Business Visitors: Work in Canada without Work Permits

Canada being one of the world’s largest economies, welcomes thousands of business visitors to the country every year. These business visitors do not need a work permit to fulfil their professional activities in Canada. The Canadian government defines a business visitor as a person who comes to Canada:

As a signatory of the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement), as well as a G7 nation itself, Canada plays a very significant role in the ups and down of the global economy. Since Canada is an international economy, quite often various people associated with various businesses need to visit Canada. These are not business people; these are people who come to Canada on various business purposes but does not enter directly into the Canadian labour market. In other words, they do not get paid directly from a Canadian source. Based on criteria like the person’s country of citizenship, nature of work, etc., the person might be able to work in Canada without needing to have a work permit. The business visitors may come to Canada on various reasons, including but not limited to:

  • To train staff/employees of a Canadian subsidiary of a non-Canadian company;
  • To procure Canadian products and/or services on behalf of a foreign company;
  • To take orders of Canadian products and/or services on behalf of a foreign company;
  • To attend business meeting and conferences;
  • To attend conventions and fairs that are business oriented;
  • To provide after-sale services (certain after-sale services are limited under law);
  • To undergo training if the company is registered in Canada so that the person can go back after a period of time (maximum 6 months) to work in the non-Canadian subsidiary.

To be considered as a business visitor, the person must be able to prove that he or she:

  • Has no intention to enter the Canadian labour market directly;
  • Plan to stay for a period which is less than 6 months;
  • Has all required documents to support their application;
  • Has his or her main place of business/income is outside Canada;
  • Has a valid travel document, such as a passport;
  • Has enough funds to pay for their expenses during their stay in Canada;
  • Has no criminal background;
  • Does not pose any health risks to Canadians or Canadian permanent residents;
  • Has a strong intention leave Canada at the end of their visit to Canada.

Visa reciprocity has played a crucial role in Canada’s economic prosperity from the beginning. Business visitors belonging to the countries that have signed the NAFTA and CETA trade agreements with Canada often find their visa processes very smooth and speedy. Every year, thousands of persons from all over the world come to Canada as business visitors. To enter Canada as a business visitor, the person would need either one of the below two:


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