Operational Bulletin 342 - August 12, 2011

Implementation of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement

This Operational Bulletin has expired.

Background

The International Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Canada and Colombia was signed on November 21, 2008, and contains implications for Citizenship and Immigration Canada under R204 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). Like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), covers trade in goods, services and investments.

The Canada-Colombia FTA provides for coverage on a reciprocal basis for business visitors, intra-company transferees, traders/investors, spouses, professionals and technicians. These provisions are contained in the FTA, Chapter 12 – Temporary Entry for Business Persons.

The Canada-Colombia FTA comes into force August 15, 2011.

General Guidelines

The coverage of Chapter 12 of the Canada-Colombia FTA is almost identical to Chapter 12 of the Canada-Peru FTA, but includes a section allowing the issuance of open work permits to spouses of Traders and Investors, Intra-company Transferees or Professionals and Technicians. This is also different from the NAFTA, which did not cover spouses as noted in Section 1.5 of Appendix G (NAFTA) of the Foreign Worker Manual (FW 1).

Coding for the spousal provision – T25 (NEW)

As this is an exemption under a FTA, it is to be treated differently from the C41 and C42 (spouses of skilled-workers or students respectively) exemptions. Therefore a new exemption code (T25) was created for the spouses of workers coming in under the Canada-Colombia FTA.

Manual Reference

Information on the Canada-Colombia FTA will be added as a new section in Appendix B of the FW 1.

In the meantime, officers can follow the guidelines contained in Section 2 (Canada-Peru Agreement) of Appendix B of the FW 1. The list of Professionals and Technicians in the Canada-Peru Agreement section, is identical to the list in Chapter 12 of the Canada-Colombia Agreement in that it contains a list of professionals not covered followed by a list of technicians that are covered.

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