FTA Professionals

Canada holds Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with several countries (or groups of countries) which include provisions for the movement of skilled labour. These countries include the following:


    • The United States
    • Mexico
    • Colombia
    • Peru
    • Chile
    • South Korea
    • The European Union
    • The Pan Pacific group of Countries

Depending on the specific agreement, either a positive or negative list of occupations indicates the occupations that are eligible under the agreement. In addition, the applicant must meet the following criteria:


    • The applicant is a citizen of the country Party to the agreement;
    • The applicant possesses the qualification for the position; and
    • The applicant holds an assignment letter or contract of employment with the Canadian business.

The applicant’s family may accompany them to Canada as visitors.

Spouses may be eligible for open work permits upon application. Minor children of parents on a work permit may study in Canada on visitor status.

FTA based work permits can be issued for a period of up to three years and are renewable, in theory, indefinitely. These work permits are however based on temporary entry. If the applicant’s stay is of a duration that no longer appears temporary a renewal will likely be refused unless the applicant can prove otherwise.


There are other free trade agreements with similar provisions current under negotiation.


Donoso & Partners provide assistance with review and advice regarding eligibility for visas to the U.S. or Canada.