Canada has announced that it will increase the maximum duration of NAFTA Professional work permits from one year to three years. Renewals will also be available in increments of up to three years.
The change matches the United States' new rules on NAFTA TN work visas issued to Canadian and Mexican professionals under NAFTA. As reported in our most recent newsletter, the United States took the lead on this in October when it announced that it would start issuing three year TN work visas.
Extending the duration to three years benefits Canadians and Canadian employers in a number of ways. It provides greater stability and eases some of the administrative burden as renewals will not be required as often as in the past.
NAFTA may be used by eligible American and Mexican citizens to obtain a Canadian work permit. Canadians may obtain TN work visas to work in the United States.
The NAFTA Professional/TN category lists over 60 professions. To qualify for a work permit under most of the listed professions, the applicant must have a university degree related to the profession. The applicant must also be entering to apply the skills of that profession.
Some professions listed under NAFTA include: computer systems analysts, engineers, scientific technicians, management consultants, medical and some allied professions, and many scientific categories such as chemists, geologists and biologists.