U.S. Immigration Implications of NAFTA Replacement USMCA | KNG Law

On September 30, 2018, representatives from the United States, Canada, and Mexico reached an agreement on a new trilateral trade agreement to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). NAFTA is to be replaced by the United States - Mexico - Canada Agreement (USMCA).

The Question: What does NAFTA replacement, USMCA, mean on the U.S. immigration front?

It seems that the Chapter 16 immigration related provisions of NAFTA relating to "Temporary Entry for Business Persons" have survived the renegotiation. The new Agreement does not appear to change the provisions of the TN program. Additionally, provisions relating to business professionals such as Business Visitors, Traders and Investors, and Intra-Company Transferees are anticipated to remain intact once the USMCA takes effect.

Although a consensus has been reached, the USMCA must still be approved and ratified. It is unlikely that Congress will review the USMCA before 2019. The text of the relevant portion of the Agreement can be found here.

Update provided by Attorney Sumayyah Badat, J.D.

Sumayyah is a contract attorney with the firm and provides immigration support for both immigrant and nonimmigrant employment visas.