A Business Visitor in Canada is an individual who enters the country for a short period of time to conduct business activities without directly entering the Canadian labour market. Business visitors are not considered to be workers in Canada, and they are not required to obtain a work permit.
What is a Business Visitor?
A business visitor is someone who comes to Canada:
- For international business activities without being a part of the Canadian labour market, or
- Is visiting Canada temporarily to
- Expand business relationships
- Look for ways to grow your business
Business visitors usually stay in Canada for a short period of time, ranging from a few days to a few weeks. In general, they are allowed to stay in Canada for up to 6 months.
Examples of a Business Visitor
Here are some examples of the reasons why a business visitor comes to Canada.
- To meet people from companies doing business with them
- To observe site visits
- Because a Canadian company invited them for training in:
- Product use
- Other business transaction functions
Types of Activities
As a business visitor in Canada, permissible activities may involve:
- Purchasing Canadian goods or services for a foreign business or government
- Receiving orders for goods or services
- Attending meetings, conferences, conventions or trade fairs
- Providing post-sale support as per warranty or sales agreement
- Receiving training from a Canadian parent company for a job performed outside of Canada
- Training employees of a foreign company’s Canadian branch
- Receiving training from a Canadian company from whom you have procured services or equipment
Also, under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, US or Mexican citizens may undertake research, marketing and general services, among other activities.
Business Visitors: Qualifications
To be eligible as a business visitor to Canada, you need to demonstrate that:
- You intend to stay in the country for less than 6 months
- You will not enter the Canadian labour market
- You operate your primary business and generate income and profits outside of Canada
- You hold the necessary documents that support your application
- You satisfy Canada’s basic entry criteria, because you:
- Hold a valid travel document like a passport
- Have enough money for your stay and to return home
- Intend to leave Canada upon completion of your visit
- Pose no threat to Canadian security, health, or law and order
What to Bring to Enter Canada?
As a business visitor, you need to bring one of the following to enter Canada:
- A visitor visa
- An electronic travel authorization (eTA)
- Other documents such as
- A valid United States passport, or
- Official proof of status in the US (e.g. Green Card) and a valid passport from your country of nationality
Upon arrival, make sure that you have the following documents (do not pack them in your luggage):
- A passport or travel document that is valid for the entire duration of your stay
- A valid visitor visa, if applicable
- If you require an eTA, you must travel using the same passport you used in your application
- If you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States, make sure that you carry a valid Green Card (or equivalent official proof of status in the US) and a valid passport from your country of origin (or equivalent document)
- Support letters from your parent company and a letter of invitation from the Canadian host business or a Letter of Recognition from the Canada Border Services Agency
- Other relevant documents, such as warranty or service agreements, or contracts, depending on the purpose of your visit
- 24-hour contact details of your business host in Canada
- Proof demonstrating that you have sufficient funds to cover both your stay in Canada and your return journey
Business Visitors vs Business People
Business visitors and different from business people. Business people can work in Canada under a Free Trade Agreement.
Under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), it is easier for certain skilled business people to temporarily enter other member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO). If you are arriving in Canada under GATS, your employer will not be required to obtain a labour market impact assessment (LMIA) prior to your authorization to work in Canada.
Business People: Eligibility
The following individuals may be eligible to work under the GATS:
- Citizens of WTO members
- Permanent residents of
- New Zealand
Business Visitors: FAQs
If I am a business visitor, do I need a work permit to work in Canada?
Engaging in business-related activities such as meeting clients of your company or visiting job sites, that are connected to your employment back home, do not need a work permit. However, if you intend to perform secretarial, managerial, technical, or production duties or stay in Canada for more than 6 months, you are required to apply for a work permit. In both cases, if your country required a visa for visiting Canada, you must obtain a temporary resident visa.
How long can a business visitor stay in Canada?
Generally, business visitors can stay in Canada for a few days to a few weeks, but they are allowed to extend their stay for up to 6 months.