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Canadian employers may hire highly skilled workers from Colombia through Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. 

Work permits issued under this agreement are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which significantly reduces the time needed for the worker to start work in Canada.

Similarly to other free trade agreements that Canada has signed with countries in the Americas, Canada-Columbia Free Trade Agreement (Canada-Colombia FTA) is modeled on NAFTA . Furthermore, the agreement borrows from the Canada-Peru FTA.  

How Can Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Help My Business?

The NAFTA influence is represented by the overall structure of eligible persons. 

Among these are: 

  • Business Visitors 
  • Professionals/Technicians 
  • Intra-Company Transferees  
  • Trades/Investors. 

For the purpose of hiring a Colombian national by a Canadian employer, the suitable categories are primarily: Professionals/Technicians and Intra-Company Transferees.

Professionals & Technicians

Professionals

Professionals/Technicians are those Colombian nationals who are offered a salaried employment in Canada in one of the permitted positions. 

Alternatively, Canadian employers may hire a Colombian national through a contract with the applicant’s employer in Colombia. 

As in the Canada-Peru FTA, Professional position are determined negatively (i.e. Negative List). In other words, only the positions that are not on the list are eligible for a Canada-Colombia FTA work permit. 

The Negative List applicable to Colombians is identical to the one in the Canada-Peru FTA. For the complete ‘negative list’ and qualification requirements for Professionals refer to Canada-Peru FTA Work Permit by clicking here.   

Technicians

Technician positions must meet the same requirements as professionals in terms of the nature of the employment contract. However, the list of eligible positions is determined positively. In other words, only the positions stated on so called ‘Positive List’ are eligible for a work permit. Also, in this case, the Colombian Positive list is identical to the one in the Canada-Peru FTA. For the Positive List, click here.   

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Intra-Company Transferees

Intra-Company Transferees must be employees of a Colombian company and must be transferring to a Canadian company that is in a parent, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate relationship to its Colombian counterpart. 

Refer to the NAFTA agreement for detailed overview of requirements for intra-company transferees, click here.

Similarly to the Canada-Peru FTA, the agreement with Colombia expands the Intra-Company Transferee to include: ‘Management Trainee on Professional Development’ stream. Click here for more details.

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