Business Visitor Visas

Entering Canada for Business

Business visitors are visitors who enter Canada for international business activities. To be considered a business visitor, you should demonstrate intent to stay in Canada for less than 6 months to pursue business activities outside the scope of the Canadian labour market. Your main place of business, and source of income and profits, must remain outside of Canada. Business visitors must apply for a business visitor visa unless they are from visa-exempt countries. In these cases, you may still need an electronic travel authorization (eTA), if arriving in Canada by air.

If your visit requires you to remain in Canada for more than 6 months, then you may be considered a worker and you might haver to apply for a work permit.


What You Need to Enter Canada as a Business Visitor

Prior to entering Canada, you should ensure that you have valid travel documentation such as a passport, a valid temporary visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA). If applying for a visitor visa, you may be required to provide your fingerprints and a photo.

As a business visitor, it is helpful to bring a letter of invitation along with a letter of support from the business contacts you are visiting. Additionally, you are required to provide proof of sufficient funds to accommodate your stay in Canada.

If you intend to organize a large event in Canada, such as a convention, exhibition, meeting, scientific or exploratory expedition, then you should obtain a Letter of Recognition from the Canada Border Services Agency.

Activities You May Conduct as a Business Visitor

Only some business activities qualify for a business visitor visa. Activities include entering Canada to buy or take orders for goods or services and attend meetings, conferences, conventions, or trade fairs. Taking part in training, Intra-company training, and installation activities, as well as providing after-sales service, or general service as part of an agreement also qualifies.

Please note that as of this writing business visitors must use ArriveCAN to submit travel and contact information, quarantine plan, and COVID-19 symptom self-assessment before checking in at the airport or crossing the border. Border service officers will require you to provide an ArriveCAN receipt upon arrival. Please bring proof of COVID-19 vaccination with you as well.


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