Citizens of Mexico and US might be able to bypass some of the procedures for coming to work or conduct business in Canada, provided they are otherwise eligible.
Entering into force on July 1, 2020, CUSMA stands for Canada-United States- Mexico Agreement. As per Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada [IRCC], “the CUSMA reflects a preferential trading relationship initiated among Canada, the U.S. and Mexico”.
CUSMA replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA] that had been created in 1994 between the US, Mexico and Canada.
Over the years, NAFTA has provided a solid foundation for building the prosperity of Canada, setting a valuable example, for the rest of the world, of the benefits to be expected from trade liberalization.
The new agreement – CUSMA – will further reinforce the strong economic ties that Canada has with the US and Mexico.
The total merchandise trade between Canada and the US has more than doubled since 1993. In the same period, merchandise trade between Canada and Mexico has grown over nine-fold.
|What does CUSMA do||What CUSMA does not do|
|Facilitates temporary entry for businesspersons that are citizens of the US, Canada or Mexico and are involved in the trade of services or goods, or in investment activities.||Does not assist permanent admission.|
|Removes need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment [LMIA].||Not applicable to permanent residents of Canada, the US and Mexico.|
|No requirement for a work permit for business investor.||Does not replace the general provisions corresponding to foreign workers.|
|For Temporary Resident Visa [TRV], the application process is expedited by ensuring an application can be made at the port of entry [POE].||No effect on universal requirements related to passports etc.|
|Does not do away with the requirement for workers to meet licensing or certification requirements, if applicable.|
|Special privileges not extended to spouses and members of the family.|
As per IRCC, there are 4 categories of businesspersons that come under the CUSMA –
|Business visitors||Engaging in international business activities related to research and design, marketing, manufacture and production, growth, general service, after-sales service, sales and distribution.
Business visitors can enter Canada for business purposes and conduct their activities without the requirement of a Canadian work permit.
|Professionals||These are businesspeople that enter for providing pre-arranged professional services in the field for which they are qualified.
While not subject to an LMIA, a work permit would be required.
|Intra-company transferees||Employed by a US or Mexican enterprise in an executive or managerial capacity, or in one involving specialized knowledge, or being transferred to a branch, affiliate etc. in Canada for providing services in the same capacity.
Exempt from LMIA process, work permit required.
|Traders and investors||Those carrying on substantial trade in services or goods between Canada and the US or Mexico or having committed – or in the process of committing, a significant capital in Canada.
Such individuals must be employed in an executive or supervisory capacity, or one involving essential skills.
Not subject to LMIA, but work permit required.
With the existing travel restrictions in place in Canada in view of COVID-19, all foreign nationals planning on coming to Canada for work overseas will be required to be travelling to the country for an essential reason.
Those working in critical infrastructure and transferred to Canada will be allowed to enter Canada. Such transferees might be exempt from the mandatory quarantine upon arrival if they do not have any coronavirus symptoms.
If you are looking to Work, Study, Invest, Visit, or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No. 1 Immigration & Visa Company.
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