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North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

A new regulation allows professionals seeking to work temporarily in Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement can now receive work permits for up to three years, which may be renewed thereafter.

Under the NAFTA treaty, citizens of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico may work, conduct business or engage in investment activities in any of the 3 countries.

Business people covered under NAFTA do not need a labour market opinion from Human Resources and Social Development Canada, however, are still required to comply with the general provisions on temporary entry to Canada.

Previously, the regulation required NAFTA workers to renew their permits every 12 months. A NAFTA Work permit is a good option for North American professionals such as lawyers, doctors, dentists and teachers who want to work temporarily in Canada.

Previously, NAFTA workers were required to renew their permits every 12 months. Permanent residents of Canada, U.S. and Mexico are not covered under the NAFTA work permit.*

General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)

GATS makes it easier for certain business people who are foreign service providers in certain sectors to access the Canadian market. The commitments apply to service providers from more than 140 World Trade Organization member countries.

Three categories of business people who are covered: business visitors, professionals and intra-company transferees. Qualified business people can enter Canada more easily because they do not need a labour market opinion from HRSDC or, in the case of business visitors, a work permit.

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