What Is The International Mobility Program Between Canada And Colombia?

The Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (Canada – Colombia FTA) was signed in November 2008 and became effective August 15, 2011. Canada – Colombia FTA allows Canadian employers to hire certain professionals and technicians who are citizens or permanent residents of Colombia to fill temporary skill and labour shortages without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This makes it easier for Colombians to come to Canada to work. Kahane Law Office offers full immigration law services to facilitate these moves. (You can also read this En Espanol.)

Do I Need An LMIA?

Canada – Colombia FTA contain provisions to facilitate, on a reciprocal basis, temporary entry of foreign national for work. Eligible persons entering under Canada- Colombia FTA will generally require a work permit, but are exempt from securing a LMIA.

If eligibility requirements are met, your Canadian employer is exempt from obtaining a LMIA.  This mean, you can directly apply for a work permit without your employer spending time and money to secure one.  This is a substantial advantage as securing a LMIA is often difficult, long, and expensive. Some Canadian employers even avoid foreign nationals as they do not want to deal with a long and expensive process that offers no guarantee of success.

Categories Included Under Canada – Columbia Free Trade Agreement

  1. Business visitors;
  2. Professionals;
  3. Technicians; and
  4. Intra-company transferees.

For the purpose of this page, focus remains on professionals, technicians and intra-company transferees.

Professionals are businesspersons who enter to provide pre-arranged professional services— either as a salaried employee of a Canadian enterprise, through a contract between him or her and a Canadian employer, or through a contract between the Colombian employer and a Canadian enterprise.

Intra-company transferees are employed by Colombian enterprise in a managerial or executive capacity, or in one which involves specialized knowledge, and are being transferred to the Canadian enterprise, parent, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate, to provide services in the same capacity.

The intra-company has expanded to include a new category of “management trainee on professional development”, meaning an employee with a post-secondary degree who is on a temporary work assignment intended to broaden that employee’s knowledge of and experience in a company in preparation for a senior leadership position within the company.

Who Is Eligible Under The Canada – Columbia FTA To Work As A Professional Or Technician?

The following requirements apply to those seeking Canadian employment in Canada under Canada- Colombia FTA. You must:

  • Be a Colombian Citizenship or Permanent Colombian Residency;
  • Have the qualification to work in the trade or professional needed in Canada;
  • Be a professional and technician identified under Canada-Colombia FTA;
  • Have a pre-arranged employment with Canadian employer, and
  • Be in compliance with existing immigration requirements in Canada.

Professionals Covered Or Eligible Under The Free Trade Agreement

All professionals that meet the general definition of professionals are covered, except those professionals listed on an exclusion list below. With today’s online job search websites, finding work in Canada is easier than every before.

Professionals Not Eligible Under Canada – Columbia FTA?

Generally, professionals in cultural industries and all health, education, and social services occupations and related occupations are not covered.  In addition, there are Managers in a large area of industries ranging from sports, manufacturing, to telecommunication that may not be covered.

  • Managers in Health/Education/Social & Community Services
  • Physicians/Dentists/Optometrists/Chiropractors/Other Health Professions
  • Pharmacists, Dietitians & Nutritionists
  • Therapy & Assessment Professionals
  • Nurse Supervisors & Registered Nurses
  • Psychologists/Social Workers
  • University Professors & Assistants
  • College & Other Vocational Instructors
  • Secondary/Elementary School Teachers & Counselors
  • Managers in Libraries, Archives, Museums and Art Galleries
  • Creative & Performing Artists
  • Managers in Publishing, Motion Pictures, Broadcasting and Performing Arts
  • Recreation, Sports and Fitness Program and Service Directors
  • Managers in Telecommunication Carriers
  • Postal and Courier Services Managers
  • Managers in Manufacturing
  • Utility Managers
  • Managers in Construction and Transportation
  • Judges, Lawyers and Notaries except Foreign Legal Consultants

Technicians Eligible Under Canada – Columbia Free Trade Agreement

The following technician positions remain eligible under the Canada – Columbia Free Trade Agreement:

  • Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians
  • Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians
  • Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing Technologists and Technicians
  • Construction Inspectors and Estimators
  • Engineering Inspectors, Testers and Regulatory Officers
  • Electrical and Electronics engineering Technologists and Technicians (includes electronic service technicians)
  • Electricians (includes industrial electricians)
  • Plumbers
  • Industrial Instrument Technicians and Mechanics
  • Aircraft Instrument, Electrical and Avionics Mechanics, Technicians and Inspectors
  • Underground Production and Development Miners
  • Oil and Gas Well Drillers, Servicers and Testers
  • Graphic Designers and Illustrators
  • Interior Designers
  • Chefs
  • Computer and Information System Technicians
  • International Purchasing and Selling Agents

Canada – Colombia Free Trade supervisors in the following:

  • Machinists and Related Technicians that are covered Occupations
  • Printing and Related Occupations
  • Mining and Quarrying
  • Oil and Gas Drilling and Service
  • Mineral and Metal Processing
  • Petroleum, Gas and Chemical Processing and Utilities
  • Food, Beverage and Tobacco Processing,
  • Plastic and Rubber Products Manufacturing
  • Forest Products Processing
  • Textile Processing

Contractors and Supervisors in the following:

  • Electrical Trades and Telecommunications Occupations
  • Pipe fitting Trades
  • Metal Forming
  • Shaping and Erecting Trades
  • Carpentry Trades
  • Mechanic Trades
  • Heavy Construction Equipment Crews
  • Other Construction Trades
  • Installers, Repairers and Servicers

Who Is Eligible To Work As Intra-Company Transferee?

  • Those employed continuously by a Colombia enterprise for six months within the three-year period immediately preceding the date of application for admission; in a managerial or executive capacity, or in one which involves specialized knowledge.
  • Employee in “management trainee on professional development”.  The employee must hold a post-secondary degree and be assigned to work in Canada on a temporary work assignment intended to broaden the employee’s knowledge of and experience in the company in preparation for a senior leadership position within the company.

Spouse Eligibility For An Open Work Permit

Canada -Colombia FTA allows for open work permits for spouses of Professionals and Technicians. If you secure a work permit, your spouse is also eligible to apply for a work permit.

Immigration Lawyers Apply For Canada – Columbia Free Trade Agreement Work Permits

Kahane Law has on its team a South American raised, multi-lingual attorney with a specialty in immigration law. In addition, we help you with a team of experienced immigration professionals ready to assist. Call today for a consultation.  Connect with our immigration team at 403-225-8810 locally in Calgary, Alberta or toll-free at 1-877-225-8817 or email us directly here.