NAFTA – Work Permit

  • NAFTA Work Permit lets citizens of Canada, the United States, and Mexico gain quick entry into each other’s countries for temporary business or investment reasons. These people do not need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This means that Canadian employers do not need to have a job offer approved by Employment and Social Development Canada to hire an American or a Mexican business person
    Under NAFTA Work Permit, business people must meet the general rules for temporary entry to Canada.There are four groups of businesspeople under NAFTA: 

    • Business visitors
    • Professionals
    • Intra-company transferees
    • Traders and investors

    With the exception of the business visitors group, all other groups will require a work permit to work in Canada. Steps2Canada has the experience and knowledge to take care of your work permit application.

    • business visitor is someone who comes to Canada to take part in international business activities without being part of the Canadian labor market. Business visitors usually stay in Canada for a few days or a few weeks but are able to stay for up to six months.
    • Business visitors do not need a work permit.

    To work in Canada as a professional, you must:

    The listing of the jobs that qualify are as follow:

    • Accountant
    • Architect
    • Computer Systems Analyst
    • Disaster Relief Insurance Claims Adjuster
    • Economist
    • Engineer
    • Forester
    • Graphic Designer
    • Hotel Manager
    • Industrial Designer
    • Interior Designer
    • Land Surveyor
    • Landscape Architect
    • Lawyer (including Notary in the Province of Quebec)
    • Librarian
    • Management Consultant
    • Mathematician (including Statistician)
    • Range Manager/ Range Conservationist
    • Research Assistant (working in a post-secondary educational institution)


    • Technician/Technologist
    • Social Worker
    • Sylviculturist (including Forestry Specialist)
    • Technical Publications Writer
    • Urban Planner (including Geographer)
    • Vocational Counsellor

    Medical/Allied Professional

    • Dentist
    • Dietitian
    • Medical Laboratory Technologist (Canada)
    • Medical Technologist (Mexico and the United States)
    • Nutritionist
    • Occupational Therapist
    • Pharmacist
    • Physician (teaching or research only)
    • Physiotherapist/Physical Therapist
    • Psychologist
    • Recreational Therapist
    • Registered Nurse
    • Veterinarian


    • Agriculturist (including Agronomist)
    • Animal Breeder
    • Animal Scientist
    • Apiculturist
    • Astronomer
    • Biochemist
    • Biologist
    • Chemist
    • Dairy Scientist
    • Entomologist
    • Epidemiologist
    • Geneticist
    • Geologist
    • Geochemist
    • Geophysicist (including Oceanographer in Mexico and the United States)
    • Horticulturist
    • Meteorologist
    • Pharmacologist
    • Physicist (including Oceanographer in Canada)
    • Plant Breeder
    • Poultry Scientist
    • Soil Scientist
    • Zoologist


    • College
    • Seminary
    • University
      • Have a job offer from a Canadian business in that field and
      • Have a work permit.

    This is a person who is sent to work for the same company in a different country. If this is your case, you must:

    • Have worked
      • On an ongoing basis,
      • For at least one year in the last three years,
      • For the same or a related employer in the United States or Mexico,
    • Be transferred to Canada to work short term for the same or a related employer,
    • Work as a manager, as an executive, or in a job that uses specialized knowledge, and
    • Have a work permit.

    To work in Canada as a trader or investor, you must:

    • Be involved in planning, as a supervisor or executive, or in a role that involves essential skills,
      • a large amount of trade in goods or services, mainly between Canada and your home country, or
      • a large investment in Canada by you or your company,
    • Meet any other rules of NAFTA and
    • Have a work permit.