NAFTA Work Permits
Under NAFTA, qualified individuals such as business visitors, professionals, intra-company transferees, and traders-investors from the United States and Mexico are allowed to enter Canada at a faster pace.
What is NAFTA Work Permits
Professionals - Work Under NAFTA in Canada
According to NAFTA, ‘Professionals’ refers to individuals who plan to offer pre-arranged professional services while working in Canada.
Professionals can work in Canada by being employed by a Canadian business, having a contract with a Canadian employer, or having an agreement between their American or Mexican employer and a Canadian business.
Under this category, it is allowed for a professional to work for multiple employers, but being self-employed is not permitted.
Professions Covered by NAFTA
The NAFTA Job list, also referred to as Appendix 1603.D.1 of NAFTA, contains over 60 professions.
Immigration officers follow the National Occupational Classification (NOC) and may accept alternate job titles as long as the duties match those listed in the NOC, even though the list itself is not open to interpretation.
Qualifications - NAFTA Work Permit Canada
Individuals who possess the necessary qualifications, such as educational credentials and/or work experience, will be eligible to apply for the Canadian NAFTA work permit. The minimum requirements for each occupation are specified in the agreement’s appendix.
Applicants in occupations that require Canadian certification must obtain the certificate before starting work in Canada.
How To Get A NAFTA Work Permit Canada
All applicants who wish to work as professionals under NAFTA in Canada must meet the following requirements.
The foreign national must:
- be a citizen of the United States or Mexico;
- hold a profession that is identified in Appendix 1603.D.1;
- meet the qualification to work in that profession (degree or certification in a related educational program);
- have pre-arranged employment with a Canadian employer;
- intend to provide professional-level services in the field of qualification; and
- comply with existing immigration requirements for temporary entry.
An applicant for the Professional NAFTA Visa must provide the following documentation:
- a proof of American or Mexican citizenship (e.g. Passport, Birth Certificate, etc.);
- An evidence of pre-arranged employment in the form of:
- A signed contract with a Canadian business, or
- A written employment offer from a Canadian employer, or
- A letter from the American or Mexican employer on whose behalf the service will be provided to the Canadian business;
- Documents which contain the following information:
- The proposed employer in Canada;
- The profession for which entry is sought;
- details of the position (title, duties, duration of employment, arrangements as to payment; and
- the educational qualifications or alternative credentials required for the position; and
- Evidence that the person has at least the Minimum Education Requirements and Alternative Credentials listed in Appendix 1603.D.1 (copies of degrees, diplomas, professional licenses, accreditation or registration, etc).
Where To Apply - NAFTA Visa Canada
NAFTA Visa for US Citizens Working in Canada
Suppose you are a United States or Mexico citizen who has been authorized to visit or work in Canada temporarily. In that case, you can apply to change your status to a NAFTA professional without leaving Canada. This means you can get a new NAFTA Work Permit Canada without exiting the country. This is in accordance with [R199] of IRPR.
NAFTA Work Permit Processing Time
Canadian Port Entry
You can apply for a NAFTA Work Permit when you arrive in Canada at a land crossing, airport, or harbour. You will need to provide all the necessary documentation at the time of application, and the process will be complete when you submit your application. The language used will be English (US).
Visa Office Abroad
Suppose a foreign national decides to apply for a work permit in the United States or Mexico through a visa office in advance. In that case, the processing times will be based on the standard processing times for work permits at that office. To check the current processing time, click here.
Validity of NAFTA Work Permit Canada
You can get a work permit for up to three years if you are a qualified professional. You can renew it for another three years as long as you meet the professional requirements. There is no limit to the number of extensions you can get.
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