NAFTA Work Permits
Under the auspices of 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.
There are various categories of temporary work covered under NAFTA:
- NAFTA Professionals
- NAFTA Intra-Company Transfers
- NAFTA Traders and Investors
A NAFTA Professional must be qualified to work in one of approximately 60 targeted professions (see below). Depending on his or her profession, an applicant may be required to provide educational credentials and/or 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 transferred to Canada on a temporary basis in order 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 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, click here.
NAFTA Traders and Investors
A NAFTA Trader must demonstrate an intention to carry out substantial trade of goods or services between Canada and his or her country of citizenship (US or Mexico). A NAFTA Investor must demonstrate that he or she has made a substantial investment in a new or existing Canadian business and that he or she is seeking entry to Canada to develop and direct the Canadian business. Work permits in the NAFTA Investor category may also be granted to employees of the primary Investor who can be considered essential staff.
NAFTA Professional Work Permits can be issued for the following professions:
- Computer Systems Analyst
- Disaster relief Insurance Claims Adjuster
- Graphic Designer
- Hotel Manager
- Industrial Designer
- Interior Designer
- Land Surveyor
- Landscape Architect
- Lawyer (including Notary in the Province of Quebec)
- Management Consultant
- Mathematician (including Statistician)
- Range Manager/ Range Conservationalist
- Research Assistant (working in a post-secondary educational institution)
- Medical Laboratory Technologist (Canada)
- Medical Technologist (Mexico and the United States)
- Occupational Therapist
- Physician (teaching or research only)
- Physiotherapist/Physical Therapist
- Recreational Therapist
- Registered Nurse
- Social Worker
- Sylviculturist (including Forestry Specialist)
- Technical Publications Writer
- Urban Planner (including Geographer)
- Vocational Counsellor
- Agriculturist (including Agronomist)
- Animal Breeder
- Animal Scientist
- Dairy Scientist
- Geophysicist (including Oceanographer in Mexico and the United States)
- Physicist (including Oceanographer in Canada)
- Plant Breeder
- Poultry Scientist
- Soil Scientist