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Business Visitors to Canada

Business Visitors to Canada
Business Visitors to Canada

Business Visitors to Canada: the Exceptions for Work Permits

Looking to visit Canada as a business visitor? Well, you will 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 clients who are doing business with your company based in your home country, 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, 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 and service commercial or industrial equipment. Such services must 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. Although some types of performances do require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and a work permit.

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 are considered business visitors.

In addition, if the trip begins or concludes outside of Canada, then a work permit is not required. However, it is recommended that the tour guide or tour bus driver consult with an experienced immigration lawyer first.

Convention Organizers: People who come to Canada to organize a convention or a conference are included in 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.

However, as a business visitor, you will be required to provide proof of your activities to the border official at your arrival port of entry or at an airport.

If you are a business visitor from a visa-exempt country, you will still be required to have 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 may be a better choice.

Business Visitor Processing Time

The processing times for a Business Visitor depends on the country of citizenship for the Applicant and whether they are visa exempt.

Business Visitor Refusal

These are some of the top reasons for why a Business Visitor may be refused:

  1. Ineligible business activity
  2. Duration of stay
  3. Main source of business income
  4. Inability to satisfy the reviewing officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Being a Business Visitor

Can I work in Canada as a business visitor?

As a business visitor, you’re allowed to grow your business network, invest, or advance your business relationships. However, it does not allow you to directly enter the Canadian labor market or enter into employment with a Canadian business.


How many days can I stay in Canada with a visitor visa?

Business visitors are usually allowed a duration of up to 6 months or more.


Can I open a business as a foreign national?

If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you can still open a business. However, your options are limited to forming a partnership or starting a joint venture.


What is the difference between a work visa and a visitor visa?

A visitor visa only allows you to undertake business that is not directly contributing to the Canadian labor market. A work visa allows you to get a job with a Canadian employer.


Is the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) required for a Canadian visitor visa?

If you are applying for the Start-up Visa Program, then you would be required to take the IELTS.


Why Start with My Visa Source with a Free Online Assessment?

Congratulations on taking your first step towards the Business Visitor Visa process in Canada.

Immigration lawyers at My Visa Source dedicate themselves to your immigration case, providing legal representation tailored to your personal situation.

Our expertise focuses on immigration and visa programs for Canada and the United States, including global immigration.

Partnering with an award-winning immigration team greatly increases the likelihood of achieving your specific immigration or visa goals.

Immigration is a complex process that requires strong legal strategy, precise paperwork and perfect attention to detail and experience dealing with immigration officials and government departments, reducing the risk of wasted time, money or permanent rejection.

Begin Your Application for Business Visitor Visa Today!

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