Canada introduces 3-year renewable work permits for NAFTA professionals

Support migrant centric journalism today and donate

Canada's Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney has announced the introduction of 3-year renewable work permits for professionals seeking to enter the country under the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

'NAFTA work permits are an excellent option for North American professionals seeking to work in Canada including lawyers, doctors, dentists and teachers. In addition, this will also help Canadian employers remain competitive by ensuring they have access to necessary skilled labour,' said Minister Kenney.

'This extension, along with our Action Plan for Faster Immigration, will greatly benefit the Canadian economy by helping ensure greater continuity and stability for both employers and workers,' continued Minister Kenney. 'In a time of economic uncertainty, highly skilled migrants encourage innovation and economic growth, making us more competitive economically.'

Previously, temporary professional workers from other NAFTA member countries had to renew their work permits every 12 months. The change brings Canada into line with the US, which along with Mexico completes the trio of countries party to the agreement.

The group generally recognizes that net economic benefits arise from greater workforce mobility within its membership in certain professions. By easing the administrative requirements, employers can be more confident that they will have access to the skilled labour they need for a longer period.