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  • Writer's pictureHossein Alavi, RCIC

Unlocking the Benefits of Free Trade Agreements: An In-Depth Guide for Individuals and Businesses

Updated: Apr 10

Exploring the World of Free Trade Agreements and Immigration


Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) between Canada and other countries offer numerous benefits to Canadian employers, including access to a diverse pool of skilled professionals from various fields, cost-effective recruitment, enhanced cultural diversity, and strengthened international business relations. In this blog post, we will explore the various FTAs available to Canadian employers, the covered positions, and the immigration process under each agreement. We will also discuss how Immigrative can assist Canadian employers in navigating the FTA immigration process and ensure a smooth and efficient experience.


North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – Superseded by Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) as of July 1st, 2020: Under NAFTA, Canadian employers could hire American and Mexican professionals in various positions under four categories: T21 (professional), T22 (intra-company transferee), T23 (business visitor), and T24 (traders and investors). The NAFTA was superseded by the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) on July 1st, 2020. Under CUSMA, employers can still hire professionals, intra-company transferees, business visitors, and traders/investors under the same categories as NAFTA.


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Canada–Chile FTA / Canada-Peru FTA / Canada-Colombia FTA / Canada-Korea FTA:


The Canada-Chile FTA, Canada-Peru FTA, Canada-Colombia FTA, and Canada-Korea FTA all offer LMIA exemptions for certain positions. Under these agreements, Canadian employers can hire professionals, intra-company transferees, business visitors, and traders/investors under categories T21, T22, T23, and T24. For the Canada-Colombia FTA and Canada-Korea FTA, spouses of intra-company transferees can also apply for an LMIA-exempt work permit under category T25.


Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA):


Under CETA, Canadian employers can hire professionals, intra-company transferees, and business visitors under categories T43, T44, T46, T47, and T48. Spouses of intra-company transferees can also apply for an LMIA-exempt work permit under category T45. Additionally, CETA offers provisions for temporary entry of contractual service suppliers and independent professionals.


Agreement on Trade Continuity between Canada and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (CUKTCA):


Under CUKTCA, Canadian employers can hire professionals, intra-company transferees, and business visitors under categories T43, T44, T46, T47, and T48. Spouses of intra-company transferees can also apply for an LMIA-exempt work permit under category T45. Additionally, CUKTCA offers provisions for temporary entry of contractual service suppliers and independent professionals.


General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS):


Under GATS, Canadian employers can hire professionals and contractual service suppliers in various positions under categories T33 and C12. These positions must fall under the GATS Schedule of Specific Commitments, and LMIA exemptions may apply under general provisions, per paragraphs 186(a) and 205(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).


Canada–Panama Free Trade Agreement:


Under the Canada-Panama Free Trade Agreement, Canadian employers can hire professionals, intra-company transferees, and business visitors under category T23. LMIA exemptions may apply under general provisions, per paragraphs R186(a) and R205(a).


Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP):


Under the CPTPP, Canadian employers can hire professionals, intra-company transferees, and contractual service suppliers in various positions under categories T50, T51, and T52. Additionally, business visitors and investors can enter Canada under categories T53 and T54, respectively. LMIA exemptions may apply under general provisions, per paragraphs R186(a) and R205(a) of the IRPR. The CPTPP also offers provisions for temporary entry of spouses or common-law partners of intra-company transferees and investors.


In summary, Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) between Canada and other countries offer many benefits to Canadian employers seeking to hire foreign professionals, intra-company transferees, business visitors, and traders/investors. These agreements provide access to a diverse pool of skilled professionals from various fields, cost-effective recruitment, enhanced cultural diversity, and strengthened international business relations. Understanding the requirements and procedures under each FTA can be a complex process, which is where services like Immigrative can be invaluable. Immigrative can assist Canadian employers in navigating the FTA immigration process and ensure a smooth and efficient experience. As Canada continues to strengthen its economic ties with other countries, FTAs will continue to play a crucial role in facilitating international business and talent mobility.


At Immigrative, we know that navigating the various FTAs available to Canadian employers can be a complex and time-consuming process. That's why our team of experienced immigration consultants is here to help. We can assist you in determining the most suitable FTA for your recruitment needs, guide you through the application process, and ensure that all requirements are met for a successful LMIA-exempt work permit application.

Our priority is to make the FTA immigration process as smooth and efficient as possible, with a focus on quick turnaround times to keep your recruitment on track. Trust us to help your organization access the benefits of FTAs through streamlined immigration processes. Contact us today to learn more.


Disclaimer:

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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