Determine your eligibility – Visit on business

Canada has introduced a new entry requirement, known as an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), for visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to Canada. This regulation becomes mandatory March 15, 2016. Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid visa. Read about the changes and how they may affect you.

You are a business visitor if you plan to visit Canada temporarily to:

  • look for ways to grow your business,
  • invest or
  • advance your business relationships.

If you are a business visitor, you may need to apply for an eTA or a visa to come to Canada. Find out if you need an eTA or a visa.

If you need an eTA, you should:

  • get it when you plan your trip – do not wait for the last minute to apply, and
  • travel to Canada with the passport you used to get your eTA.

If you need a visitor visa, you must send certain documents with your application:

  • a letter of invitation from your potential business partner in Canada; and
  • 24-hour contact details for that person.

You may also need identification cards or proof that you have a job.

As a business visitor, you must show that:

  • you plan to stay for less than six months,
  • you do not plan to enter the Canadian labour market,
  • your main place of business, and source of income and profits, is outside Canada,
  • you have documents that support your application and
  • you meet Canada’s basic entry requirements, because you
    • have a valid travel document, such as a passport,
    • have enough money for your stay and to return home,
    • plan to leave Canada at the end of your visit and
    • are not a criminal, security or health risk to Canadians.

Cross-border business can include:

  • buying Canadian goods or services for a foreign business or government,
  • taking orders for goods or services,
  • going to meetings, conferences, conventions or trade fairs,
  • giving after-sales service (managing, not doing hands-on labour),
  • being trained by a Canadian parent company that you work for outside Canada,
  • training employees of a Canadian branch of a foreign company or
  • being trained by a Canadian company that has sold you equipment or services.

Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, a U.S. or Mexican national may also take part in other activities, such as research, marketing and general services. For more information, see the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada website.

If you plan to stay longer than six months or plan to work in Canada, you may be considered a temporary worker and have to apply for a work permit.

Find out if you are eligible

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