NAFTA Work Permits for IT Professionals

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) provides for facilitated work permit options for citizens of USA and Mexico in IT/Tech related jobs in Canada.

Generally, for a Canadian employer to hire IT/Tech workers from outside Canada, they must first obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before the hiring process can begin. That is, they must prove that they were unable to identify/find Canadian citizens or permanent residents to fill the position before they can hire IT professionals from outside Canada.

However, this requirement is not applicable if the employer is hiring the foreign national under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Under this international agreement, citizens of USA and Mexico can obtain Canadian work permits without the need for the employer to go through the usual LMIA process. Two job categories under the NAFTA professional category falls under IT/Tech field. They are:

Computer System Analysts (NOC 2171)

Graphic Designers (NOC 5241)

Also, since both US as well as Mexican citizens do not require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) in order to enter Canada, they can apply for the work permit at a Canadian border office.

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