NAFTA facilitates the quick access of foreign professionals into each of its members respective countries Canada, the United States of America and Mexico for business or investment reasons.
These individuals do not need a Labour Market Opinion (LMO). This means that Canadian employers do not need to have a job offer approved by Education and Skills Development Canada to hire an American or a Mexican business person. Under NAFTA, business people must meet the typical and general rules for temporary entry to Canada.
There are four groups of business people under NAFTA:
- business visitors
- intra-company transferees
- traders and investors
NAFTA Business Visitors
A business visitor is someone who comes to Canada to take part in international business activities without being part of the Canadian labour market. Business visitors usually stay in Canada for a few days or a few weeks but are able to stay for up to six months. Business visitors do not need a work permit.
To work in Canada as a professional, you must:
- be qualified to work in one of the jobs set out in NAFTA (for example, accountant, computer systems analyst or engineer),
- have a job offer from a Canadian business in that field and
- have a work permit.
NAFTA Intra-Company Transferee
This is a person who is sent to work for the same company in a different country. Provided these two companies have a qualifying relationship, as the applicant you must:
- have worked
- on an ongoing basis,
- for at least one year in the last three years,
- for the same or a related employer in the United States or Mexico,
- be transferred to Canada to work short-term for the same or a related employer,
- work as a manager, as an executive or in a job that uses specialized knowledge, and
- have a work permit.
NAFTA Traders and Investors
To work in Canada as a trader or investor, you must:
- be involved in planning, as a supervisor or executive, or in a role that involves essential skills,
- a large amount of trade in goods or services, mainly between Canada and your home country, or
- a large investment in Canada by you or your company,
- meet any other rules of NAFTA and
- have a work permit
Though the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) exists to facilitate easy access for a variety of different needs, it does not guarantee entry. Applicants must still meet certain basic requirements before satisfying an officer to allow them in. For example, you will need to demonstrate that your stay in Canada will be temporary in nature. If the officer is not satisfied that you will exit the country when your time is essentially up, they may refuse your entry.
Further, anyone to be considered inadmissible will not be allowed to enter the country without first overcoming this preclusion.
If you are attempting to enter Canada to conduct business, contact us so that we may assist you in ensuring that your business goals are achieved. Speak to one of our immigration practitioners for more details.