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  • Writer's pictureHossein Alavi, RCIC

Unleashing Opportunities: Colombia-Canada FTA and Skilled Worker Immigration

Updated: Apr 10

The Colombia-Canada FTA for Professional Mobility

The Colombia-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) presents an array of opportunities for skilled professionals from Colombia to expand their horizons in Canada. This FTA simplifies the immigration process and opens doors for Colombian workers across various fields. In this blog post, we will explore the advantages of the Colombia-Canada FTA, the covered positions, requirements for each category, and how Immigrative can help make the process seamless.

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Opportunities Under the Colombia-Canada FTA

The Colombia-Canada FTA, in effect since August 15, 2011, facilitates the temporary entry of skilled Colombian professionals into Canada. The agreement provides Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemptions for certain positions, making it easier for eligible professionals to obtain a Canadian work permit.

The primary categories covered in this FTA include:

a. Business Visitors: Colombian nationals engaged in international business activities without directly entering the Canadian labor market.

b. Professionals and Technicians: Eligible professionals and technicians with a pre-arranged contract or employment offer from a Canadian employer. The list of occupations includes various professions, such as lawyers, engineers, veterinarians, and chefs.

c. Intra-Company Transferees: Employees of a Colombian company transferred to a Canadian branch, subsidiary, or affiliate in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity.

d. Traders and Investors: Individuals involved in the trade of goods or services between Colombia and Canada or investing in a Canadian business.

NOT Covered Positions

The professionals NOT covered under the Colombia-Canada Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) include:

Health, Education, and Social Services occupations and related occupations:

  • Managers in Health/Education/Social & Community Services

  • Physicians/Dentists/Optometrists/Chiropractors/Other Health Professions

  • Pharmacists, Dietitians & Nutritionists

  • Therapy & Assessment Professionals

  • Nurse Supervisors & Registered Nurses

  • Psychologists/Social Workers

  • University Professors & Assistants

  • College & Other Vocational Instructors

  • Secondary/Elementary School Teachers & Counsellors

Professional occupations related to Cultural Industries:

  • Managers in Libraries, Archives, Museums and Art Galleries

  • Managers in Publishing, Motion Pictures, Broadcasting and Performing Arts

  • Creative & Performing Artists

  • Other Professional occupations

Additional Professionals:

  • Recreation, Sports and Fitness Program and Service Directors

  • Managers in Telecommunication Carriers

  • Managers in Postal and Courier Services

  • Managers in Manufacturing

  • Managers in Utilities

  • Managers in Construction and Transportation

  • Judges, Lawyers and Notaries except Foreign Legal Consultants

Covered Positions

The Colombia-Canada FTA includes an extensive list of covered positions for professionals and technicians. All other professional positions (TEER 0, 1, 2) not included in the above list (NOT Covered) are covered. Some examples include:

Technicians that are covered under the FTAs include, but are not limited to:

  • Engineering Technologists and Technicians

  • Construction Inspectors and Estimators

  • Engineering Inspectors, Testers and Regulatory Officers

  • Electrical and Electronics engineering Technologists and Technicians

  • Electricians, Plumbers, and Industrial Instrument Technicians and Mechanics

  • Aircraft Instrument, Electrical and Avionics Mechanics, Technicians and Inspectors

  • Underground Production and Development Miners

  • Oil and Gas Well Drillers, Servicers and Testers

  • Graphic Designers and Illustrators

  • Interior Designers

  • Chefs

  • Computer and Information System Technicians

  • International Purchasing and Selling Agents

Supervisors and Contractors in the following industries are also covered:

  • Machinists and Related Technicians

  • Printing and Related Occupations

  • Mining and Quarrying

  • Oil and Gas Drilling and Service

  • Mineral and Metal Processing

  • Petroleum, Gas and Chemical Processing and Utilities

  • Food, Beverage and Tobacco Processing

  • Plastic and Rubber Products Manufacturing

  • Forest Products Processing

  • Textile Processing

  • Electrical Trades and Telecommunications Occupations

  • Pipefitting Trades

  • Metal Forming, Shaping and Erecting Trades

  • Carpentry Trades

  • Mechanic Trades

  • Heavy Construction Equipment Crews

  • Other Construction Trades

  • Installers, Repairers and Servicers

The complete list of covered positions can be found in Annex 1203 of the Colombia-Canada FTA.

Requirements for each category include:

a. Business Visitors:

  • Engage in international business activities without directly entering the Canadian labor market

  • No work permit required

b. Professionals and Technicians:

  • Pre-arranged contract or employment offer from a Canadian employer in one of the covered positions

  • University degree or equivalent qualification related to the occupation

  • English or French proficiency (usually evaluated by employers)

  • Work permit required

c. Intra-Company Transferees:

  • Employee of a Colombian company being transferred to a Canadian branch, subsidiary, or affiliate

  • Managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity

  • Work permit required

d. Traders and Investors:

  • Involved in the trade of goods or services between Colombia and Canada or investing in a Canadian business

  • Work permit require

In summary, the Colombia-Canada FTA offers a wealth of opportunities for skilled Colombian professionals to broaden their horizons in Canada. By simplifying the immigration process and providing LMIA exemptions for certain positions, the FTA is a valuable resource for both professionals and employers alike. With the support and guidance of Immigrative, navigating the immigration process can be a smooth and successful experience, ultimately helping you to unlock your full potential in Canada.

Immigrative's experienced consultants simplify the immigration process, offering services such as work permit assistance for LMIA-exempt permits under the Colombia-Canada FTA, tailored immigration strategies considering individual goals and background, employer support to understand hiring requirements, and ongoing support during your stay in Canada to help you adapt and stay informed on relevant immigration updates. Contact us today to learn how we can streamline the process for a successful transition to life in Canada.


This blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For personalized advice regarding your specific immigration situation, it is recommended to consult with an authorized immigration professional.

About the Author:

This blog post is authored by Hossein Alavi, RCIC, a seasoned Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant and the founder and CEO of Immigrative Visa Services Inc. and EduPal Canada. With over ten years of experience in the education and immigration sectors, he is dedicated to assisting individuals and companies with their Canadian immigration needs. Contact Immigrative Visa Services Inc. today to schedule your consultation and take the first step toward realizing your Canadian dream.


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