How to Work in Canada under the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

If you are a professional and need to gain access into Canada for business reasons you are in luck!  There is an agreement called NAFTA which allows citizens of Mexico and the U.S to enter Canada for business purposes.

Understanding the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

If you are covered by NAFTA you do not need an LMO (Labour Market Opinion). If you are applying under NAFTA your job offer does not need to be approved in order to be hired in Canada.working in canada

NAFTA  applies to four different categories of business people;

Business Visitor

A business visitor is someone who enters into Canada to conduct business and isn’t directly employed in Canada. Business Visitors are usually in Canada for a very short period of time. For example, a meeting or conference. However, people here on this visa are able to stay here for up to 6 months. Please note that a business visitor is does not need a visa as they are not directly working for someone in Canada.

NAFTA Professionals

To qualify as a NAFTA professional you must fall into the category of the 60 different professions that have been outlined by CIC. You must have a work permit and have already arranged employment and they must once again be one of these 60 outlined professions.

Intra-Company Transferees

If you are applying as an Inter-Company Transferee you must have been working for one full year in the last 3 years for a company either in the United States of America or Mexico. You must also only be visiting Canada for work temporarily and must be affiliated in some way with the company that you are currently working for in the United States of America or Mexico. This position must also be Executive, Managerial or involves specialized knowledge. You must also have a work permit.

Traders and Investors

If you are a Trader and Investor looking to come to Canada you must hold a substantial amount of trade in-between Canada and the country you are coming from . You must once again be in an Executive, Managerial Position or a position that requires specialized knowledge. There are other requirements that should also be met by NAFTA.  A work permit is also necessary.

Free Trade Agreements

There are also other agreements called FTA’a (Free Trade Agreements). These agreements are made between Canada and Chile as well as Canada and Peru, these agreements have many similarities to NAFTA, in order to make it easier to enter the Country for business purposes.

General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)

With this Agreement Canada has made it easier for people for foreign business people to access the Canadian Services Market. This applies to over 140 different countries. Unlike the other agreements, this agreement does not cover Traders and Investors, they do cover Business Visitors, Professionals and Intra-company Transferees.

How Niren & Associates Can Help

At Niren and Associates we embrace multiculturalism; we are here 7 days a week to assist with your matter. What are you waiting for! Give us a call and we’ll be more than happy to assist you.



About Fadi Minawi

Fadi primarily practices in US Immigration Law. He assists with matters relating to business immigration (including: relocation, expansion, investments, and work visas), litigation, admissibility issues, customs forfeitures and other cross-border issues. Fadi is also a criminal defense attorney and can assist with criminal matters in the US. Read more

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