Looking to visit Canada as a business visitor? You would have to engage in international business activities without directly contributing to the Canadian labor market.
For example, if you come to Canada to meet with business clients who are doing business with your company based back in your home country, then you would be considered a business visitor.
Who Can Visit as a Business Visitor?
As a business visitor looking to apply for a visitor visa, you must be able to show the following:
- You intend to stay for a period of 6 months or more
- You do not intend to work in the Canadian labor market
- Your main place of work and source of income is outside of Canada
- You have the required documents to support your application
- You have the basic travel documents such as a passport
- You have enough funds to support your stay in Canada
- You do not have a criminal background and don't pose a health risk
- You can not enter the Canadian workforce as a business visitor.
What Else Do You Need to Know About Being a Business Visitor?
Work Without Work Permits: Most foreign nationals wishing to work in Canada require work permits that is a legal document authorizing you to engage in gainful employment from a Canadian employer.
However, under the following circumstances and occupations, as a business visitor, you can be allowed to work in Canada without a work permit:
After Sales Service/Warranty: After sales service providers may come to Canada for specific installations or to repair or service commercial or industrial equipment. Such services are required to be included in the contract of sale of the equipment in Canada.
Business Visitors Entertainment: Foreign Artists performing in Canada can do so without a work permit. Some types of performances do require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and a work permit.
But guest artists who have been invited to perform come under this exception as long as their invitation is for a time limited engagement.
Tour Guides Operating Within Canada: Tour guides who are acting in the capacity of a chaperone or as an authority figure to lead the group would be considered as business visitors.
Also, if the trip begins or concludes outside Canada, then a work permit is not required. However, it would be safer for a tour guide or tour bus driver to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer first.
Convention Organizers: People who come to Canada to organize a convention or a conference come under this category. If you are attending such a convention, then you’d be considered a business visitor and are exempt from the requirement of a work permit.
IT Workers as Business Visitors: Under certain circumstances, foreign nationals working in the IT industry may enter Canada as business visitors. Since business workers work in Canada without a work permit, IT workers find this option suitable for their needs.
Guest Speakers in Canada: People who intend to come to Canada as guest speakers, commercial speakers, or seminar leaders do not require a work permit.
What are the Main Requirements for a Visitor Visa for Business Visitors?
A business visitor is allowed short term stays for business purposes such as site visits, industry conferences, or training.
As a business visitor, you will be required to provide proof of your activities to the border official at your arrival at a port of entry at the border or at an airport.
If you are a business visitor from a visa-exempt country, then you would still require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) if you arrive by air.
You will be allowed to travel anywhere within the country if you visit on a visitor visa. But if you are coming to search for Canadian employment, a work permit might be a better choice.