Business Visitors

Information for a Canadian business visitor

There are thousands of people from all over the world that come to Canada each year as a Canadian Business visitor to do business with Canadian companies.  You may be interested in visiting Canada to forge a new business opportunity, to invest, or to build upon current business relations.  To avoid any roadblocks to your business plans, ensure that you meet the requirements to travel to Canada.

If you require a visa to come to Canada, the process is the same as for any individual who is temporarily visiting the country.  You would be required to complete and submit a temporary resident visa application.  As a Canadian business visitor, you would need to submit a letter of invitation from your potential business partner in Canada, and the contact information for that person where they can be reached at any moment.  In addition, you might need to provide identification cards or proof of employment.

In order to considered a Canadian business visitor, the following aspects must be apparent:

  • You do not plan to stay in Canada for more than six months
  • You do not plan to enter the Canadian labour market
  • Your source of income and main place of business is outside of Canada
  • Your business profits will increase outside of Canada
  • You can supply the documents related to your application
  • You meet the basic requirements to enter Canada

The following activities are examples of cross-border business:

  • purchasing Canadian goods or services for a foreign business or government
  • taking orders for goods or services
  • visiting meetings, conferences, conventions, or trade fairs
  • offering after-sales service (not physical labour, but supervision)
  • receiving training by a Canadian parent company that employs you outside of Canada
  • training employees of a Canadian subsidiary of a foreign company
  • receiving training by a Canadian company which has sold equipment or services to you

There are additional business activities, such as research, marketing and general service, that someone from the U.S. or Mexico may engage in, under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

If you expect to remain in Canada longer than six months, or plan on working, you might have to apply for a work permit as you could be considered a temporary worker.

Arriving in Canada as a Canadian business visitor

Upon arriving in Canada, you will first speak with the Canada Border Services Agency, who is in charge of guarding the borders and points of entry to Canada.  All visitors to Canada must meet with a CBSA officer, and declare their purpose for visiting and prove they meet the admission requirements.

Be sure to have all the necessary documents to provide to the officer.  Some of these documents are listed below:

  • a valid passport or travel document
  • a temporary resident visa, if you need one
  • letters of support from your parent company and a letter of invitation from the Canadian host business
  • copies of contracts or bills that support your visit
  • the contact information for your business host in Canada, where they can be contacted round-the-clock
  • evidence of the amount of money to sustain your stay in Canada and return home

If the officer is not satisfied with your information that shows that you are qualified to enter Canada or that you will leave the country at the end of your stay, you may not be allowed to enter.  Be sure to have all the correct information and documents.

Canada makes an effort to allow for foreign nationals to visit the country, while maintaining a secure border.  As a result, many requirements are in place to ensure that Canada is safe.  When coming to Canada as a Canadian business visitor, you will have to fulfill all these requirements without fail, which can seem overwhelming.  Enlisting the help of a Canadian immigration lawyer transfers some of that responsibility to a professional, allowing you a smoother travel experience.

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When you are a Canadian business visitor, get the initial information for coming to Canada, so you can get down to business.

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