NAFTA Professional Occupations

NAFTA outlines 65 professional occupations that allow for the issuance of a work permit to Canada without an approved LMIA. The majority of these occupations require a Bachelor’s Degree and/or license. A few occupations, such as a Management Consultant, require either 5 years of experience in the field OR a Bachelors Degree. All occupations require a valid job offer from either a Canadian entity or a foreign entity with a valid contract to perform work at a Canadian client site.

General Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree, license or experience*

  • Job Offer from a Canadian employer or foreign employer with Canadian client

  • Detailed job description

Filing Process:

The filing process for NAFTA work permits has two options. U.S. Citizens can make an application at a Port of Entry (Land Border), an airport or through the consulate. This summer new directives were given to the land borders restricting their ability to issue these work permits on certain days where the traffic would be higher. It is in your best interest to consult with an experienced immigration attorney on this process, preferred filing method and realistic timing.

Employer Compliance

In order to be approved for a work permit under NAFTA, your employer must complete the application and pay the fee associated with an Employer Compliance Certificate for you. Each work permit requires its own employer compliance certificate and fee.

Common Occupations:

  • Management Consultant

  • Accountant

  • Medical Professionals (limited to certain categories)

  • Attorney

  • Teaching Professionals (limited to certain categories)

  • Scientific Technician/Technologist

  • Computer Systems Analyst


Work Permits under NAFTA can be issued for up to 3-year increments. It is up to the adjudicating officer to make the determination on the amount of time the work permit should be issued. The support letter from the employer is crucial in obtaining approval and issuance for the longest period of time allowable. NAFTA work permits can be extended indefinitely as long as the job remains valid under a NAFTA professional position and the individual remains admissible to Canada.


– Under this work permit category your spouse is eligible to file for an open work permit.

At this time, we are committed to the health and safety of our clients, our staff and our community. The government continues to accept applications and process them as normal. We are equipped to continue to prepare and process all cases. Please keep in mind that most cases take months to process. We want to continue to prepare and process these cases, so that when we do get through this crisis, you will not have lost crucial processing time. We will perform all consultations over the phone and can be best reached through our contact form.