Professionals who want to enter Canada may not need a work permit or LMIA if they qualify as a Professional under the NAFTA Business Visitor After Sales Service category R186(a).
If you need to enter Canada temporarily to provide pre-arranged professional services as a salaried employee of a Canadian company or are contracted by a Canadian employer in one of over 60 occupations covered by NAFTA you can enter Canada as a cross border business professional.
Canada immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah says that Canadian immigration law is flexible to support business needs:
Temporary business visitors to Canada such as highly specialized after-sales and service employees are often qualified to enter Canada without a work permit for cross border business and authorized to work under the NAFTA trade agreement. Few people know about this special business visitor visa. While NAFTA 2.0 has not yet been ratified, we don’t expect this provision to change.
How To Enter Canada under NAFTA R186 (a)
Business visitors who want to enter Canada for after-sales or service work can apply at the airport to a Canada Border Agent. They will need to provide verification of their business visitor application including:
- letters of support from the business visitor's parent company
- a letter of invitation from the Canadian host business
- a verbal statement that the business of the applicant and their source of income is outside Canada
- supporting documentation such as business cards, business papers, advertising pamphlets
The NAFTA Business Visitor After Sales Service category provision applies to service people who want to enter Canada for after-sales and lease services includes software upgrades to previously sold or leased equipment. A service person coming to Canada to install, configure or give training on upgraded software may be considered a business visitor. A sales or lease agreement or purchase order for upgraded software is considered a new contract for a new product.
A business immigration lawyer can help you determine if your job meets the requirements for NAFTA R186 (a) entry to Canada without a work permit, and assemble the documentation to present to the Border Agent.
Do you have questions about Canada Business Work Permits?
Evelyn Ackah practices U.S. and NAFTA Canada cross-border business law and is founder and managing lawyer at Ackah Business Immigration Law. Business immigration law focuses on helping people move into new opportunities — both personally and professionally. Ackah Immigration Law helps you to navigate the complex maze of rules and regulations involved with Canadian, U.S. and international immigration law with confidence. Headquartered in Calgary and with offices in Vancouver and Toronto, Ackah Business Immigration Law provides legal immigration advice for those looking to move for work, education or personal reasons.
We provide service in all areas of immigration law ranging from corporate immigration to personal and family immigration matters. We provide comprehensive immigration services to clients around the world representing corporations, institutions, not for profit organizations and individual clients. As your immigration lawyers and paralegals, we provide you with timely and strategic advice relating to the constantly changing immigration laws and regulations.
Contact Ackah Business Immigration Law
Calgary: (403) 452‑9515 Vancouver: (604) 985‑9512 Toronto: (416) 643‑7177
North America: 1 (800) 932-1190