The Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which was signed on November 21 2008 was enacted on August 15th 2011. Similar to other FTAs currently in effect (e.g, NAFTA, Peru, Chile), this program includes provisions for the reciprocal admission of business visitors and foreign workers. Nationals of Colombia are therefore newly eligible to seek work permits with exemptions from the requirement of a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) if they are considered Professionals, Traders, or Investors. Although this FTA also includes provisions for intra-company transferees and spouses, these are essentially mirrored in existing categories under Significant Benefit to Canada.
Until the program is further elaborated, the Canada-Peru Free Trade provisions are being used as a template for assessment of candidates. This includes the lists of excluded and included Professionals, Technologists, and Technicians. The Colombia FTA is the first to include provisions specific to spouses, whereby spouses of foreign workers admitted under the program can seek admission under a newly coded LMO exemption.