In order to create the most favorable conditions for Canadian business to compete internationally, Canada has entered into bilateral and multilateral Foreign Trade Agreements (FTA). Most FTAs to which Canada is a signatory contain provisions to facilitate the mobility of temporary business persons to Canada.
Generally, foreign workers eligible under a FTA require a work permit to work in Canada, but are exempt from obtaining a Labor Market Impact assessment (LMIA), making the process of obtaining a work permit seamless, inexpensive, and quick.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is the largest FTA to which Canada is a party, and is similar to several Foreign Trade Agreements to which Canada is a party:
The Canada-European Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), along with the Chile, Peru, Columbia and Korea FTAs are akin to NAFTA and all contain provisions that grant temporary entry to 4 categories of business persons: business visitors, professionals, intra-company transferees, and traders and investors.
Under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), professionals are authorized to enter under either as professionals or intra-company transferees.
Entry requirements vary significantly from one category to another. However, the same LMIA exemption applies.
- North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
- Canada-Chile FTA
- Canada-Peru FTA
- Canada-Colombia FTA
- Canada-Korea FTA
- Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
- Canada–Panama Free Trade Agreement
- Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)
To determine if you qualify for a work permit under one of the Free Trade Agreements, please contact our firm.