Foreign Trade Agreements

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.

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, unexpansive and quick.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is the largest FTA to which Canada is a party, and several Foreign Trade Agreements in 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 the 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.

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

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