The North American Free Trade Agreement facilitates easy access for business people in Canada, the USA and Mexico to gain quick entry into each other's countries for temporary business or investment reasons. Under NAFTA business people must meet general requirements to be allowed entry into Canada. There are four groups of business people under NAFTA watch our video to find out if you fall under one of the groups to be exempt from Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
NAFTA Work Permit Categories
NAFTA lets citizens of Canada, the United States and Mexico to gain quick entry to each other countries for temporary business reasons. Under NAFTA business people must meet general rules for temporary entry to Canada. There are four groups of business people under NAFTA these include Business Visitors, Professionals, Intra Company Transferees and Traders & Investors.
Under the Business Visitor visa, foreigners who seek to engage in international business activities in Canada without directly entering the Canadian labour market can apply to come and visit Canada for a short time. It allows eligible applicants to explore dynamic business opportunities, participate in trade conferences, meet with Canadian counter-parts in Canada as well as experience Canadian culture and hospitality. If applicants wish to come to Canada to travel, visit attractions, enjoy leisure activities and explore business options, the Business Visitor visa is best suited for them. A foreign workers who desires to enter Canada as business visitor must satisfy the following conditions:
- They must have no intent to enter the Canadian labour market
- When in Canada, they must not be gainfully employed in Canada
- Their activity must be international in scope
- Their primary source of employment is outside Canada
- The accrual of profits remains outside Canada
Professionals are business persons who enter to provide pre- arranged professional services, either as salaried employee of a Canadian enterprise, through a contract between the person and a Canadian enterprise or through a contract between an American or Mexican enterprise and a Canadian enterprise. Professionals do not require LMIA but do require a work permit.
For a professional to work in Canada, the person 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
- have a work permit
Intra-Company Transferees are employed by an American or Mexican enterprise in a managerial or executive capacity, or in one which involves specialized knowledge and are being transferred to the Canadian enterprises, parent, branch, subsidiary or affiliate, to provide services in the same capacity. Intra- Company transferees are exempt from LMIA but they do require work permit.
An Intra-Company Transferee 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
- have a work permit
Traders and investors carry on substantial trade in goods or services between the U.S. or Mexico and Canada or have committed or are in the process of committing a substantial amount of Capital in Canada. Traders and investors must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity or one that involves essential skills. Traders and investors are exempt from LMIA but they do require work permit.
To work in Canada as a trader or an investor, a person 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 the home country
a large investment in Canada by you or your company
meet any other rules of NAFTA and
have a work permit
For further information on NAFTA Work Permit please don’t hesitate to contact us at 416-477-2545.
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