Entering Canada as a Business Visitor - Immigration Blog about US & Canadian Immigration matters.

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Bahar's Blog about Immigration to Canada & USA
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Entering Canada as a Business Visitor


Coming to Canada with an Agenda?

Have you been considering coming to Canada for a business trip. Or, more likely, you have a plan in mind to come to Canada in the near future, and you’re not sure whether the activities you’re coming to Canada for, qualify was a “business endeavor” or “working.” Sometimes, it is very difficult to know the difference between activities and something that seems like a simple visit, even if you’re going to take care of a couple of things you had planned on doing while you’re here. Though, it is important to know that the Canadian government considers anyone who enters Canada with the intention participating in business-like activities, a business visitor.

What is a Business Visitor?

A business visitor is anyone who partakes in meetings or conferences, or attends site visitations to make observations for example. Moreover, a business visitor may be considered such because they attend mandatory or optional product and/or sales training that is conducted by the company in Canada or by a distributor. A business visitor may also deal with an after sales agreement; and/or buy goods in Canada for a foreign company. It is important to note that a business visitor is a specific type of business person. A business visitor does not enter the labor market directly in Canada. This is the reason a business visitor is permitted to come to Canada without a work permit. Of the other types of business people which can come to Canada there are professionals, intra-company transferees`, and traders and investors; all of these other business people require a work permit, because they will directly enter the labor market while they are in Canada.

How Do I Visit as a Business Visitor?

Though as a business visitor you do not need a work permit, there is still some very important documentation to prepare for your trip. First of all, if you are from a non-visa exempt country, you will need a temporary resident visa (TRV) to be able to enter the country. On the other hand, if you are from a non-visa exempt country and are planning on arriving in Canada by plane, you will need an electronic travel authorization to be allowed to board your flight to Canada.

How Do I Qualify as a Lawful Business Visitor?

I have briefly made clear there are some businesses activities a visitor is allowed to engage in, without obtaining a special permit above and beyond that which you would need to vacation to Canada for leisure. Though, it is important to understand that since you are travelling on the same status as a visitor, you must not stay in Canada longer than the six months a visitor is allowed to stay. Furthermore, it should be made very clear that there are several different eligibility requirements that one must abide by in order to qualify as a business visitor in Canada, as well as a variety of restrictions to be aware of which clarify what you can and cannot do as a business visitor. Below is a list of eligibility requirements.

In order to be eligible as a business visitor, you must:

  • Stay in Canada for less than six months,
  • Have a main business & income from outside of Canada,
  • Obtain profits for your business from outside of Canada,
  • Provide the proper supporting business documentation, this will include a letter of invitation
  • Meet Canada’s basic visitor visa requirements, such as:
    • Have a valid passport or travel document,
    • Be financially able to take care of yourself for the duration of your stay in Canada and for the trip back home,
    • Intend on leaving Canada after your authorized stay,
    • Be an admissible traveler

As a Business Visitor You Cannot:

  • Enter the Canadian Labor Market,
  • Profits from your business being in the Canadian market,

Documents Needed to Enter Canada as a Business Visitor

There are many requirements and documents that you must provide to Immigration to be eligible to apply for a business visitor visa. In order to apply for a business visitor visa, you must provide these required documents:

  • A letter of invitation from the Canadian organization to the foreign applicant,
  • A letter from the foreign company that proves the foreign applicant is employed full time by that company overseas,
  • A letter of verification that states the foreign applicant will not partake in employment within Canada,
  • A copy of the after sales agreement (if applicable),
  • A copy of the foreign applicant’s passport,
  • The foreign applicant’s current resume that proves the foreign applicant has the appropriate experience to conduct business in Canada,
  • A travel itinerary that shows the activities that will be performed in Canada,
  • Evidence that the foreign applicant has sufficient ties to their country of origin. 

Being Admitted To Canada as a Business Visitor

If you are from a non-visa exempt country, and therefore have to apply for a temporary resident visa (TRV) before coming as a business visitor, the immigration officer examining your application will assess the activities you intend to engage in while in Canada to ensure you are in fact, eligible as a business visitor. Also, if you are from a visa-exempt country, you should be aware that you are still going to be assessed by the immigration officer at the boarder or airport you arrive at, to ensure you are eligible as a business visitor in Canada. Whether it is while they assess the application, or ask you personally, they will also have to ensure that your business is not in Canada and is from a foreign country. The company must also obtain all of its profits from outside of Canada. If the company obtains profits from inside Canada, they have essentially entered the Canadian labor market. As a result, the individual seeking entry into Canada would not qualify under the business visitor visa.

Most importantly, you must arrive at the Canadian border with a valid travel document. Prepare yourself and make sure that you have all business documents needed in order to accurately conduct your business in Canada, so that you are not turned away at the border by an immigration officer due to a misunderstanding. Keep in mind; immigration officers have complete authority to do this, even if you have a temporary resident visa, so, it is incredibly important to be well prepared.

Applying for a Temporary Resident Visa as a Business Visitor

Firstly, it is important to know what the processing time is for a business visitor visa, to ensure you apply in time for your intended travel date. The processing times differ based on the visa office that you sent the application to. Therefore, checking processing times before applying can help you avoid any possible delays.

If, by chance, you need to extend your stay in Canada due to prolonged business matters, you should apply to extend your stay prior to the expiry date of your valid travel document to ensure you are not ordered to leave Canada.

Contact Akrami & Associates

If you wish to visit Canada on business, but are still confused as to whether you qualify as a lawful business visitor, or if you will need a work permit after all, Akrami & Associates can help you understand your specific circumstances. Furthermore, if you are concerned with submitting a temporary resident visa application because you’re coming to visit on business, and now understand your application must explain your circumstances very clearly to ensure an immigration officer does not have any doubts about your intended activities while in Canada, and ultimately deny your application, then we can also help with that! Or, if you’re going to be arriving at the border as a business visitor and do not want to be well prepared to ensure you are admitted to Canada, we have also got you covered there. We understand this can be a very important travel date, and so we are here to do anything we can to help you prepare and enter Canada successfully. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients come to Canada for business. If you believe that you might be eligible, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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