Sunday, December 7, 2008

Working as a United States NAFTA Professional in Canada


So...have you ever wondered about the details of NAFTA? From our friends at Wikipedia:

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (Spanish: Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte [TLCAN], French: Accord de libre-échange nord-américain [ALENA]) is a trilateral trade bloc in North America created by the governments of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The agreements were signed in December 8, 1993 by the leaders of the three countries — Brian Mulroney of Canada, Carlos Salinas de Gortari of Mexico, and Bill Clinton of the United States [1] when Jean Chrétien was in office in Canada. In terms of combined purchasing power parity GDP of its members, as of 2007[update] the trade bloc is the largest in the world and second largest by nominal GDP comparison. It also is one of the most powerful, wide-reaching treaties in the world.

"...powerful and wide-reaching," eh? This is very true. But I never thought I would become a beneficiary of this agreement in a very personal way.

You see, I contracted my services as an independent consultant to a company that needed my talents on a project in the Canadian Oil Sands in Northern Alberta. As I was briefed on the project, I was introduced to the concept of working as a "NAFTA Professional" in Canada. My company did a great job preparing me for the process of becoming properly documented to legally work in Canada.

What I did discover, however, is that there is precious little information out there to prepare or even inform people considering this type of work. What I hope to lay out for readers of this blog are things to consider when preparing for this type of assignment.

Stay tuned!

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