Canada, Mexico, and the United States have reached an agreement during the last week on a new trilateral trade agreement to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Among the many economic deals within the agreement, there is also a labor mobility provision, a version of the Trade National (TN) agreement that existed with NAFTA. A Trade National visa is a visa available to nationals from Canada and Mexico and is available to certain professionals who are designated by the agreement (NAFTA occupation list) and who meet the education and/or experience requirements. To learn more about this visa and see if you qualify please click here, to learn more about visa sponsorship, please click here. The labor mobility provisions, which ease the cross-border movement of businesspersons, certain professionals are largely the same as those of NAFTA, and the signing of the agreement ensured that the mobility system established by NAFTA could continue.

What does this mean for employers and employees on TN visas

The three countries are expected to implement the labor mobility provisions of the USMCA consistent with existing practices under NAFTA. Until the new agreement takes effect, the NAFTA mobility provisions are expected to remain in place without interruption. Each country maintains the authority to interpret the provisions of the USMCA, and country-specific policies and application procedures cannot be ruled out.

The leaders of the three countries are expected to sign the agreement within 60 days.  It must be ratified by the legislatures of the three countries before it can take effect. Ratification is expected to take place in 2019.

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