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Canada Extends NAFTA Work Permit to 3-Year Renewable


Under the new regulation, professionals seeking to work temporarily in Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) can now receive work permits for up to three years and may be renewed thereafter. Earlier. Earlier NAFTA workers were required to renew their work permit every 12 months. By easing the administrative requirements, Canadian employers remain competitive by ensuring they have access to necessary skilled labour for a longer period.

Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Canadian Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism stated that "this extension, along with our Action Plan for Faster Immigration, will greatly benefit the Canadian economy by helping ensure greater continuity and stability for both employers and workers. In a time of economic uncertainty, highly skilled migrants encourage innovation and economic growth, making us more competitive economically."

Under the NAFTA treaty, citizens of Canada, the United States and Mexico can gain quicker, easier temporary entry into the three countries to work, conduct business or engage in investment activities.  Business people covered by NAFTA do not need a labour market opinion from Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC). This means that Canadian employers do not need to have a job offer approved by HRSDC to employ a United States or a Mexican business person, as set out in NAFTA. Business people covered by NAFTA must, however, comply with the general provisions on temporary entry to Canada. NAFTA work permit is a great option for North American professionals such a lawyers, doctors, dentists and teachers to work temporarily in Canada.

This new regulation matches the United States' new rules on issuance of Trade NAFTA (TN) work visas to Canadian and Mexican professionals under NAFTA. NAFTA countries (Canada, the United States and Mexico) recognize that greater work force mobility in North America, within certain professions, has net economic benefits. These new regulations also come almost 2 weeks after changes made to the Federal Skilled Worker application, which calls for Faster Immigration for Skilled Workers to Canada.


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