What is CUSMA and How Can You Benefit from It?

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Are you interested in working in Canada? If the answer is yes, the best way to do so is to get a job in Canada and apply for a Canadian work permit.    

If you’re from the United States or Mexico, you can move to Canada with the help of CUSMA. Currently, there are over one million U.S. citizens and over a hundred thousand Mexicans living in Canada – numbers that continue to grow each year.

What is CUSMA?

CUSMA stands for Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement and is a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created on 1 January 1994. It was designed to eliminate barriers to trade and investment between Canada, the United States, and Mexico and to offer opportunities for foreign nationals who want to work in Canada.

What Does the Free Trade Agreement Mean for Mexicans and Americans?

CUSMA allows you to get a three-year Canadian work permit from Mexico or the U.S. in as little as two weeks, provided that you have a pre-arranged job offer in Canada. 

CUSMA applicants are also exempt from needing a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) when they come to Canada.

What is a LMIA?

A Labour Market Impact Assessment, or LMIA, is a document issued by the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), which assesses the effects of hiring international workers. The purpose of an LMIA is to ensure that Canadians experience a higher quality of life by endorsing highly skilled professionals to boost the Canadian labour market. Click here to learn more about Canada’s LMIA and how to apply.  

There are four categories under CUSMA:

  • CUSMA Professionals – Requires a pre-arranged Canadian job offer or contract in a targeted profession, which includes 63 eligible occupations. Applicants must provide proof of work experience and educational credentials in their field.  
  • CUSMA Investors and Traders – For traders, this includes people that come to Canada to carry out a substantial trade of goods or services between Canada, Mexico, or the U.S. Investors must make an investment in either a new or existing business in Canada. It also requires them to develop and manage the business. Work permits for this category can be granted to essential staff of the company.
  • CUSMA Intra-Company Transfers – If Mexican or U.S. workers are transferring to a branch of the company they work for in Canada, they can be eligible for this category. The transfer, however, must be for temporary work in Canada. 

CUSMA: Quick Benefits

There are many ways workers, investors, and traders can benefit from CUSMA, including:    

  1. Two-week work visa processing
  2. No LMIA is required to work in Canada
  3. Work experience gained can increase Canadian Permanent Residence (PR) points
  4. Economic growth and rising standards of living for Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.
  5. The work permit can be issued for up to three years

Get Help with Your CUSMA Application

So, what is CUSMA? To summarize, CUSMA is a special agreement that allows Mexicans and U.S. citizens to work in Canada with little red tape, making the process much faster and easier. Are you ready to apply for your Canadian work visa? Get in touch with a Canadian visa specialist, otherwise known as a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC).    

RCICs are ICCRC-approved and registered consultants that can assist you with finding the right Canadian immigration program, which will enable you to submit your visa application correctly and faster. By testing your eligibility, RCICs can provide expert advice on your fastest immigration route to Canada with just a single consultation.  

To learn more about how an RCIC can help you simplify the visa application process, go to CanadianVisa.org.   

Disclaimer: This content does not necessarily represent the views of IWB.

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