NAFTA Professional Work Permit

As part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), US and Mexican citizens can apply for a NAFTA Professional Work Permit to work in Canada without having to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

For more information about the NAFTA Professional application process or any other aspect of Canadian immigration, get in touch with one of our expert advisors on +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online today.

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    What is the NAFTA Professional Work Permit?

    The NAFTA Professional Work Permit is a permit that allows US and Mexican citizens to temporarily live in Canada to provide pre-arranged professional services.

    Employers of NAFTA Professionals do not obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to employ them.

    There are over 60 occupations that are eligible for the Canadian NAFTA Work Permit. If you wish to apply for the scheme, you must be able to demonstrate that you are qualified to work in that profession and that you meet the necessary minimum education requirements.

    In addition, you must have pre-arranged employment with a Canadian employer in order to qualify.

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    What Are the Eligibility Requirements for the NAFTA Professional Work Permit?

    In order to be eligible for a Canadian NAFTA Professional Work Permit, you must:

    • Be a citizen of the U.S. or Mexico
    • Be one of the professions as listed in the eligible professions list
    • Be qualification to work in that profession (with a degree or certification in a related educational program)
    • Agree to work in the professional field in which you are qualified in for the duration of your stay
    • Have pre-arranged employment with a Canadian employer
    • Be able to enter Canada in accordance with existing immigration requirements

    You must also be a separate entity from the Canadian employer who offers you employment. This means that you likely won’t be eligible if you have substantial control over, or ownership of the employer in question.

    Additionally, you can’t qualify for the NAFTA Professional Work Permit scheme if you’re planning to work as a self-employed individual in Canada. This means that you cannot respond to adverts looking to obtain employment or contracts, solicit business in the Canadian labour market, or incorporate your own company for your own self-employment.

    However, you may instead be eligible for the NAFTA Investor or Trader program if you’re looking to work under a self-employed basis in Canada.

    For more information about the NAFTA Professional Work Permit, the eligibility requirements, and how to apply for it, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our expert legal advisers on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online today.

    What Documents Are Needed to Apply for a NAFTA Professional Work Permit?

    You must be able to provide the following documents as part of your NAFTA Professional Work Permit application:

    • Proof of American or Mexican citizenship
    • Confirmation of pre-arranged employment with any of the following:
      • A signed contract with a Canadian enterprise, or
      • Evidence of an offer of employment from a Canadian employer, or
      • A letter from the American or Mexican employer on whose behalf the service will be provided to the Canadian enterprise
    • Documentation which provides the following information:
      • The proposed employer in Canada
      • Your profession
      • Details of the job position
    • Educational qualifications or alternative credentials required for the position:
      • Post-secondary diplomas or certificates should have been earned in the US, Mexico or Canada, while baccalaureate or licenciatura degrees can be from anywhere in the world
    • Evidence that you meet the minimum education requirements for your profession

    For more information about the NAFTA Professional Work Permit, the eligibility requirements, and how to apply for it, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our expert legal advisers on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online today.

    How to Apply For a NAFTA Professional Work Permit

    You can apply for a NAFTA Professional Work Permit from one of three places:

    • At a Canadian port of entry, such as an airport
    • A Canadian visa office located outside of Canada, prior to your departure
    • Within Canada, if you are already in the country as a temporary resident

    Costs and Processing Times

    NAFTA Professional Work Permits cost CAN$155 per person.

    If you’re applying outside of Canada or from within Canada, the time it takes for work permit applications to be processed can vary based on where you’re applying from and how busy the service is.

    However, the application process generally takes between 1 week and a few months.

    You can check estimates on processing times using the Canadian government’s online processing time checker.

    How Long is the NAFTA Professional Work Permit Valid For?

    NAFTA Professional Work Permits are valid for up to three years, and may be extended for three years at a time. There are no limits on the number times a NAFTA Professional Work Permit can be extended, provided that you still meet all the necessary requirements and that employment is still considered to be on a temporary basis.

    For more information about the NAFTA Professional Work Permit, the eligibility requirements, and how to apply for it, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our expert legal advisers on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online today.

    Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to learn how to apply for the NAFTA Professional Work Permit. Contact us

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      What Are The Eligible Professions under the NAFTA Professional Work Permit Scheme?

      Below is the complete list of eligible professions under the NAFTA Professional Work Permit Scheme, and the minimum education requirements and alternative credentials.

      General

      ProfessionMinimum education requirements and alternative credentials (in a related field or profession)
      AccountantBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or C.P.A., C.A., C.G.A. or C.M.A.
      ArchitectBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial licence
      Computer Systems AnalystBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years’ experience
      Disaster Relief Insurance Claims AdjusterBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree, and successful completion of training in the appropriate areas of insurance adjustment pertaining to disaster relief claims; or three years experience in claims adjustment and successful completion of training in the appropriate areas of insurance adjustment pertaining to disaster relief claims
      EconomistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      EngineerBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial licence
      ForesterBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial licence
      Graphic DesignerBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience
      Hotel Manager Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree in hotel/restaurant management; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate in hotel/restaurant management, and three years experience in hotel/restaurant management
      Industrial DesignerBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience
      Interior DesignerBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience
      Land SurveyorBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial/ federal licence
      Landscape ArchitectBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      Lawyer (including Notary in the Province of QuebecLL.B., J.D., LL.L, B.C.L. or Licenciatura Degree (five years); or membership in a state/provincial bar
      LibrarianM.L.S. or B.L.S. (for which another Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree was a prerequisite)

      • A librarian must have either:
        a Master of Library Science degree; or
      • a Bachelor of Library Science and another baccalaureate degree which was necessary to enter the B.L.S. program.
      Management ConsultantBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or equivalent professional experience as established by statement or professional credential attesting to five years experience as a management consultant, or five years experience in a field of specialty related to the consulting agreement
      Mathematician (including statistician and Actuary)Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      Range Manager/Range ConservationistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      Research assistant (working in a post-secondary educational institution)Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      Scientific Technician/TechnologistPossession of (a) theoretical knowledge of any of the following disciplines: agricultural sciences, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, forestry, geology, geophysics, meteorology or physics; and (b) the ability to solve practical problems in any of those disciplines, or the ability to apply principles of any of those disciplines to basic or applied research
      Social WorkerBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      Silviculturist (including Forestry Specialist)Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      Technical Publications WriterBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience
      Urban Planner (including Geographer)Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      Vocational CounsellorBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

      Medical/Allied Professional

      ProfessionMinimum education requirements and alternative credentials (in a related field or profession)
      DentistD.D.S., D.M.D., Doctor en Odontologia or Doctor en Cirugia Dental; or state/provincial license
      DietitianBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
      Medical Laboratory Technologist/Medical Technologist (Mexico and the US)Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience
      NutritionistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      Occupational TherapistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
      PharmacistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
      Physician (teaching or research only)M.D. or Doctor en Medicina; or state/provincial license
      Physiotherapist/Physical TherapistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
      PsychologistState/provincial license; or Licenciatura Degree
      Recreational TherapistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      Registered NurseState/provincial license; or Licenciatura Degree
      VeterinarianD.V.M., D.M.V. or Doctor en Veterinaria; or state/provincial license

      Scientist

      ProfessionMinimum education requirements and alternative credentials (in a related field or profession)
      Agriculturist (including Agronomist)Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      Animal BreederBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      Animal ScientistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      ApiculturistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      AstronomerBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      BiochemistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      Biologist (including Plant Pathologist)Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      ChemistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      Dairy ScientistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      EntomologistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      EpidemiologistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      GeneticistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      GeologistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      GeochemistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      Geophysicist (including Oceanographer in Mexico and the US)Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      HorticulturistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      MeteorologistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      PharmacologistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      Physicist (including Oceanographer in Canada)Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      Plant BreederBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      Poultry ScientistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      Soil ScientistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      ZoologistBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

      Teacher

      ProfessionMinimum education requirements and alternative credentials (in a related field or profession)
      CollegeBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      SeminaryBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
      UniversityBaccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

      How can Total Law help?

      If you’re looking to live and work temporarily in Canada as a NAFTA professional, it’s essential that you have all the knowledge and information you need in order for your application to be successful.

      If you require additional assistance with your NAFTA Professional Work Permit application, Total Law’s Canadian immigration lawyers are here to help. We are experts in immigration law, and can help advise you on eligibility requirements, putting together an application and ultimately getting your work permit application approved.

      For more information about how we can assist you and your application, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                Yes. There are several pathways for NAFTA professionals to apply for permanent residence, mainly through the Federal Skilled Worker or Canadian Experience Class programs under the Express Entry system.

                In addition, you may be eligible for the Provincial Nominee Program, depending on where you’ve worked in Canada.

                Under the Express Entry system, you will be eligible for additional points if you have at least one year’s worth of Canadian work experience or a Canadian job offer. This may increase your chances of obtaining permanent residence.

                The TN Visa is the US equivalent of the Canadian NAFTA Professional Work Permit. It allows Canadian and Mexican professional citizens to work in the US temporarily.

                Although the programs are similar in scope, they each have their own different eligibility requirements and processes to follow.

                It’s important to make sure you follow the requirements set out by the specific country you are looking to work in.