About Canada's Foreign Trade Agreements
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 Canada-United States-Mexico (CUSMA) agreement 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 CUSMA 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.
- Canada-United States-Mexico (CUSMA) Agreement. Formerly known as the 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.