drapeaux_mondiauxCanada is a signing partner to several international agreements that promote free trade and structure labor mobility between member countries. Among these agreements, NAFTA reflects a preferential trading relationship initiated between Canada and the U.S. under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and now expanded to include Mexico. With the coming into force of the NAFTA, the FTA was suspended. Chapter 16 of the NAFTA is modelled on the FTA and deals only with temporary entry of selected business persons. It has no effect on permanent residence.

Business persons included in Chapter 16 of the NAFTA are grouped under four categories:

  • business visitors;
  • professionals;
  • intra-company transferees;
  • traders and investors.

Business visitors engage in international business activities related to research and design; growth, manufacture and production; marketing; sales; distribution; after-sales service; and general service. These activities reflect the components of a business cycle (see Appendix 1603.A.1 of Chapter 16).

Professionals are business persons who enter to provide pre-arranged professional services— either as a salaried employee of a Canadian enterprise, through a contract between the business person and a Canadian employer, or through a contract between the American or Mexican employer of the business person and a Canadian enterprise. Appendix 1603.D.1 of NAFTA lists more than 60 occupations covered by the Agreement. Professionals enter to provide services in the field for which they are qualified.

Intra-company transferees are employed by an American or Mexican enterprise in a managerial or executive capacity, or in one which involves specialized knowledge, and are being transferred to the Canadian enterprise, parent, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate, to provide services in the same capacity.

Traders and investors carry on substantial trade in goods or services between the U.S. or Mexico and Canada or have committed, or are in the process of committing, a substantial amount of capital in Canada. Traders and investors must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity or one that involves essential skills.

If you are an employer or an employee from a country that has bilateral agreements with Canada covering the mobility of the workforce, our company can intervene on your behalf to obtain the necessary permits from the authorities and thus facilitate arrival in Canada and your introduction to its labor market. Ask for our help today.