You are on page 1of 34

NAFTA

North America

Speakers
Host:

Marianne Fry (Peregrine)

Speakers:
INTRODUCTION:
CANADA:

Raquel Gmez Salas (Peregrine)


Chantal Arsenault (Norton Rose Fulbright)
Mark Holthe (Holthe Tilleman)

MEXICO
UNITED STATES

Ivn Rojas (Enrique Arellano)


Jim Alexander (Maggio & Kattar)

NAFTA Background
The global economy is more efficiently
handled if carrying out business on a
regional level.
Most of the countries in the world have
strengthened their economies by creating
and developing regional integration
processes
which
contain
provisions
regarding the mobility of persons.

NAFTA provisions about the mobility


of business persons
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA),
signed by Canada, Mexico and the USA, came into
effect in 1994
Chapter 16 of NAFTA aims to facilitate the
temporary entry of business persons:
Temporary entry is defined as entry without
intention to establish permanent residence.
Business persons means citizen of the
signatory countries engaged in trade of goods,
the provision of services or the conduct of
investment activities.

NAFTA provisions about the mobility


of business persons
Four categories of business persons:
-Business visitors
-Intra-company transferees
-Professionals
-Traders and investors
Each category is well defined (list of
business visitors and professions is
available)

NAFTA provisions about the mobility


of business persons
No work permits required for business visitors
Work permits required for traders and investors,
intra-company transferees and professionals
Labour market tests are removed for all four
groups
Entry visas may still be required in all four
groups

Lets take a look

Canada
NAFTA: an Exemption to the
LMIA process
What is a LMIA?
A Labour Market Impact Assessment is
usually required prior to obtaining a
work permit where the employer will
demonstrate that hiring a foreign
worker will have a positive or neutral
effect on the labour market in Canada.

Criteria: Professionals
Must be citizens of the United States or Mexico
Must occupy a profession listed in Appendix
1603.D.1 to Annex 1603 of NAFTA (see slide 26)
Must meet the educational requirements
indicated for the profession
Must have a job offer or Pre arranged
Employment
Duration: Maximum 3 years per work permit
but no limit for the number of renewals
available.

Criteria: Transfers
Employed for a least one (1) year of
the preceding three (3) years
In a company outside of Canada
affiliated to the Canadian company,
As an executive, manager or individual
with specialized knowledge
Employed in Canada to serve in a
similar capacity

Criteria: Transfers

Duration
Initial: three (3) years *
Renewal: two (2) years at a time
Maximum: seven (7) year for executives or
managers and five (5) years for individuals
having specialized knowledge

*For a new company, the status is valid for


twelve (12) months initially

Process
Prior to filing application for the work permit
Employer Compliance fee must be paid:
$230
Offer of Employment form

Process
Filing at the Port of
Entry
USA Citizens can file
application for a NAFTA
based work permit at the
port of entry
Must present all required
documents
Decision will be taken on
the spot
May be refused entry if
they dont qualify or dont
have all the documents

Filing at the Embassy


Mandatory for most
Mexican citizens
Possible for USA citizens
Various forms and
documents are required
May be filed online or at a
Visa Application Center
Will generally take a few
weeks to be processed
Certainty when traveling
to Canada

Benefits and Red Flags


Benefits

Red Flags

Self-employment
often not possible
Possible Medical
Exam
Criminal record or
medical issue will be
a red flag and create
inadmissibility

No LMIA
Faster processing
Extended duration
Limited
documentary
requirements

Mexico
There is no specific visa under NAFTA
in Mexico but visitor and resident
categories cover NAFTA provisions.
The visitor visa category can be used
for stays of up to 180 days and the
temporary resident from 180 days to
4 years.

Mexico has free trade agreements with over


45 countries, with more than 90% of trade
under free trade agreements.

Free Trade Agreements


1.

1994: North American Free Trade Agreement (Canada and the United
States).
2. 1995: G-3 Free Trade Agreement with Colombia and Venezuela.
3. 1995: Free Trade Agreement with Costa Rica.
4. 1995: Free Trade Agreement with Bolivia.
5. 1998: Free Trade Agreement with Nicaragua.
6. 1999: Free Trade Agreement with Chile.
7. 2000: Free Trade Agreement with the European Union.
8. 2000: Free Trade Agreement with Israel.
9. 2001: Free Trade Agreement with the Northern Triangle (Guatemala, El
Salvador and Honduras).
10. 2001: Free Trade Agreement with the European Free Trade Association
(Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland).
11. 2004: Free Trade Agreement with Uruguay.
12. 2005: Agreement for the Strengthening of the Economic Partnership with
Japan.
13. 2012: Free Trade Agreement with Peru.
* Since 19 November 2006, only Mexico and Colombia have been participating
in the G-3 FTA.
. With the exception of the Mexico-European Union, Mexico-Israel & Mexico-17
European Free Trade Association FTAs, all these treaties contemplate the

Immigration Categories
Visitor
Temporary Resident
Permanent Resident

Criteria: Visitor Visa


Visitor status comprises tourists, business
travelers and trans-migrants in Mexico
Does not entail restrictions to the type of activities
that a foreigner may perform in Mexico
Cannot be paid by a Mexican entity
Maximum stay of 180 days in the country each
time that a foreigner enters Mexico
Nationals from designated countries exempt the
visa requirement to enter Mexico as visitors

FTA Benefits: Visitor Visa


Holders of a valid US visa
Permanent Residents in the US, Canada,
UK, Japan or the Schengen countries
APEC business travel card (ABTC) holders
Electronic visa authorization (SAE)

Process: Visitor Visa


Visa Required Nationals
Consular application at
the Mexican consulate
with jurisdictional
restrictions, based on
their place of residence
Personal appearance
required at the consulate
FMM Card to be issued
for 180 days upon entry
into Mexico

Visa Waiver
Nationals
No consular visa
required
FMM Card to be
issued for 180 days
upon entry into
Mexico

Temporary Resident

Valid for an initial period of one year

Renewable for up to 4 years in total

Permissible activities

Possibility to receive an income from a


Mexican entity.
Non-Lucrative Temporary Resident
Lucrative Temporary Resident

Temporary Resident
Lucrative & Non-lucrative
Non-Lucrative

Lucrative

Payroll in a foreign entity

Local hire

Application starts at the


Mexican consulate

Requires registration of
sponsoring entity
Company registration
Advance authorization from
the INM
Consular interview
Local registration in Mexico

Streamlined procedure
Consular application
Local registration in Mexico
Less burdensome
requirements

Do not have extensive


requirements aside from the
company registration

Permanent Resident
4 continuous and regular years on a
temporary resident status
Mexican children (family bonds)
Point grading system

United States- TN NAFTA


NAFTA allows Canadian and Mexican
citizens to enter the US temporarily in TN
status to work at professional level in
specified positions
TN-1 for Canadians
TN-2 for Mexicans

Qualifying Position &


NAFTA
Professionals
List
NAFTA
Professionals

List

Job must be listed in Appendix 1603.D.1 to Annex 1603


(8 C.F.R. 214.2(b(4)(i)(A)-(G))
Position must require services of professional

Accountant
Architect

Computer Systems Analyst

Disaster Relief Insurance Claims Adjuster

Economist

Engineer

Forester

Graphic Designer

Hotel Manager

Industrial Designer

Interior Designer

Land Surveyor

Landscape Architect
Lawyer (including Notary in Province of

Quebec)

Librarian

Management Consultant

Mathematician/Statistician

Range Manager/ Range


Conversationalist
Scientific Technician/ Technologist
Social Worker
Urban Planner/Geographer
Vocational Counsellor
Dentist
Dietitian
Medical Laboratory Tech
Nutritionist
Occupational Therapist
Pharmacist
Physician
Physiotherapist/Physical therapist
Psychologist
Recreational Therapist
Registered Nurse
Veterinarian
Agriculturist
Animal Breeder
Animal Scientist

Astronomer
Biochemist
Biologist
Chemist
Dairy Scientist
Entomologist
Geneticist
Geologist
Geochemist
Geophysicist
Horticulturist
Meteorologist
Pharmacologist
Physicist
Plant Breeder
Poultry Scientist
Soil Scientist
Zoologist
Teacher (College, Seminary,
University)

Criteria
Applicant must have specified
education, credentials, or experience:
Most jobs require BA/BS or
credentials demonstrating status as
a professional
Degree can be in closely related field
Cannot use equivalent experience

Process
Apply for admission at US border
o Canadians do not require a visa
o Mexicans require a visa
Apply for COS or EOS if in US and eligible
3 year initial admissions period
Must have intent to depart at end of stay

Process
Process for Canadians
Apply at POE, airport,
or PFI
Pay required TN fee
Withdrawal of
application vs. Refusal
Refusal not appealable
Issued Multiple Entry I94 with TN notation

Process for
Mexicans
Obtain visa at
Consulate and
apply for TN
admission at POE
o Visas for Mexicans
only issued for 1
year at a time

Documents
Proof of Canadian or Mexican citizenship
Job offer in NAFTA profession
Employer letter detailing the duties, job
requirements, length of stay, and terms of pay
Proof of beneficiary qualifications
Degree evaluation if from non-NAFTA country
G-28
Fee
LCA not required

Extensions or Change of Status


3 year increments
No upper limit, although need to prove
nonimmigrant intent
Must be in US when extension is filed,
but can request notification to POE or
Consulate
Dependents file I-539
Filing fees required ($325 for I-129, $290
for I-539)

Benefits and Red Flags


Benefits

Red Flags

Dependents get TD
status
Change of status
possible
Extensions/renewals
possible

Self-employment not
allowed
Issues in specific
occupations
(Management
Consultants, Scientific
Technician/Technologi
st Computer
Professional)

Conclusions
US and Canada:
NAFTA visa for professionals has similar
requirements, process, documentation, quick
processing times and permits dependents.
Benefits also for NAFTA intracompany transferees
and business visitors.
Mexico
There is no NAFTA visa category; however, the
visitor and temporary residence categories
surpass NAFTA provisions.

Questions?