Canada, as a prominent global economy and a member of international organizations like the OECD and G7, is committed to facilitating short-term business visits by international professionals. Business visitors to Canada, depending on their nature of work and nationality, can engage in business activities without the need for a work permit.
Key requirements for business visitors to Canada include:
Duration of Stay: Visitors must plan to stay for less than six months.
Non-Labor Market Intent: They should not intend to enter the Canadian labor market.
Source of Income: The primary place of business, income, and profits must be outside Canada.
Documentation: Visitors must possess supporting documents for their application.
Basic Entry Requirements: Meeting Canada’s basic entry criteria, including having a valid travel document, sufficient funds, a departure plan, and no criminal, security, or health risks to Canadians.
Business visitors come to Canada for various purposes, including:
- Participating in business meetings, conferences, conventions, or trade events.
- Purchasing Canadian goods or services on behalf of a foreign entity.
- Taking orders for goods or services.
- Providing after-sales service (excluding hands-on construction work).
- Receiving training from a Canadian parent company for work outside Canada.
- Training employees of a Canadian subsidiary of a foreign company.
Business visitors may need either a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) depending on their nationality.
Facilitating international business activities is crucial for Canada’s economic success, and reciprocal visa policies with partner countries are an integral part of its business outlook.
After-Sales or Lease Services: Individuals involved in repairing, supervising installers, or setting up commercial or industrial equipment (including software) may qualify as business visitors and may not require a work permit. However, this does not include hands-on installation work typically done by construction trades.
This provision extends to individuals providing services for specialized equipment purchased or leased outside Canada, as long as it is part of the original or extended sales agreement, lease/rental agreement, warranty, or service contract.
Warranty or Service Agreement: To be considered a business visitor under warranty or service agreements, contracts must have been negotiated as part of the original sales or lease/rental agreements or be an extension of those agreements. Contracts negotiated separately with third parties are not covered by this provision, and a work permit and Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) may be required.
Individuals Not Considered Business Visitors: In cases where a Canadian employer directly contracts services from a foreign company, the employee of the foreign company providing services in Canada generally requires a Canadian work permit. This situation is common under trade agreements like the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA, formerly NAFTA) because there is a contract between the Canadian company and the foreign worker’s employer, implying an entry into the Canadian labor market and compensation from a Canadian source.
In summary, Canada facilitates short-term business visits for international professionals while maintaining clear criteria for business visitor status. Understanding these rules helps ensure that individuals engage in business activities in compliance with Canadian immigration regulations.