ARCHIVED – Backgrounder — Beyond the Border Action Plan: Progress report on facilitating the conduct of cross-border business

The Beyond the Border Progress Report summarizes progress made by the Canadian and United States (U.S.) governments to facilitate the conduct of cross-border business and identify actions for future improvement.

In May 2012, the governments of Canada and the United States held joint stakeholder consultations in Washington and Toronto. Stakeholders were also invited to submit online suggestions and comments. The objectives of the consultations were to:

  • Receive comments from interested stakeholders on the cross-border business facilitation commitments included in the Beyond the Border Action Plan;
  • Identify and assess additional ways to facilitate and improve border admissions processes for business travellers in the near and medium terms; and
  • Identify mechanisms for ongoing consultations.

The consultations confirmed stakeholders’ support of the six commitments related to facilitating cross-border business travel as set out in the Beyond the Border Action Plan. A summary of the overall feedback from stakeholders and the public is available on CIC’s website – archived.

The table below outlines the Action Plan’s business traveller initiatives and the progress made on each of the commitments to facilitate the conduct of cross-border business:

Commitment Progress


Administrative guidance and training. Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will provide enhanced administrative guidance and training to their officers and enhanced operational manuals to achieve optimal operational consistency at all ports of entry on business traveller issues.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) Temporary Foreign Worker Guidelines (TFW) manual was reviewed and updated to reflect the latest policy interpretations and practice.

The CBSA reviewed and updated its manuals, launched an intranet page called the Business Traveller Toolkit (which combines manuals, bulletins and policies on processing of business travellers and their goods), and developed enhanced training material for Border Services Officers (BSO).

United States
CBP created and issued various guidance memos and a NAFTA Reference Manual to clarify temporary entry provisions for Canadians under NAFTA and is also drafting a detailed NAFTA Handbook. A “Business Traveler’s Corner” was created on CBP’s intranet where memos and regulations pertaining to business travellers are posted.


Specialized maintenance and repair personnel. Canada and the United States will develop and implement operational and administrative policies and requirements to facilitate the movement of specialized personnel to perform maintenance and repairs of industrial machinery and critical operations systems.

CBSA reinforced CIC’s existing policy whereby the entry of foreign nationals providing emergency repair services is facilitated by not requiring them to obtain a positive labour market opinion (LMO).

Those entering Canada to perform after-sales or after-lease servicing do not require a work permit and therefore do not require an LMO. (See Commitment C)

United States
CBP issued guidance to officers at ports of entry that supervision or training by Canadian repair workers may be considered appropriate business visitor activity in some cases.


After-lease servicing. Canada and the United States will expeditiously pursue changes to existing rules authorizing temporary entry of business visitors who provide after-sale service, so they apply equally to those who provide after-lease service as per designated contractual agreements.

Canada allows for the temporary entry of business visitors who provide after-sales and after-lease service under section 5.2 of the TFW manual (PDF, 1.8 MB).

United States
Policy guidelines were issued to CBP officers clarifying that after-lease (also known as “during-lease”) service is permissible under circumstances similar to that of after-sale servicing.


NEXUS client profile. Canada and the United States will implement specific approaches to incorporate designating documents onto the NEXUS client profile for predictable expedited clearances.

If a traveller has a work permit and provides the information at time of application, it is included as part of a business traveller’s NEXUS profile. Otherwise, the work permit will be issued upon entry to Canada and can be added to the traveller’s NEXUS profile at that time.

United States
CBP identifies and records travellers’ class of admission in their NEXUS profiles upon enrolment in the program.


Advance adjudication processes. Canada and the United States will review current administrative processes under which all categories of business travellers may request adjudication of employment and related petitions by the destination country's immigration authorities to identify and resolve potential issues prior to the actual date of travel.  Based on this review, and with the objective of increasing the use of the advanced processes, we will improve current processes and, as appropriate, establish new processes.

U.S. citizens seeking a work permit as a NAFTA professional, intra-company transferee, or a trade/visitor, can apply to CIC to obtain advance determination for eligibility.

United States
As of October 1, 2012, an employer or U.S. entity may file an application in advance on behalf of a Canadian citizen applying as a NAFTA professional. As well, employers continue to have the option of applying in advance for intra-company transferee applicants.


Redress/recourse mechanisms for denied applications. Canada and the United States will review the effectiveness of existing redress and recourse mechanisms for business travellers whose applications are denied, and identify and implement administrative and operational improvements.

In Canada, there are a number of redress/recourse mechanisms for a business traveller whose application is denied.

United States
The redress mechanism in the United States is the Department of Homeland Security Redress Program (DHS TRIP).

In the progress report, Canada and the United States also committed to:

  • examine the possibility of utilizing a trusted employer concept in the processing of business travellers between Canada and the United States;
  • review policies related to foreign truck drivers;
  • review documentary requirements for after sales/lease servicing by June 30, 2013;
  • seek opportunities to address NAFTA-related issues as part of the NAFTA Temporary Entry Working Group process; and
  • hold an annual joint consultation session with stakeholders from each country, with the next one to happen by September 30, 2013.

In addition, the United States will consider making its officer field guidance manuals available to the public.


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