canadian Citizenship and has played a minimum of 5 years in the league"

I mean when you have players like AC and Pinball who come up here and make Canada their home, that's sorta the kind of thing I'd like to see the CFL make incentive for.

Here are the requirements


So, 18+ (duh), been a permanent resident for 3 years, (this one is the tricky one as many import players go back to the US at the end of the season), able to speak and understand English or French (no problem), no criminal record for the past 3 years, are currently under charges or on parole (probably not an issue, but it is there) and show an indepth understanding of the country (as outlined in this guide [url][/url])

Really the hardest part here seemingly is proving permanent residency, and I would guess as part of this equation not working/paying taxes for 6 months of the year in Canada would be a bit of a strike against.

Not too many of those though Hammer.

Reside in Canada for 3 full years in days over the course of a 4 year period. So a 4 yr student would likley accumulate enough days in Canada to meet the requirement. The main question is how easy is it to go from a student visa to canadian citizenship or would they have to switch to a permanent resident card once they are up here which would seem to make the path to citizenship easier.

At least two years (730 days) of those 1095 days must be as a permanent resident (not sure what the legal definition of this is). Any days spent in Canada prior to becoming a permanent resident only count as half days. So if a person is a permanent resident for only the final two years, he cannot have left the country at all in the previous two years to make up the other 365 days. So really, the permanent residency requirement seems to higher than is stated in the rules.

How many American football players would actually go to these lengths just to make themselves eligible to play as a national player in the CFL, especially given the much lower salaries here?

True, but a non-import of equal skill to an import will be in more demand and are paid better and making the rules easier to have more players putting down roots in Canada, contributing to our economy and building our game after their playing careers are over is a good thing.

There's a card they give out to a permanent resident. Permanent residents can live, work, and study in Canada and get many privileges of being a Canadian, including healthcare.

Basically, if a US player played 4 years in the CIS and had permanent resident status they would meet the days demand. Not that hard. The problem would be getting the permanent resident card instead of a student visa as it seems it's easier to get citizenship that way.

How many would go to those lengths? Not sure how many but if they want to give themselves options to continue their football careers past CIS football it may be an option some explore. I'm sure someone will figure it out at some point.

Yes, it increases their chances of playing in the CFL, but decreases their chances of playing in the NFL. How many CIS players end up being drafted into the NFL?