North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) - Make A Future

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

Work Permits


NAFTA, a free trade agreement formed in January 1994 between Canada, the United States and Mexico. The formation of this agreement has eased entry for foreign workers in particular professional and temporary working groups.

Applies to:

Within NAFTA, there are over 60 professional occupations that are eligible for work permits.  The provisions of NAFTA require that:

  • The prospective employee be a citizen of the U.S. or Mexico
  • The position matches one of the 60+ jobs eligible under NAFTA
  • The employee meets the minimum education or experience requirements for the position.

The application process can be simple and involves both the employer and the employee:

  • The employer creates an application package which includes a letter, the job offer and documentation supporting the employee’s qualifications
  • The employee applies for the work permit.  Applications may be made at the place of entry (border crossing or airport) or at the closest Canadian Consulate.

Prospective employees assist with the application preparation by providing copies of:

  • A valid passport
  • A current resume
  • Any relevant degrees/diplomas

Processing time

  • Applications made at the border are reviewed on the same day
  • Applications made at a Canadian Consulate may take up to 3 weeks depending on volume at the Consulate

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