Leading Immigration Lawyers With Over 9000 Applications Approved
Call +44 (0)333 414 9244 | Mon - Sun, 8.30am -6pm

NAFTA Investor Work Permit

NAFTA aims to make investments and trades between the US, Canada, and Mexico easier by removing tariffs and excessive documentation and many other factors that obstruct investments. NAFTA investor work permit entitles specific investors and business professionals from the United States and Mexico to travel to and invest in Canada.

Before applying for a NAFTA investor work permit, there are some integral things you should be aware of to ensure compliance with all laws and regulations. For more information, including what you need to do to be eligible for it, how to apply, and expert advice for your application, reach out to us today on 0333 305 9375 to get started, or contact us online.

reviews-io

Request a call back from our immigration experts

    Benefits of Choosing IAS Canada Immigration Lawyers

    When it comes to obtaining a Canada visa or permit, IAS Canada immigration lawyers are well-equipped to help you.

    With IAS’ track record of successfully helping clients visit or immigrate to Canada successfully, we can help you achieve your goal.

    Our dedicated immigration lawyers provide our services through a comprehensive and personalised approach. With IAS, you enjoy:

    Compassionate support from an experienced immigration lawyer dedicated to your success

    Support in gathering supporting documents and completing a high-quality application.

    Confidence that your case is being handled by an experienced team.

    In-house document checks done by lawyers who are well-versed in  immigration matters.

    Regardless of what your Spain immigration query might be, IAS is here to help and support you. Call us or enquire online to learn more about how we can help you.

    Services we Provide

    Overview of the NAFTA Investor Work Permit

    NAFTA provides unique opportunities for citizens of the United States and Mexico to work in Canada. The investors from the nations covered by NAFTA provisions may be eligible to acquire an investor work permit in Canada without the requirement for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

    The provision of this permit is based on the trade agreements between Canada, the United States, and Mexico. The NAFTA Investors work permit was formed as an extension of the preferential trading relationship found in the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the US and Canada.

    NAFTA investor work permit is designed to allow certain business persons and investors to gain temporary entry into Canada in order to facilitate trades and investments. The permit discussed in this article does not have any bearing on permanent residency. The provision of this permit defines temporary residence as an entrance without the aim to settle permanently.

    NAFTA investor work permit is an arrangement that is based on reciprocal agreement. The work permit places the same set of conditions on citizens of all participating countries. The permit gives the same rights to Mexican citizens as well as US and Canadian citizens. The NAFTA investor work permit aims to equalize the playing field by making it just as easy for investors from all three countries to invest and work in the others.

    Mexico is the newest addition to the already existing trade agreements between the US and Canada. A Mexican or an American person wishing to enter Canada is qualified for consideration under the terms of NAFTA and the general provisions that apply to all international workers.

    The program’s name was modified from NAFTA to the CUSMA (Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement) in 2020, but it operates similarly.

    Stamping document

    What Is NAFTA 2.0?

    Before NAFTA was established, there was a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the USA and Canada, but NAFTA developed the agreement to include Mexico.

    The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a trilateral trade agreement negotiated between Canada, the United States, and Mexico in 1994.

    The Free Trade Agreement was revised in 2018, in which Canada, the United States, and Mexico, reached a tentative deal which aimed to replace NAFTA. The new deal is called United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

    The current draft of the USMCA maintains identical provisions for business visitors, workers, and investors traveling between the countries as are outlined in NAFTA.

    As previously mentioned, the trade elements, as well as NAFTA work permit arrangements remain the same under USMCA. In the year 2020, however, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) finally replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement – NAFTA. USMCA is sometimes called CUSMA or NAFTA 2.0. Although the USMCA changed some areas of NAFTA, it didn’t affect the requirements and process of acquiring a work permit for Canada.

    Main Legal Aspects of the NAFTA Investor Work Permit

    • NAFTA investor work permit enables temporary entry for investors who are United States, Canada, and Mexico citizens.
    • The permit does not require investors to obtain any document for Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
    • The investors who hold the NAFTA investors work permit do not need other types of permit to work in Canada.
    • NAFTA is particularly useful for professionals and intra-company transferees, as it expedites the application process.
    • NAFTA investor work permit does not guarantee permanent stay in Canada.
    • NAFTA does not replace the general laws and provisions for investors and foreign workers.
    • NAFTA will not substitute for any global requirements related to passports, medical examinations, identity documentation or safety and security.
    • NAFTA investors permit does not exempt investors and workers from meeting the licensing or certification requirements to practice their profession.
    • The permit does not grant individuals special rights to their spouses or extended family members. Their access is controlled by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations.
    • Applicants cannot be granted both trader and investor status. Applicants who are unsure which status is best suited for their circumstances, however, may apply for consideration for both designations.
    • NAFTA Investor work permit is for a maximum duration of one year, with the possibility of a two-year extension provided that all requirements for an extension are satisfied. Information from the initial application will be compared with the application for an extension to ensure all conditions are satisfactory.

    Eligibility Criteria for the NAFTA Investor Work Permit

    Investors who wish to acquire the NAFTA Investors work permit are required to:

    • Be citizens of any of the United States, Canada, or Mexico.
    • Have committed, or be in the active process of committing, a significant amount of capital to an existing or new Canadian business.
    • Not be a permanent resident of any of the participating countries.
    • Be employed in an executive or supervisory position, or in a professional position that needs crucial skills.
    • Have a valid work permit to work in Canada.
    • Have the intention and ability to engage in substantial trade of goods or services between Canada and the country of the applicant’s citizenship (United States or Mexico).

    Cost of the NAFTA Investor Permit

    Temporary work permit in Canada costs $155 per individual. As for the entire cost for the NAFTA investor work permit, cost may vary based on location and the circumstances of entry. Applying as a group may also attract extra costs as well. In the event that applicants are required by the application center to submit their biometrics, this may also attract additional costs to the already existing visa fees.

    What is the Processing time for NAFTA Investor Work Permit?

    When you apply at a Canadian visa office, the processing time for your investor work permit is based on the standard processing times at the Canadian visa office in the country from which you apply.

    Applications from the United States typically take five weeks on average while applications from Mexico take 14 weeks on average. Those times do not include the time it takes to send the application between a visa application centre and the office of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and the time for biometrics.

    Our expert immigration lawyers can assist with your NAFTA investor work permit application. CONTACT US

    NAFTA Investor Work Permit For Professionals

    NAFTA investor work permits may also be granted to employees of the American or Mexican company that invested if such employees are in a position that involves essential skills. These are the requirements to bring an employee to Canada with this NAFTA work permit.

    The Professional Work Permit under NAFTA is a special work permit that allows US and Mexican nationals to reside in Canada to provide pre-planned professional services. Employers don’t need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to hire NAFTA Professionals.

    60+ careers are available through the Canadian NAFTA Work Permit. If you want to apply for this program, you first need to show that you are qualified for the job and meet the minimum education requirements. Furthermore, landing a job with a Canadian employer is required before applying for a permit.

    List of Eligible Professions Under the NAFTA Professional Work Permit Scheme:

    General

    ProfessionMinimum education requirements and alternative credentials (in a related field or profession)
    AccountantBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or C.P.A., C.A., C.G.A. or C.M.A.
    ArchitectBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial licence
    Computer Systems AnalystBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years’ experience
    Disaster Relief Insurance Claims AdjusterBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree, and successful completion of training in the appropriate areas of insurance adjustment pertaining to disaster relief claims; or three years experience in claims adjustment and successful completion of training in the appropriate areas of insurance adjustment pertaining to disaster relief claims
    EconomistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    EngineerBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial licence
    ForesterBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial licence
    Graphic DesignerBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience
    Hotel ManagerBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree in hotel/restaurant management; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate in hotel/restaurant management, and three years experience in hotel/restaurant management
    Industrial DesignerBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience
    Interior DesignerBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience
    Land SurveyorBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial/federal licence
    Landscape ArchitectBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    Lawyer (including Notary in the Province of Quebec)LL.B., J.D., LL.L, B.C.L. or Licenciatura Degree (five years); or membership in a state/provincial bar
    LibrarianM.L.S. or B.L.S. (for which another Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree was a prerequisite)
    A librarian must have either:a Master of Library Science degree; ora Bachelor of Library Science and another baccalaureate degree which was necessary to enter the B.L.S. program
    Management ConsultantBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or equivalent professional experience as established by statement or professional credential attesting to five years experience as a management consultant, or five years experience in a field of specialty related to the consulting agreement
    Mathematician (including statistician and Actuary)Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    Range Manager/Range ConservationistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    Research assistant (working in a post-secondary educational institution)Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    Scientific Technician/TechnologistPossession of (a) theoretical knowledge of any of the following disciplines: agricultural sciences, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, forestry, geology, geophysics, meteorology or physics; and (b) the ability to solve practical problems in any of those disciplines, or the ability to apply principles of any of those disciplines to basic or applied research
    Social WorkerBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    Silviculturist (including Forestry Specialist)Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    Technical Publications WriterBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience
    Urban Planner (including Geographer)Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    Vocational CounsellorBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    Medical/Allied Professional

    ProfessionMinimum education requirements and alternative credentials (in a related field or profession)
    DentistD.D.S., D.M.D., Doctor en Odontologia or Doctor en Cirugia Dental; or state/provincial license
    DietitianBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
    Medical Laboratory Technologist/Medical Technologist (Mexico and the US)Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience
    NutritionistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    Occupational TherapistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
    PharmacistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
    Physician (teaching or research only)M.D. or Doctor en Medicina; or state/provincial license
    Physiotherapist/Physical TherapistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
    PsychologistState/provincial license; or Licenciatura Degree
    Recreational TherapistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    Registered NurseState/provincial license; or Licenciatura Degree
    VeterinarianD.V.M., D.M.V. or Doctor en Veterinaria; or state/provincial license

    Scientist

    ProfessionMinimum education requirements and alternative credentials (in a related field or profession)
    Agriculturist (including Agronomist)Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    Animal BreederBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    Animal ScientistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    ApiculturistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    AstronomerBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    BiochemistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    Biologist (including Plant Pathologist)Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    ChemistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    Dairy ScientistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    EntomologistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    EpidemiologistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    GeneticistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    GeologistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    GeochemistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    Geophysicist (including Oceanographer in Mexico and the US)Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    HorticulturistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    MeteorologistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    PharmacologistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    Physicist (including Oceanographer in Canada)Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    Plant BreederBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    Poultry ScientistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    Soil ScientistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    ZoologistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    Teacher

    ProfessionMinimum education requirements and alternative credentials (in a related field or profession)
    CollegeBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    SeminaryBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    UniversityBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    Eligibility Requirements For NAFTA Investor Work Permit For Professionals

    • The Canadian employer must be an American or Mexican citizen
    • The employer must have investor status If the employer is a business entity, the entity must be majorly owned by American or Mexican citizens who already have investor status in Canada (if they do not reside in the US or Mexico)
    • The employee must be an American or Mexican citizen
    • The employee will work in a supervisory or executive capacity or has specialized knowledge or essential skills to the Canadian firm’s operations
    • The employee is able to meet the temporary entry requirements
    • The employer is not a permanent resident of Canada (or permanent resident by ownership if the employer is a corporation)

    NAFTA Investor Work Permit For Employees

    NAFTA investor work permits may also be granted to employees of the American or Mexican company that invested if such employees are in a position that involves essential skills. These are the requirements to bring an employee to Canada with this NAFTA work permit.

    NAFTA Investor work permits may also be granted to employees of the primary investor, provided they are considered essential staff. In order to bring an employee to Canada under investor status:

    1. the employer in Canada must be a US or Mexican citizen who currently has their investor status; or
    2. if the employer is a corporation or other business entity, such entity must be majority owned by US or Mexican citizens, who currently have investor status in Canada (if they are not living in the U.S. or Mexico).

    Find out how we can assist with your NAFTA investor work permit application.

    Where Can Applicants Submit An Application For The NAFTA Investor Work Permit?

    There are three places from which you can apply for a NAFTA Investor Work Permit:

    • At a Port of Entry (PE) in Canada, such as an airport
    • Before your departure, a Canadian visa office outside of Canada
    • You can also apply in Canada if you are a temporary resident already

    What is the Validity Period for the NAFTA Investors Work Permit?

    Traders and Investors from the NAFTA Agreement may obtain a work permit for one year. They may apply for an extension for two years if they still fulfil the criteria. The visa officer will compare the information in your first application to your extension request when you apply for an extension.

    Please be advised that if you acquire another job in Canada or partake in an activity that goes against the investor work permit (like ceasing the business), your title of the investor will no longer be applicable.

    Unless indications suggest otherwise, an applicant’s clear desire to return to the U.S. or Mexico once their trader status expires will usually be enough evidence of temporary intent. The applicant’s trader status would end if they got another job, did something that didn’t fit this role, or shut down their business. etc.

    Call us for further assistance with your Canadian immigration matter

    How Can IAS Help?

    Applying for a NAFTA investor work permit can be quite a complicated procedure especially when you are applying for the first time. There are a handful of documentation submissions to be done which may prove time-consuming as you progress.

    If you require any assistance with your NAFTA investor work permit, such as if you are uncertain about the method of application or what’s needed for authorization as a professional, IAS can help.

    We are a formidable team of professional and knowledgeable immigration lawyers who have years’ worth of experience working in UK immigration law. We have helped countless people overcome hurdles to come and settle in the UK, and we can help you to do the same, too.

    Whether you need expert advice on how to prove your financial status or your health insurance meets the requirements, or you need help determining how to prove suitability to apply if you don’t work in the capacity required by immigration law, we can be of help. We can also provide assistance with assembling your supporting documents, or offer support if your work permit application has been rejected, we can be there for you to help guide you through the process.

    For more information about the services we offer and what we could do for you, reach out to one of our immigration advisers on 0333 305 9375, or contact us online today.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone

    Table of Contents

    Table of Contents will appear here.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed by the US, Canada, and Mexico and came into force on January 1, 1994. The agreement created a free-trade zone in North America and eliminated most tariffs on products traded among the three countries. However, the program’s operations remain unchanged despite the name change from NAFTA to CUSMA (Canada – United States – Mexico Agreement) in 2020.

    The idea of NAFTA/CUSMA is to allow trade between the US, Mexico and Canada with as few restrictions as possible. So, if you’re a citizen of any of those countries, you can apply for the NAFTA/CUSMA route. Please note that the work permit under the NAFTA agreement applies to temporary entry and does not give the person permanent resident status in the country

    No, a NAFTA work permit does not lead to Canadian citizenship. If you want to live in Canada permanently, you’ll need to apply for permanent residence status. NAFTA applies for only temporary entry into Canada.

    Yes, as a citizen of the US or Mexico, you can invest in Canada and apply for a work permit under NAFTA. However, your investment must be substantial in an active commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking

    What our clients are saying

    We are the UK’s leading immigration specialists

    OISC Accredited UK Immigration lawyers

    We’ve had over 9000 applications approved

    We are now open 7 days a week from 8.30am to 6pm.

    How our UK Immigration Lawyers can help

    At the Immigration Advice Service our lawyers specialise in a wide range of UK visas, nationality and asylum applications and have represented clients in various successful complex and high-profile cases.

    Get in Touch

    Address

    Immigration Advice Service
    Ashwood House, Ellen Street
    Oldham, OL9 6QR

    We have over 20 offices across the UK, find a branch near you.

    Request a call back from our immigration experts

      In the news

      Get in touch with our team

      Learn about our professional services and find out how we can help.

      X
      Contact Us