Our Ottawa immigration and refugee lawyers at Gerami Law PC can assist Canadian, American and Mexican citizens gain temporary entry into the three aforementioned countries to work, conduct business or investment activities. The NAFTA provisions will accelerate and simplify the process to obtain the necessary work permit.
Our clients who are business people under the NAFTA definition are exempt from obtaining a labour market opinion from Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC). Consequently, Canadian employers are also exempt of the job offer approval requirement by HRSDC to employ an American or a Mexican business person, under the provisions of NAFTA.
Four specific categories of business people are affected by the NAFTA provisions: business visitors, professionals, intra-company transferees, and traders and investors.
We assist corporate and business executive clientele under this category to ensure their efficient travel and avoidance of unnecessary delays. Under NAFTA, a business visitor is an individual who enters Canada with the objective of engaging international business activities without directly entering the Canadian labor market. Business visitors do not require a work permit and can stay in Canada for up to 6 months.
We assist our clients with their application for a work permit as a NAFTA professional. Certain conditions must be met to be eligible under this category:
- having received an offer of employment from a Canadian employer and be qualified to perform the duties associated with that position; and,
- the position offered must be a skilled occupation listed in Appendix 1603.D.1 of Chapter 16 of NAFTA.
We assist our clients with their application for a work permit when they are being transferred to a different office within the same or affiliated employer (from Mexico or the United States). To be eligible under this NAFTA category, the applicant must:
- have worked for the company for a minimum of one continuous year during the previous three years;
- be transferred to Canada to work temporarily for the same or an affiliated employer; and,
- Work in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity.
Intra-company transferee can apply for their work permit in advance, at the Canadian Port of Entry or within Canada.
Trader or Investors
We assist our clients with their application for a work permit under the NAFTA traders and investors category. To be eligible, the applicant must be seeking to carry out substantial trade in goods or services, mainly between Canada and Mexico or the United States, or conduct substantial investment activities in Canada, in a supervisory or an executive capacity, or in a capacity that involves essential skills. This type of work permit is of a complex nature and the applicant is expected to provide a fair amount of supporting documentation to meet additional requirements under NAFTA. For this reason, it is recommended to apply for a work permit before traveling to Canada.
Other Free Trade Agreements and the General agreement on trade in services (GATS)
Our clients also comprise of business people who can benefit from additional Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). For example, we assist clients’ application of work permits facilitated by the Canada-Chile FTA and the Canada-Peru FTA. The rules and requirements of such FTAs can be similar to those under NAFTA and can cover similar categories of business people.
We also assist our clients with their application for a work permit facilitated by the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The GATS apply to the 140 member countries of the World Trade Organization and facilitates the entry for business visitors (exempt from obtaining a work permit), professionals, and intra-company transferees (exempt from the labor market opinion requirement from HRSDC).