USMCA Takes Effect July 1, 2020
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will take effect on July 1, 2020. The USMCA replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which expires on June 30, 2020.
From an immigration perspective, the USMCA represents a repackaging of NAFTA. The USMCA retains key immigration benefits of NAFTA, including provisions allowing for the temporary entry without quotas of Business Visitors, Traders and Investors, Intracompany Transferees, and Professionals. With respect to Professional workers, USMCA retains all of the occupations previously designated as eligible for the NAFTA “TN” visa, though the new agreement does not add any additional occupations.
Implementation of the USMCA does not alter the temporary travel restrictions currently in effect at the U.S., Canadian and Mexican land borders, stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Admission restrictions for non-essential business travel will remain in place until at least July 21, 2020. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers may still adjudicate immigration benefits applications filed under the USMCA.
Gibney will monitor implementation of the new agreement and provide ongoing guidance with respect to any procedural changes related to the admission of business persons under the USMCA.