Monday, December 8, 2008

How to Prepare to get your Work Permit as a NAFTA Professional

As much as is involved in getting a NAFTA Professional Work Permit, when I undertook the process, I was glad that the company I contracted my services with was well prepared to make the process smooth for me.

I am sharing here a condensed fact sheet for those who want to know more about this process:

Eligibility requirements:

Under NAFTA, qualifying American professionals may be admitted to Canada to live and work temporarily in Canada. One of the principal advantages of entry under NAFTA as a professional is that, unlike many other employment-based temporary visa categories, NAFTA professionals need not petition CIC for visa approval in advance of entry. Instead, NAFTA professionals may apply in person at the time of entry at a Canadian Port of Entry. To enter Canada as a NAFTA professional, you must show the Canadian immigration officer:

  • You are a U.S. citizen

  • You will be employed in Canada in one of 63 designated professional fields

  • You possess the credentials required for your professional field

  • You understand that, in order to live and work in the Canada, you must maintain a valid immigration status, and you will depart Canada if for any reason your status should expire and you have not obtained another status allowing you to remain in Canada

What you should be prepared to present when you enter:

When you arrive at the Canadian Port of Entry, you must have with you and be prepared to present:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship (birth certificate, passport, or a naturalization certificate)

  • A supporting letter from your employer

  • Copies your university degrees

  • A copy of your current resume

  • A copy of the contract or agreement between your employer and the company in Canada they have a contract with which should show the basic contractual arrangements between the parties; and

  • The $150 CAN application fee (cash, money orders and certified checks accepted; personal checks not accepted; credit cards may or may not be accepted)

Tomorrow: The Procedure at the border, the inspection interview, and details about the approval and duration of stay

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