Business Visitor Visa
A business visitor in Canada is a foreigner who comes to participate in international trade activities such as conferences, fairs, and after-sales services but won’t enter the Canadian labour market. Canada allows business visitors to do it for a short time with a Temporary Resident Visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).
Business Visitor Visa
A Canadian Business Visitor is an individual coming temporarily for international business activities without directly joining the Canadian labour market. It allows you to meet Canadian clients, business partners, attend industry conferences, events, sales, training, among others. As a Business Visitor, you can travel all across Canada for your trade activities while visiting family and friends.
Activities you may conduct as a business visitor include:
• Buying Canadian goods or services for a foreign business or government
• Taking orders for goods or services
• Attending meetings, conferences, conventions or trade fairs
• Giving after-sales service as part of a warranty or sales agreement
• Being trained by a Canadian parent company that you work for outside Canada
• Training employees of a Canadian branch of a foreign company
• Being trained by a Canadian company that has sold you equipment or services
Qualifications to be a business visitor in Canada:
• Show your trip is related to attending business meetings, conferences, conventions, fairs.
• Prove you need to take orders for goods or services.
• Get training by a Canadian parent company.
• Buy Canadian goods or services on behalf of a foreign entity.
• You come to provide after-sales service. (except hands-on work in the construction trades.
• You come to train employees of a Canadian subsidiary of a foreign company.
To be eligible you need to demonstrate:
• You plan to stay in Canada for less than six months.
• Don’t plan to enter the Canadian labour market.
• Prove your principal place of business, income and profits, is outside Canada.
• Meet Canada’s basic entry requirements ( Valis passport, enough assets for your trip, plan to leave Canada after the end of your visit, don’t have a criminal record or a health-risk condition).
Documents you need to bring to Canada to present at the border:
• A passport or travel document that is valid for your entire stay
• A visitor visa, if applicable.
• If you need an eTA, you must travel using the same passport you used in your application.
• Letter of support 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.
• Contact details of your business host in Canada.
• Proof that you have enough money for both your stay in Canada and your return home.
If you come to Canada to repair services, supervise installers, after-sales service, or install or give training, you may be considered a business visitor. But, hands-on building and construction work is not covered under this section.
Notice that some other cases allow individuals to work in Canada without a work permit while not necessarily being considered business visitors
Letter of invitation for business visitors to Canada
Canadian companies must write a letter of invitation when they host business visitors from abroad. Business visitors can be existing or potential buyers, investors, trade show or conference visitors, partners, employees, or individuals coming for training at the company’s facilities.
If you need a visa, a letter of invitation does not guarantee that a visa will be issued. Visa officers assess applicants to find out if they are eligible to visit Canada. Some visa offices may need these letters to be notarized. Contact the Canadian visa office of your visitor’s country to find out if this is required.
If your Canadian company is inviting a visitor, a representative of the company should write the letter. Some firms have specific people who sign letters of invitation. Your company should send each visitor two originals of the letter of invitation, one for them to submit when applying for their visa and one to present when they enter Canada.
Be sure to leave enough time for your visitor’s visa to be processed. See the application processing times to find out how long it may take to process a visa.
Note: You may not need a visa but may need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).
The letter must include information:
about the person being invited
• complete name
• date of birth, if known
• the company represented and the person’s position
• the person’s address and telephone number (both work and home)
• your company’s relationship to the invitee and your business history together
• whether you know the visitor personally, and if you are related
• the purpose of the trip (if part of a longer-term project, please provide context)
• the length of time the person will be visiting your company in Canada
• accommodation and living expenses that your company will cover and
• the date the person intends to leave Canada, if known.
• complete name
• job title and position in the company
• address and telephone numbers in Canada and
• work email address.
• complete name of the company.
• headquarters address.
• the address of all company facilities to be visited.
• the company’s website address, if available.
• the company’s date of registration/incorporation.
• a short description of the firm’s type of business.
International events in Canada
As you plan your sporting competition, political summit, global congregation, convention, meeting, trade show, exhibition, scientific or exploratory expedition, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will be your contact for any border-related questions.
The CBSA will help you coordinate border-related requirements in partnership with other Canadian government departments and agencies.
• As an event organizer you can find information on border crossing requirements, admissibility requirements, and collaboration between government departments and agencies.
• As a spectator or visitor to Canada, you are required to follow all the rules for general visitors to Canada.
• As a participant, you may be entitled to certain exemptions based on your level of participation in the event. Please contact your event organizer.
The information you provide is collected under the authority of Section 107(9) of the Customs Act for the purpose of the facilitation of border coordination services for organizers of international events being held in Canada. The information may be disclosed to other government departments and agencies for the purposes of providing assistance with admissibility requirements.
Individuals have the right of access to, the protection and correction of their personal information under the Privacy Act – Section 12. The information collected is described under the International Events Personal Information Bank CBSA PPU 040 which is detailed at www.infosource.gc.ca.
Major international events
Events such as the Pan American Games, G8 summits or World Youth Day can create temporary and irregular border pressures. To address these pressures, the CBSA’s Major Events Management team offers a variety of event coordination services including:
• Liaising with authorities on any admissibility requirements.
• Supporting import and export requirements with all Canadian government departments and agencies.
• Determining eligibility for special entitlements and whether duties and taxes must be paid.
• Ensuring that border services officers can process people and goods for your event in a timely and effective manner.
• Offering continuous guidance based on extensive experience and precedence.
For further information, contact us
Benefits of a business visitor visa
When you are under a business visitor visa, you can travel across Canada to visit family, friends, and enjoy the country while attending your business trade activities. You can also approach that time to look for options for extending your stay in Canada.
Frequently asked questions
Business visitor visas allow short-term stays for business activities such as industry conferences, site visits, or training. If you join the Canadian workforce or are transferred to Canada by your company, you will need a work permit.
A business visitor comes to Canada for short-time international business activities without directly entering the Canadian labour market.
To qualify as a business visitor to Canada, you must:
• Show you won’t stay more than six months.
• Demonstrate you don’t plan to enter the Canadian labour market.
• Prove your principal place of business and incomes are outside Canada.
• Have documents that support your application.
If you plan to join the Canadian workforce 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.
Documents required for a Canada Tourist Visa
• Proof of the ties to your home country.
• Proof of funds for your visit to Canada.
• Valid passport.
• Invitation letter from the person inviting you to come to Canada.
• Evidence that you will be staying in Canada only temporarily.
Generally talking, tourist visas are issued specifically for travel for pleasure. ‘Business visitor’ visa generally allows engaging in business-related activities for a specific time.
It is not a complex matter, TRV visitor visas must be applied correctly and on time. It is best to get started as soon as you learn you will travel to Canada.
It would be best if you were sure you have a valid passport for more than six months from the date of travel, and it has a minimum of two blank pages. Be sure you also have all your support documentation ready.
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