(403) 452-9515

Ackah Law

Search Ackah Law...

Contact us

Contact Information

1 (403) 452-9515

1 (800) 932-1190

Book a Consultation

More Options...

NAFTA: North American Free Trade Agreement

Work Permits Pursuant to the North American Free Trade Agreement for U.S. and Mexican Citizens Entering Canada

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has created benefits for U.S. and Mexican citizens interested in entering Canada for business. According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), if someone is entering Canada to work they must qualify under NAFTA, other FTAs or the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), if they don’t have an LMIA. Contact us today at (403) 452-9515 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email us directly.

NAFTA allows those who are citizens of the U.S., Mexico and Canada to quickly and easily enter the member countries for investment or business reasons, or temporary employment. Non-member citizens must obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment and obtain a Work Permit in order to work in Canada. Those who qualify under NAFTA only need to meet the standard rules for admissibility into Canada.

Who Travels Under NAFTA?

According to IRCC, there are specific groups who travel into Canada under NAFTA:

  • business visitors
  • professionals
  • intra-company transfers
  • traders and investors

    If you are not sure if you qualify, it is best to speak with a legal expert. You must have proper documentation in order before you arrive in Canada, and it is best to clarify well ahead of time if you do qualify to enter and work in Canada under NAFTA.

    In summary, a valid business visitor from the U.S. or Mexico may not need a Work Permit if they do not take part in the Canadian labour market. Professionals will have to be qualified and expected to work in one of the jobs designated under the NAFTA arrangement. The full list is found at the official NAFTA website. Citizens of the U.S. and Mexico must have an Offer of Employment from a Canadian business before they may apply for a Work Permit.

    Intra-company transferees must prove they are transferring from the same or a related company outside of Canada, have worked for a specified minimum period of time, have specialized knowledge or management experience and will need to obtain a Work Permit. Traders and Investors must work at a planning or executive level, their firm must have a large investment in Canada and a Work Permit is required.

    Each category has definite requirements, it is best to speak with your company directly and a legal expert on NAFTA working arrangements before you arrange travel to Canada.

    Work Permits

    Although traveling under NAFTA can streamline a lot of the typical challenges, a large number of those entering will require Work Permits. The process for a Work Permit can be lengthy because of the need for the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). To determine what supporting documents you require and what you must apply for, it is best to speak with an expert ahead of time to discover if you must work with the Canadian employer to be sure this particular issue is addressed.

    U.S.MCA and Cross-Border Business: NAFTA 2.0

    Commonly dubbed NAFTA 2.0, Canada's new trade agreement with the United States and Mexico, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, U.S.MCA, was signed literally hours before the deadline on September 30, 2018. U.S.MCA proposes a 16-year agreement, renewable following a six-year review.

    NAFTA 2.0 has not yet been ratified.

    Contact us today at (403) 452-9515 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email us directly.

    Why Businesses Need to Apply for L Visa Renewals Earlier

    For the past several months, Canadians who need an L visa renewal have not been allowed to renew at U.S. ports of entry or Canadian airport pre-flight inspection sites. The change in ...

    Read More

    Indian Tech Workers Targeting Canada Tech Employers

    Tightening United States immigration regulations are making Canada the first-choice destination for highly skilled and educated Indian technology workers. 85,000 Indian immigrants ...

    Read More

    H-1B Visa Denied? Try Nearshoring to Canada!

    Fewer skilled foreign workers are able to get an H-1B visa, and businesses are looking for alternatives. A new H-1B process went into effect in 2020, including an additional USCIS ...

    Read More

    How to Work as a Business Visitor to Canada

    Recent #Megxit conversations about moving to Canada from England or America have mentioned the option to come to Canada as a business visitor. As visitors, you can remain in Canada ...

    Read More

    Episode 11: Can You #Megxit to Canada? How Brits and Americans Can Move to Canada

    Right now there's a very active hashtag going around called #Megxit. It relates to Meghan Markel and Prince Harry and their rumored move to Canada and departure from the royal family. ...

    Read More

    New US Immigration Policies Benefit Canadian Employers

    Two recent changes in United States immigration policies potentially benefit Canadian employers as the may convince even more foreign professionals to set their immigration hopes ...

    Read More

    Featured Resource

    Calculate Your Express Entry Score

    Are you qualified to move to Canada? Express Entry is Canada's skilled-worker immigration application process for high-skilled foreign workers and international students who ...

    View Resource

    We have been working on a very delicate situation in which a young temporary foreign worker was unfortunately seriously injured during an armed robbery and has left him requiring many surgeries and extensive rehabilitation. We are working hard to have this wonderful young man remain in Canada so he may continue to receive the level and quality of care he requires and deserves. As we navigate through the system, the guidance, compassion, commitment and concern that Evelyn and the entire team have provided, has been invaluable to us all. I feel truly fortunate and privileged to have Ackah Business Immigration Law on our side as their passion genuinely shines through.

    – Peter Kilty, Parkland Fuel Corporation

    View All Testimonials