BUSINESS WORK PERMITS
There are many options for business people entering Canada to enter temporarily as workers under International Agreements.
CUSMA (FORMERLY KNOWN AS NAFTA)
Under CUSMA, nationals of the United States and Mexico can enter Canada for temporary work, the employer is exempted from having to file a Labour Market Impact Assessment, and the worker can enter the country on a work permit. There are four categories of business people who are covered under CUSMA:
Traders and Investors
OTHER FREE-TRADE AGREEMENTS (FTAs)
Citizens of Chile, Peru, Columbia and Korea are able to participate in programs similar to the CUSMA categories listed above (business visitors, professionals, ICTs, traders and investors).
Citizens of European Countries (EU countries only) are able to participate under CETA (Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement), similar to CUSMA categories.
The Canada-Panama Free-Trade Agreement allows business visitors and professionals to enter Canada on work permits.
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership allows for nationals of: Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, and Vietnam to enter as: business visitors, investors, Intra-company transferees (ICTs), and professionals.
GENERAL AGREEMENT ON TRADE IN SERVICES (GATS)
Under the General Agreement on Trade in Services, Canada agreed that business people (including foreign entrepreneurs) should have easier access to to Canadian services market. This applies to national of over 140 World Trade Organization members. These nationals can enter as: business visitors, professionals, and intra-company transferees.
Three groups of business people are covered:
These work permit applications for business people/entrepreneurs are highly specialized and require a thorough understanding of the nature of the work that the person will be doing in Canada, an understanding of the relationship between the foreign and Canadian entities (for ICT work permits), and a positive presentation of the foreign worker’s credentials in order to secure a positive decision on an application.