Normally, foreign workers and employers should go through a two-step process in order to get the LMIA Work Permit in Canada. Firstly, the applicant should submit an application to ESDC for a Labor Market Impact Assessment. Secondly, the application will be forwarded to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to get the actual work permit.
Canada has introduced a new policy for eligible U.S. and Mexican citizens. However, they can now skip some of the red tapes and move to Canada for work and business. CUSMA (Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement) is allowing traders, workers, and investors to move to Canada without going through the LMIA process. However, the CUSMA agreement was known as NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) before July 1, 2020.
Applicants who have applied for a CUSMA work permit can arrive directly in Canada from the U.S. However, they will need to apply at a port of entry unless they are CUSMA Investors.
Overall, there are four different categories in CUSMA:
Moreover, each of these categories has different eligibility requirements.
CUSMA traders should be coming to Canada for a considerable trade of goods or services. However, these trades should be between Canada and the U.S. or Mexico. A trade is a “Substantial Trade” in Canada when more than 50% of the trade is done between Canada and one of the other countries included in CUSMA.
CUSMA professionals will need to show a job offer or a contract in Canada. However, the job offer or contact should be from eligible professions. 63 eligible occupations are from different industries of medicine, science, education, and others.
However, applicants will need to provide their educational credentials according to their profession. Moreover, they will need to provide work experience in a similar field. This does not apply to people who are coming to Canada under the self-employed category.
Canada is also allowing CUMSA professionals to come to Canada as business visitors. However, they will need to fall under the labor market, solicit business, provide advice, consult, and meet clients.
Work permits will be valid for up to three years at a time. However, they will get an extension for up to three years for an unlimited number of times. The professionals will need to comply with all requirements.
CUSMA investors will need to make an investment in a new or existing business in Canada. However, they need to show that they are coming to Canada to establish and direct business. Moreover, the essential staff of the company will also get a work permit.
CUSMA Intra-Company Transfers
Workers from the U.S. and Mexico are eligible for a CUSMA Intra-Company Transfer if they transfer to the Canadian branch of their company.
This transfer should be for temporary work in Canada. Moreover, Eligible candidates will need to have previously worked for their U.S. or Mexican employer for at least one of the last three years. The position should be similar to the one they are taking in Canada. The candidates should be underemployment of the company at the time of application.
Moreover, their designation should be managerial, executive, or similar.