Business Visitor Program
Foreign nationals who arrive in Canada under a Business Visitor Program participate in international business activities. They don't seek to enter the Canadian labor market. In most cases, business visitors to Canada do not need a Work Permit. However, business visitors from countries requiring a Temporary Resident Visa to enter Canada will need to obtain it before traveling to Canada.
Canada’s thriving economy attracts thousands of short-term business visitors each year. It's one of the world’s largest economies and a member of G 7 and of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), as well as a signatory to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). So Canada encourages international business visitors to come to the country on business trips under the Business Visitor Program. Many business visitors can enter Canada to conduct business or trade activities without the work permit.
Business Visitor Program: Requirements
If you are planning to come to Canada under a Business Visitor Program, you will need to demonstrate:
- you intend to stay in Canada for a short period, typically less than 6 months;
- you do not intend to enter the Canadian labor market in any way;
- your company is located outside of Canada;
- all the profits from your business are made outside of Canada;
- you meet standard Canadian entry requirements.
Reasons for coming to Canada under a Business Visitor Program may include:
- attending business meetings, conferences, conventions, fairs, etc.;
- buying Canadian goods or services on behalf of a foreign entity;
- taking orders for goods and services;
- providing after-sales service, excluding hands-on work in the construction trades;
- to get training organized by a Canadian parent company for work outside of Canada;
- employee training of a Canadian subsidiary of a foreign company.
Please note: Individuals who wish to enter the Canadian labor market will need to obtain a Work Permit prior to entering Canada.
What You Need to Know About Business Visitor Program
You can be considered a business visitor under the Business Visitor Program if you are an installer, master or tester of the specialized industrial or commercial equipment purchased or leased outside Canada. In this case, you can go to Canada to provide a repair service without a work permit as part of the sales agreement, which stipulates after-sale service. The same rule applies to the sale agreements that include a software upgrade. However, hands-on building and construction work are not covered by this provision. Similarly, warranty agreements also should be part of the original sales agreement.
When a Canadian company has concluded a contract for services with a non-Canadian company, the employee of the company providing the services for the Canadian company requires a Canadian work permit. The service provider cannot be considered a business visitor because he is not getting his wage directly from the Canadian company. And a contract between a Canadian and a foreign company supposes an entry to the Canadian labor market. So people who intend to enter a Canadian labor market need a Temporary Work Permit. There are situations when certain professionals don’t need a work permit to work in Canada, while not being business visitors.