USMC (NAFTA) Work Permit
Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), American and Mexican citizens may be eligible for facilitated processing when applying for a Temporary Work Permit in Canada.
Work Permits under the provisions of NAFTA do not usually require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
Although LMIA-exempt, workers, and employers who use the NAFTA program must comply with all provisions governing temporary work in Canada.
Because American and Mexican citizens do not require a Temporary Resident Visa to enter Canada, applications for a NAFTA Work Permit may be made at a Port of Entry (such as a border crossing or airport) or a Visa office, either online or by paper.
There are various categories of temporary work covered under NAFTA:
- NAFTA Professionals
- NAFTA Intra-Company Transfers
- NAFTA Traders
- NAFTA Investors
A NAFTA Professional must be qualified to work in approximately 60 targeted professions. Depending on their career, an applicant may be required to provide educational credentials and proof of work experience in the field.
NAFTA Professionals must have pre-arranged employment in Canada in an occupation that matches their qualifications. Individuals who wish to perform self-employed work in Canada are not eligible for this category.
NAFTA Intra-Company Transfers
NAFTA Intra-Company Transferees must be temporarily transferred to Canada to work for a branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of their US or Mexican employer. In addition, they must have worked continuously for their US or Mexican employer for at least one of the last three years in a similar position to the work being done in Canada and be employed by the company at the time of application.
A NAFTA Intra-Company Transferee must work in a capacity that is considered managerial, executive, or involving specialized knowledge. For general information on intra-company transferees, including those covered under NAFTA.
A NAFTA Trader must demonstrate an intention to carry out substantial trade of goods or services between Canada and their country of citizenship, be it the US or Mexico. “Substantial trade” is when more than 50 percent of the trade is done between Canada and one of these countries, based on either the volume or the value traded.
The employing company must also be of either American or Mexican nationality. It is important to note that an existing trade relationship between the foreign company and Canada must exist. The Trader cannot enter to establish trading contacts or clients. The Trader must be employed as a supervisor or executive or have duties that involve essential skills.
A NAFTA Investor must demonstrate that they have made a substantial investment in a new or existing Canadian business and seek entry to Canada to develop and direct the Canadian company. Work permits in the NAFTA Investor category may also be granted to employees of the primary Investor who can be considered essential staff.
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