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A business visitor is someone who comes to Canada:
- for international business activities without being/becoming a part of the Canadian labour market, or
- is visiting Canada temporarily to expand business relationships.
Business visitors usually stay in Canada for only a few days or weeks, but are able to stay for up to 6 months.
Examples of a Business Visitor Includes Someone Who Comes to Canada:
- to meet people from companies doing business with their country;
- to observe site visits; or
- because a Canadian company invited them for training in product use, sales, or other business transaction functions.
Business Visitors do not require a work permit to come to Canada, but they must prove that their main source of income and their main place of business are outside Canada.
You aren’t considered a business visitor, and may need to get a work permit if you’re doing work for a Canadian company. For example, you’re an employee sent by a foreign company to fulfill a contract with a Canadian company.
Business visitors and business people are not the same. Business people come to do work in Canada under a free trade agreement.
- a passport or travel document that is valid for your entire stay and guarantees re-entry to your country of origin;
- a letter of support from your parent company and a letter of invitation from the Canadian host company or a Letter of Recognition from the Canada Border Services Agency;
Does a Business Visitor Need a Special Visa to Enter Canada?
As a business visitor, you need either an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) or a visitor visa that covers all visitors, including those coming to Canada on business. Most people need a visa OR an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada – not both. Some people may only need a valid passport.
When you arrive in Canada, you must show the border services officer several documents. These documents include, but are not limited to:
- the passport you used to apply for your eTA;
- other documents such as warranty or service agreements, contracts, etc. if relevant to the visit;
- 24-hour contact details of your business host in Canada; and
- proof that you have enough money for both your stay in Canada and your return home.
Types of Activities You May Conduct as a Business Visitor:
- buying Canadian goods or services for a foreign business or government;
- taking orders for goods or services;
- going to meetings, conferences, conventions or trade fairs;
- giving after-sales service (managing, not doing hands-on labour);
- being trained by a Canadian parent company that you work for outside Canada;
- training employees of a Canadian branch of a foreign company; and
- being trained by a Canadian company that has sold you equipment or services.
If I Am a Business Visitor, Do I Need a Work Permit to Work in Canada?
You do not need a work permit to carry out business activities related to your job back home, such as meeting clients of your company or visiting job sites.
However, if you plan to:
- carry out secretarial, managerial, technical or production activities, or
- stay longer than six months in Canada.
You have to apply for a work permit. In both cases, if you are from a country that requires a visa to visit Canada, you must apply for a temporary resident visa as well.