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Work Permit Exemptions

LMIA-Exempt and Other Work Permit Exemptions

Professionals who want to enter Canada may not need a work permit or LMIA if they qualify as a Professional under the NAFTA Business Visitor After Sales Service category R186(a) for Work Permit Exemptions.

If you need to enter Canada temporarily to provide pre-arranged professional services as a salaried employee of a Canadian company or are contracted by a Canadian employer in one of over 60 occupations covered by NAFTA you can enter Canada as a cross border business professional.

Temporary Business Visitors to Canada such as highly specialized after-sales and service employees are often qualified to enter Canada without a Work Permit for cross border business and authorized to work under the NAFTA trade agreement. Few people know about this special business visitor visa. While NAFTA 2.0 has not yet been ratified, we don’t expect this provision to change.

How To Enter Canada under NAFTA R186(a)

Business Visitors who want to enter Canada for after-sales or service work can apply at the airport to a Canada Border Agent. They will need to provide verification of their Business Visitor application including:

  • letters of support from the business visitor's parent company
  • a letter of invitation from the Canadian host business
  • a verbal statement that the business of the applicant and their source of income is outside Canada
  • supporting documentation such as business cards, business papers, advertising pamphlets

The NAFTA Business Visitor After Sales Service category provision applies to service people who want to enter Canada for after-sales and lease services including software upgrades to previously sold or leased equipment. A service person coming to Canada to install, configure or give training on upgraded software may be considered a Business Visitor. A sales or lease agreement or purchase order for upgraded software is considered a new contract for a new product.

A Business Immigration Lawyer can help you determine if your job meets the requirements for NAFTA R186 (a) entry to Canada without a work permit, and assemble the documentation to present to the Border Agent.

Supervisors and Trainers R187: Training and Installation Activities

Individuals can enter Canada with a work permit exemption to provide familiarization or training services to prospective users or staff after the installation of specialized equipment purchased or leased outside Canada.

A Business Immigration Lawyer can help you determine if your job meets the requirements for NAFTA R187(2)(b) entry to Canada without a work permit, and help you to assemble the documentation to present to the Border Agent.

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UPDATE: Temporary Policy Allowing Visitors to Apply For a Work Permit Without Leaving Canada

Canada's government has released an update to the temporary policy allowing visitors to Canada who have a valid job offer to apply for a work permit without the normal requirement ...

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Episode 17 Crossborder Business Transactions: How Immigration and Corporate Law Intersect

This week I have the privilege and honor of speaking with Melanie Cole, Partner at Aird & Berlis LLP law firm in Toronto about crossborder business transactions, her services as a cross-border ...

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It is one thing to earn a living; it is another thing to make a difference in the world.

This is our formal thank you note to Evelyn Ackah and the Ackah Law Team for all the effort they put into helping us navigate and finally resolve the hurdle that was Canadian Immigration back in the spring of 2012.

A friend referred us to Evelyn; he assured us that Evelyn would take good care of us. Our friend was confident we were in good hands and said Evelyn would do her very best to help us and she did! At the time we did not know that his referral would go far beyond finding us help. Slowly we realized that it would become our own personal story of how we received grace and were reminded of the power in paying it forward

We wrote a detailed page of our dilemma, explaining how we came to be in the position we were in (overwhelmed with the hurdle that was Canadian Immigration and the uncertainty that we faced as a young family in Calgary). Evelyn agreed to take on our file with her team. They found the time to personally call us and listened intently and understood the details of what we were dealing with. They gave us their time, an honest opinion and provided clear direction which proved to be invaluable advice. Months went by but in time, we received word from Ackah Law that the Immigration office had finally reviewed our file and a decision had been made allowing our family to finally put the immigration matter to rest. We were finally able to focus again to live our lives without fear or pending doom.

Looking back now, even the sun appeared to shine a little brighter that day. At first we didn’t know whether to bake them a cake, drive out to meet their team, find their offices and personally thank them with a mighty hug or simply cry out to the heavens in thankful relief. Instead we emailed them to express our heartfelt thank-you and we hoped that they would know deep in their hearts just how grateful we were for all of their help.

Even though we relied on emails and phone conversations to communicate with them that year, we will always remember their constant professionalism, their kindness and understanding at a time that brought us so much pain not to mention fear. As if all their hard work wasn’t enough, Evelyn then then casually mentions that all their work was done pro-bono! We were thoroughly humbled!

To this day we are still eager to share how wonderful they all are as human beings but even more than that, we continue to pay it forward in honour of them, their service to us and their continued dedication in helping others.

Eternally thankful

– The Brummunds

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