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Canada United States Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)

Canada has various agreements with various countries, two of which are the United States and Mexico. The Canada United States Mexico Agreement,  also known as CUSMA, was launched on July 1, 2020, to preserve the key elements of the long-lasting trade relationship and promote opportunities for almost half a billion people in the U.S.

What is the Canada United States Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)?

CUSMA has four main programs that help immigrants from the U.S. and Mexico either find work in Canada or facilitate trade in goods in certain sectors, namely:

  • Agriculture;
  • Automotive;
  • Digital Trade;
  • Intellectual property;
  • Investment;
  • Textiles and apparel.

CUSMA Programs

man signing document | Canada United States Mexico Agreement (CUMSA)

1. CUSMA Professionals

This program is for U.S. or Mexican citizens with a valid Canadian job offer in one of the following professions in the medical, scientific, and educational sectors as well as other general occupations.

Successful applicants will get a Canadian work permit, without needing an LMIA, provided they have proof of their qualifications and some work experience.

Below are the qualifying occupations of this category:


General In Demand CUSMA Occupations
Accountant
Architect
Computer Systems Analyst
Disaster Relief Insurance Claims Adjuster
Economist
Engineer
Forester
Graphic Designer
Hotel Manager
Industrial Designer
Land Surveyor
Landscape Architect
Lawyer
Librarian
Management Consultant
Mathematician
Range Manager/Conservationist
Research assistant
Scientific Technician/technologist
Social Worker
Silviculturist
Technical Publication Writer
Urban Planner
Vocational Counsellor


Medical/Allied In Demand CUSMA Occupations
Dentist
Dietician
Medical Laboratory Technologist
Nutritionist
Occupational Therapist
Pharmacist
Physician(teaching or research only)
Physiotherapist/Physical Therapist
Psychologist
Recreational Therapist
Registered Nurse
Veterinarian


Scientific In Demand CUSMA Occupations
Agriculturalist
Animal Breeder
Animal Scientist
Apiculturist
Astronomer
Biochemist
Biologist
Chemist
Dairy Scientist
Entomologist
Epidemiologist
Geneticist
Geologist
Geochemist
Geophysicist
Horticulturist
Meteorologist
Pharmacologist
Physicist
Plant Breeder
Poultry Scientist
Soil Scientist
Zoologist


Educational In Demand CUSMA Occupations
College teacher/professor
Seminary instructor
University professor

woman working on laptop in office | Canada United States Mexico Agreement (CUMSA)

2. CUSMA Intra-Company Transfers

This program is for U.S. or Mexican citizens who want to transfer to a Canadian branch of the company they are currently working for. Successful applicants will be issued with a temporary Canadian work visa. This option is generally reserved for highly-skilled professionals like managers, executives, or employees with specialized knowledge in their field of expertise.

There are types of workers that can apply under this category:

  • Executives
  • Senior managers
  • Workers with specialized knowledge

3. CUSMA Traders

This program is ideal for traders with a considerable trade deal of more than 50 percent of the trade taking place between Canada and Mexico or the U.S. To qualify for this program you must meet the following requirements:

  • The applicant must have U.S. or Mexican citizenship;
  • The employing enterprise must have a majority U.S. or Mexican nationality;
  • The activities must involve substantial trade in goods or services;
  • The trade must be principally between the U.S. or Mexico and Canada; and
  • The position must be supervisory or executive or involve essential skills.

4. CUSMA Investors

This program could be the investment opportunity you’ve been looking for if you’re planning to develop your business by investing in Canada. You’ll be able to apply for a CUSMA Investor visa for essential staff members who need to travel to Canada.

To qualify for this category you must meet the following requirements:

  • The applicant must have U.S. or Mexican citizenship;
  • A majority of the company must be owned by a U.S. or Mexican citizen;
  • Substantial investment must have been or is actively being made in Canada;
  • The investor must be looking to enter Canada for the sole reason of developing and directing the business; and
  • Should the investor be an employee, their role must be executive or supervisory or involve essential skills.

CUSMA temporary work visas are issued under the International Mobility Program (IMP)and because neither U.S. nor Mexican citizens don't need a Temporary Resident Visa to come to Canada, applications can be done at a Port of Entry, at a Visa Office, or online.

Getting Permanent Residency Through CUSMA?

Thousands of temporary workers from Mexico and the U.S. have found their pathway to Permanent Residency (PR) through CUSMA and are living and working in Canada in over 60 different occupations. Some people can become naturalized Canadian citizens through programs like the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) or those under the Express Entry system. How is this possible? By simply gaining Canadian work experience the door to gaining permanent residency in Canada is automatically opened and those with the right qualifications, language skills, and work experience could receive an invitation to apply (ITA) for PR status.

Whether you intend to invest or trade in Canada or work temporarily in an in-demand occupation, there are various options to immigrate to Canada from Mexico or the U.S., whether through CUSMA or one of Canada's premium immigration programs.

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