As of July 1st, 2020, the Canada-United States- Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). As the largest free trade region in the world, the CUSMA seeks to strengthen economic ties between the three North American countries.
As far as international mobility is concerned, the CUSMA facilitates temporary entry for Canadians, Mexicans, and Americans citizens who want to invest, sell or provide goods or services in another signatory country.
What categories of business persons are covered by CUSMA?
A business visitor is a person who is involved in a business activity related to :
– Research and design;
– Growth, manufacture, and production;
– Marketing, sales, distribution, after-sales service, and general service.
→ Business visitors do not need a work permit.
Professionals are business people who enter to provide services in the fields for which they are qualified. You can have access to the list of the 63 covered professions through this link.
→ Professionals require a work permit but are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process (T23).
This category covers workers who occupy executive or managerial positions or one involving “specialized knowledge” who are transferred to a CUSMA’s country to occupy a similar position in a parent, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of the same enterprise in which they are currently employed. The intra-company transfer requires 12 months of work in the same company before being transferred.
→ Intra-company transferees require a work permit but are exempted from the LMIA (T24).
Traders and investors
This category applies to you if you are involved in substantial trade of goods or services between CUSMA’s countries or in investment activities in Canada, Mexico or the United States and are employed in a supervisory or executive capacity or one that involves essential skills.
→ Traders and investors are not subject to the LMIA (T21 and T22) process but require a work permit.
The CUSMA greatly facilitates business between Canada, Mexico, and the United States. If you want to learn more about the various possibilities offered by this agreement and get help with your application, contact us.