Business Visitor Visas

Unless they are visa-exempt, all visitors to Canada require a visitor visa to enter the country, regardless of the type of activities they will pursue once in Canada. Business visitors must therefore apply for a temporary resident visa (TRV), or visitor visa, to come to Canada.

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A business visitor is someone who comes to Canada for international business activities, but does not directly enter the Canadian labour market.

Business Visitor vs Work Permit

Note that a business visitor visa is different from a Canadian work permit. You cannot enter the Canadian workforce as a business visitor. Business visitor visas are intended to allow short-term stays for business activities such as industry conferences, site visits, or training. If you are transferred to Canada by your company or are otherwise employed by a Canadian company, you will need a work permit. You can come to Canada as a visitor to search for Canadian employment.

However, you cannot legally work in Canada without a work permit. If you secure a job offer from a Canadian employer while in Canada on a visitor visa, you must apply for a work permit before you can begin working. Your application must be processed by the Canadian visa office responsible for the country in which you live or are a citizen, so you may be required to leave Canada during the course of your application processing. However, you can legally remain in Canada for as long as your visitor visa is valid.

How to Apply for a Business Visitor Visa

There is no special visa for business visitors to Canada. Business visitors have to follow the normal application procedure for a visitor visa, or TRV, and will need to indicate that they are entering Canada for international business activities. Business visitors may be required to demonstrate proof of their activities to the border services officer at their port of entry. Some business visitors may be visa-exempt, if they are from visa-exempt countries. In these cases, the individual may still need an electronic travel authorization (eTA) if they arrive in Canada by air. Business visitors may bring family members with them to Canada, but each family member must complete their own visitor visa application.

NAFTA Business Visitors

NAFTA, or the North American Free Trade Agreement, reduces barriers between Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Under NAFTA, citizens of these countries can gain quick entry into each others’ countries for temporary business or investment reasons. NAFTA business visitors are one category of business people under NAFTA.

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If you have questions or concerns relating to Business Visitor Visas please contact us and a member of the Canadim Team will be happy to discuss your options.

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