Trader Work Permit


Traders citizens of Chile, Peru, Colombia, Korea, Mexico, and the United States of America can qualify for a Work Permit that is exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Initial work permits can be issued for one (1) year and extended for two (2) years.

The entry of executives and specialists to Canada for exchange, purchase, or sale of goods or services is facilitated on a reciprocal basis under the following Canada Free Trade Agreements (FTA):

  • The United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA / CUSMA). This used to be called NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) prior to July 1, 2020.
  • Canada-Chile FTA
  • Canada-Peru FTA
  • Canada-Colombia FTA
  • Canada-Korea FTA

Business people qualifying in a Trader category may be issued a work permit with an LMIA exemption code T21 under Canada’s International Mobility Program.

Eligibility Requirements for a Work Permit under Trader Category

Applicant’s Citizenship 

Applicant must have a citizenship of one of the treaty countries: 

  • The United States of America
  • Mexico
  • Chile
  • Peru
  • Colombia
  • Korea

Company/ Employing Enterprise Nationality

The trader must own 50 percent directly or by stock in the employing enterprise from/ to which he is coming. In other words, a company must have the nationality of an applicant. For example, a citizen of Chile who wants to come as a trader to Canada must have at least 50 percent ownership in the company that pays a salary. Place of incorporation is not sufficient to prove an entity’s nationality, rather it is linked to the trader’s citizenship.

Substantial Trade in Goods or Services

Trade is defined as the exchange, purchase, or sale of goods and/or services. It excludes money, securities, and negotiable instruments. Services, for example, include but are not limited to international transportation, insurance, banking, communications and data processing, advertising, accounting, design and engineering, management consulting and tourism.

Secondly, an applicant seeking a work permit to carry on substantial trade in goods or services principally between Canada and the treaty country. Thus, a business person’s predominant activity in Canada must be international trading. Substantial trade means over 50 percent of the total volume of international trade conducted by the entity must be between Canada and the treaty country, i.e., the United States of America, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Korea. It is determined by the volume and the monetary value of the transactions.

Thirdly, trade between the treaty country and Canada must already be in existence. It can be proved by completed sales and binding contracts. However, an applicant would not qualify as a Trader if the primary purpose is searching for a trading relationship in Canada.

Job Position in Canada

An applicant under a Trader category will be working in Canada in a capacity that is supervisory, executive, or involves essential skills, such as a specialist of a highly trained technician.

A supervisor is a manager who is primarily responsible for directing, controlling and guiding subordinate staff and who does not routinely engage in hands-on activities. An executive is in a primary position in the company with significant policy authority. Specialists are those who possess special qualifications vital to the effectiveness of the company’s Canadian operations. Moreover, specialists are not required to have been previously employed by the treaty enterprise. For example, a qualified technician to perform warranty repairs on products sold in trade between Canada and the treaty country can qualify for a Trader work permit if a Canadian organization cannot find or train within a reasonable time a qualified Canadian technician.

If you would like to know more , you may call +1 587-930-7017 or email or message us using the contact form.

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