Explore new opportunities and expand your career with a Canadian Free Trade Agreement work permit.
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International Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are created to facilitate temporary entry for business persons on a reciprocal basis. These agreements cover citizens or occasionally permanent residents of many countries and different types of business persons from said countries, such as business visitors, professionals, intra-company transferees, traders and investors.
The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA/USMCA) is a free trade agreement between Canada, the United States, and Mexico. It replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and entered into force on July 1, 2020. The CUSMA aims to eliminate tariffs on most goods traded between the three countries, promote fair competition, and protect the intellectual property rights of businesses. It also includes provisions on labor and environmental protections, as well as rules of origin for certain products. Overall, the CUSMA is intended to support economic growth and job creation in the three countries.
Learn more about CUSMA
The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union (EU) that came into effect on September 21, 2017. The CETA aims to promote trade and investment between the two sides by eliminating tariffs on most goods traded and establishing rules for protecting intellectual property. It also includes labour and environmental protection provisions, cooperation on science and technology, and education and training. The CETA has helped to deepen the economic relationship between Canada and the EU and has contributed to the expansion of trade and investment between the two sides.
The Agreement on Trade Continuity between Canada and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (CUKTCA) is a trade agreement between Canada and the United Kingdom (UK) that came into effect on November 21, 2020. The CUKTCA aims to ensure that trade between Canada and the UK continues to flow smoothly following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU). It preserves the existing trade relationship between Canada and the UK, which was previously governed by the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The CUKTCA includes provisions on trade in goods and services, investment, intellectual property, and other areas. It is expected to support economic growth and job creation in both countries.
The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) is a World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement that aims to liberalize trade in services among its member countries. The GATS was signed in 1994 as part of the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations and came into effect on January 1, 1995. It covers all sectors of trade in services except those that are specifically excluded or excluded from certain commitments. The GATS provides a framework for negotiating trade liberalization in services, including rules and disciplines on market access, national treatment, and other issues. It also includes provisions for the movement of natural persons, such as business people, professionals, and temporary workers, who provide services. The GATS aims to contribute to economic growth and development by promoting trade and investment in the services sector.
This agreement was developed to facilitate entry for citizens of Canada and EU member by removing the requirement of LMIA. There are 3 main categories of visitors for business purposes that are covered by this agreement:
Based on your category, requirements and eligibility criteria differ, and a detailed and individualized assessment is mandatory to determine next steps.
The application requirements and criteria of this agreement are almost identical to those of CETA, for citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. A new special program code of CUKTCA must be used for applicants covered by this agreement.
Business persons covered by this agreement are the same as CETA, which are a) key personnel: including intra-corporate (company) transferees, investors, and business visitors for investment purposes; b) Contractual service suppliers and independent professionals; and c) Short-term business visitors.
There are 3 categories of business persons that are permitted under this agreement:
Both business visitors and intra-company transferees under this agreement qualify under Canada’s generally applicable immigration rules, except for the professional category.
For the Professional category under GATS, you must meet specific requirements. These are but not limited to:
The application process differs for each category of business persons. Eligible applicants may apply at POE, Canadian missions abroad or from within Canada if qualified. The length of stay for work permits under this agreement is shorter and temporary in nature from 1 year to less than 3 years with fixed length of extensions possible in certain categories.
A firm time limit of 90 days in a year is imposed on the length of stay for GATS professionals with no extension permitted.
FTA work permit applications may be one of the fastest ways for citizens or permanent residents of qualified countries to get temporary residence in Canada. In many cases, they may get approved for work permits directly at Canadian ports of entry.
If you have questions about Free Trade Agreement work permits or are ready to start your application, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can provide you with the guidance and support you need to complete the process successfully.
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