Canada Panama Free Trade Agreement provides a pathway towards a Canadian work permit without the requirement to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This makes the application process easier, faster and less costly.

What is Canada Panama Free Trade Agreement?

Canada Panama Free Trade Agreement (Canada Panama FTA) is one of many free trade agreements Canada has signed with countries in the Americas. As its counterparts, Canada Panama FTA is modeled on the NAFTA Agreement. Consequently, most rules and requirements are identical. Like NAFTA, the agreement facilitates entry of four categories of applicants:

  • business visitors
  • professionals
  • intra-company transferees
  • traders and investors

For the time being, only the provisions for business visitors and professionals have come into force. Above all, for the purpose of hiring a worker from Panama, the only suitable category is Professionals. Continue reading for the requirements specific to the Canada Panama FTA.  


In order to become a professional under the Canada Panama Free Trade Agreement, an applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • must be a citizen or permanent resident of Panama.
  • must be seeking to enter Canada as part of a pre-arranged service contract granted by an enterprise or service consumer in Canada.
  • the occupation of the professional must be on the list called Annex 13.04 D.
  • must have a post-secondary degree in the speciality requiring at least 4 years of study.
  • must have professional qualification as required by the province or territory where the service is supplied.
  • provide evidence that the applicant meets all the requirements (minimum 4-year degree, professional qualification and minimum number of yeas of work experience) as per the National Occupational Code (NOC).

For general rules governing work permits for professionals under Canada Panama FTA, refer to the NAFTA agreement.

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Annex 13.04-D: Persons Engaged in Specialty Occupations


Computer and information systems