Canadian and US Immigration Law

Business Travel to Canada

Business Travel to Canada

Business visitors to Canada are foreign nationals who enter Canada for temporary stays to engage in business-related activities without directly entering the Canadian labor market. Business visitors can attend meetings and conferences, negotiate contracts, explore business opportunities, or conduct research.

To enter Canada as a business visitor, either a Temporary Resident Visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) will be required, depending on the visitor’s nationality. Note that US citizens and US permanent residents are exempt from the eTA requirement. 

To enter Canada as a business visitor, you must have a clear purpose for  business activities in Canada and must be prepared to provide supporting documents such as invitation letters, conference registrations, or business contracts. 

Business visitors are generally allowed to stay in Canada for up to six months, although the actual duration is determined by border officers based on individual circumstances. Upon arrival, a business visitor will be asked to present their passport and any supporting documents related to the business visit. Engaging in work activities that exceed the scope of a business visitor will require a work permit.

Business Travel from US to Canada

As noted above, US citizens and US Permanent Residents seeking to enter Canada as a business visitor do not require an eTA; however, a passport, US resident alien cards and documents supporting the business visit are required.

How Guberman//Appleby Immigration Lawyers Can Help

Our immigration lawyers have the knowledge and experience necessary to help you file the appropriate application or prepare the necessary port of entry documents. Our Leading Canadian immigration lawyer, can provide business visa support for visiting Canada. 

The team of Canadian immigration lawyers at Guberman // Appleby are here to guide you through the process every step of the way and help those who wish to enter Canada as a business visitor. Obtain guidance on the business visitor process and options with our help; Contact us today.

Business Travel to Canada FAQs

Yes, as a business visitor. A business visitor is a foreign national who comes to Canada for international business activities without directly entering the Canadian labour market. Legitimate business visitors do not need a work permit to come to Canada. Business visitors must prove that their main source of income and their main place of business are outside Canada. 

To qualify as a business visitor to Canada, you must be staying in Canada for less than six months. You are not allowed to enter the Canadian labour market within those six months. Your main source of income must come from outside of Canada. Also, you must meet Canada’s basic entry requirements with respect to criminal and medical admissibility.

An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is an entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air. An eTA is electronically linked to a traveller’s passport. Once you are approved, the eTA is valid for multiple entries (typically for a maximum of 6 months at a time) over a period of either five years or to the expiration date of the applicant’s passport, whichever comes first. With a valid eTA, visa-exempt foreign nationals can travel to Canada for short stays with a valid eTA. Visa-exempt foreign nationals require an eTA to fly to or transit through a Canadian airport. 

The eTA is required only for citizens of visa-exempt countries who are travelling to (or through) Canada by plane. You do not need an eTA to travel to Canada by land or sea. The eTA is required for citizens of visa-exempt countries, which are those whose citizens do not need a traditional visa to visit Canada for short stays like tourism.

If you are coming from a visa-exempt country, then you do not need a visa to enter Canada as a business visitor. You will still need an electronic travel authorization, which is a very straightforward process. If you do not come from a visa-exempt country, you need to follow the standard temporary visitor visa application process. You may need to demonstrate proof of your business activities once you arrive at the border. You may bring family members to Canada with you, but they must fill out their own visa applications.

Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), there are reduced barriers between North American countries for travel. While the agreement was renamed USMCA, its rules still apply, and citizens of the US, Mexico, and Canada can quickly enter each other’s countries for temporary business or investment purposes. If you plan to stay for more than six months, or if you intend to work in Canada, you will be considered a temporary worker and will thus require a work permit.