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Business Visitors – Work Without A Work Permit

Business visitors to Canada do not require a Canadian work permit.

If you are a foreign national who wanted to participate in international business activities and interested in exploring the vast array of business prospects, but who will not enter the Canadian labour market or who will seek LMIA for work purposes you may be eligible to come to Canada.

Canada is one of the world’s largest economies, attracting thousands of short-term business visitors each year. With an international market-oriented economy and as a member of all Economic Organization, Canada strives to ensure that international business visitors can come to Canada on business trips. Subject to the nature of the work, as well as the individual’s nationality, certain business visitors can enter the country to conduct business or trade activity without needing a work permit.

Business visitors must demonstrate the following:

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

There are certain reasons why an individual may come to Canada as a business visitor, including:

  • Attending business meetings, conferences, conventions and fairs
  • Buying Canadian goods or services on behalf of a foreign entity
  • Taking orders for goods or services
  • Providing after-sales service, excluding hands-on work in the construction trades;
  • For Training purposes by a Canadian parent company for work outside of Canada; and
  • Training employees of a Canadian subsidiary of a foreign company

Business visitors’ applicants to Canada may require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

Allowing international business people to do business in Canada is important for the continued economic success of the country. Particularly countries that have trade agreements and strong economic partnerships with Canada generally allow Canadian business visitors to enter their countries as smoothly as possible. This kind of visa is highly sought after and it is extremely competitive. An applicant should be well versed in the legal stipulations set in place by the Canadian government. Failure to meet the given criteria may result to rejection.

After-sales or lease services

Individual repairing and servicing, supervising installers, and setting up and testing commercial or industrial equipment (including computer software) may be considered business visitors, and as such may not require a Canadian work permit.

Setting up does not include hands-on installation generally performed by construction or building trades, such as electricians or pipe fitters.

This provision also applies to individuals seeking entry to repair or service specialized equipment purchased or leased outside Canada, provided the service is being performed as part of the original or extended sales agreement, lease/rental agreement, warranty or service contract.

After-sales and lease services also include situations where the sales or lease agreement or purchase order is for a software upgrade to operate previously sold or leased equipment. A service person coming to Canada to install, configure or give training on the upgraded software may be considered a business visitor. A sales or lease agreement or purchase order for upgraded software is a new contract for a new product. Please note that hands-on building and construction work is not covered by this provision.

Warranty or service agreement

For warranty or service agreements, contracts must have been negotiated as part of the original sales or lease/rental agreements or be an extension of the original agreement in order for the foreign national to be considered a business visitor.

Service contracts negotiated with third parties after the signing of the sales or lease/rental agreement are not covered by this provision. Where the work to be performed in Canada is not covered under a warranty, a work permit and a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is generally required.

This individual is not considered business visitors.