Canada has now allowed eligible US and Mexican nationals to arrive and conduct business or work in Canada under CUSMA, allowing them to bypass the LMIA process.
CUSMA does the job of allowing workers, investors, and traders to arrive in Canada without going through the LMIA process. Before July 1, 2020, CUSMA was known as NAFTA. Under CUSMA, applicants for Canada work permits coming directly from the US can apply for the visa at the port of entry. The only exception to this is if they are CUSMA investors.
CUSMA has the following categories:
- CUSMA Professionals
- CUSMA Traders
- CUSMA Intra-Company Transfers
- CUSMA Investors
The eligibility requirements for each category are different.
- Applicants must have a contract in Canada or a pre-arranged job offer in any of the 63 eligible occupations in fields like science, education, medicine among others.
- Based on the profession, applicants must give proof of work in their field of experience and educational credentials. However, this isn’t applicable to those who want to do self-employment work in Canada.
- CUSMA professionals can arrive in Canada as business visitors as long as they are not entering the labor market. They could be soliciting business, providing advice, consulting, and meeting clients.
- Canadian work permits can be given for 3 years at a time.
- The work visa is extensible for up to another 3 years any number of times in case the professional meets all requirements specified.
- The Canadian immigration officers have to be convinced that the job is temporary. They must also be convinced that the applicant isn’t using his/her entry into Canada under CUSMA to circumvent normal procedures of immigration Canada has.
- Their purpose of arrival in Canada must be to carry out a trade of goods that’s’ substantial or services between Canada and the US or Mexico.
- When over 50% (in volume or value) of the trade is done between Canada and any of the CUSMA nations, it’s called a substantial trade.
CUSMA intra-company transfers
- An eligible applicant may be a US or Mexican worker getting transferred to a Canadian branch of their company.
- The transfer must be for temporary work in Canada.
- An eligible candidate must have previously worked for his/her US or Mexican employer for a minimum period of 1 year out of the last 3 years. They must have worked in a position similar to the one they are taking up in Canada.
- The applicant must be employed by the company while submitting the application.
- They must make a substantial investment in a new or existing Canadian business.
- They must be coming to Canada to direct and develop the business.
- Work permits in this category may also be granted to the staff deemed essential to the company.
Any foreigner applying for a visa under CUSMA must have had the authorization to travel issued by IRCC. Also, foreigners traveling to Canada for work must be doing so for an essential purpose.
CUSMA intra-company transferees and CUSMA professionals working in critical infrastructure could enter and may be exempted from compulsory quarantine. This will be in case they have no symptoms of COVID-19.
If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.
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CUSMA – Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement
LMIA – Labour Market Impact Assessment
NAFTA – North American Free Trade Agreement
IRCC – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada