International Agreement

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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.

Entry requirements vary significantly from one category to another. However, the same LMIA exemption applies.

  • North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
  • Canada-Chile FTA
  • Canada-Peru FTA
  • Canada-Colombia FTA
  • Canada-Korea FTA
  • Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
  • General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)
  • Canada-Panama Free Trade Agreement
  • Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)

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 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) 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 NAFTA 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.

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