Business Visitors in Canada: Exploring Professional Activities without a Work Permit

Canada, as one of the world’s leading economies, warmly welcomes numerous business visitors annually. These visitors engage in professional activities in Canada without the need for a work permit.

Defining Business Visitors:

A business visitor, as defined by the Canadian government, is an individual who:

  • Engages in international business activities, and
  • Does not directly enter the Canadian labour market.

Canada’s participation in international trade agreements such as NAFTA and CETA, coupled with its prominent role in the global economy, necessitates frequent visits from individuals associated with various businesses. These individuals conduct business-related activities in Canada without directly receiving payment from Canadian sources. Depending on factors such as citizenship and the nature of work, individuals may work in Canada without a work permit.

Reasons for Business Visits:

Business visitors to Canada may visit for various purposes, including:

  • Training staff or employees of a Canadian subsidiary of a non-Canadian company.
  • Procuring Canadian products and services on behalf of a foreign company.
  • Taking orders for Canadian products and services on behalf of a foreign company.
  • Attending business meetings, conferences, conventions, and fairs.
  • Providing after-sale services, subject to certain limitations under the law.
  • Undergoing training in Canada to return and work in a non-Canadian subsidiary (up to 6 months).

Requirements for Business Visitors:

To qualify as a business visitor, individuals must demonstrate that they:

  • Do not intend to enter the Canadian labour market directly.
  • Plan to stay in Canada for less than 6 months.
  • Possess all required supporting documents.
  • Maintain their primary place of business/income outside Canada.
  • Hold a valid travel document, such as a passport.
  • Have sufficient funds to cover expenses during their stay.
  • Have no criminal background.
  • Do not pose health risks to Canadians or permanent residents.
  • Intend to leave Canada upon completion of their visit.

Visa Requirements:

Business visitors typically require either:

  • Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)
  • Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

Visa reciprocity, particularly with countries under NAFTA and CETA agreements, facilitates smooth and efficient visa processes for business visitors. Annually, thousands of individuals from around the globe visit Canada for business purposes, contributing to its economic prosperity.

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