Get support to organize an international event in Canada

Are you organizing an international event or meeting and need help facilitating delegates’ entry to Canada? Register with us and get the support you need to plan a successful event.

If your special event qualifies, we’ll provide your organization with the following complimentary services:

  • information on Canada’s visa and entry requirements
  • personalized service to make sure you have the resources and support you need to plan for your event

Types of events that qualify for services

A special event that qualifies is as an international event scheduled to take place in Canada with a minimum of 10 delegates from visa-required countries.

Examples of special events include

  • fairs
  • concerts
  • meetings
  • exhibitions
  • trade shows
  • conferences
  • sporting events
  • political summits
  • scientific or exploratory expeditions

Types of events that don’t qualify

We don’t accept registrations for

  • personal or family events (such as weddings or reunions)
  • award events
  • religious events
  • events where
    • the primary participants are minors (such as camps)
    • public gatherings or large crowds are involved
    • the purpose is for demonstrations or protests
    • there are no admission fees and the event is open to the public
    • there are less than 10 delegates
    • all delegates are from visa-exempt countries

If you’re not sure if your event qualifies to be registered, contact us by email at Special.Events@cic.gc.ca and one of our coordinators will be happy to help you.

How to register your event and what to expect

Before you complete the registration form, find out what services we do and don’t provide for special events.

Services we provide

We provide the following complimentary services:

  • support for organizations bidding to host international events in Canada
  • resources and guidance on the visa and electronic travel authorization (eTA) processes, biometrics and entry requirements
  • a single point of contact for communication with other government departments, central agencies and international organizations
  • services in both English and French
  • reviewing organizers’ letters of invitation to ensure all required information is included to simplify the process for event participants
  • issuing a unique special event code to registered events to help track and monitor visa processing
  • informing Canada’s visa offices abroad about upcoming events to facilitate the timely processing of visa applications
  • upon request, periodic updates of aggregate data on the status of visa applications of event participants, within the confines of the Privacy Act and at the discretion of the Integrated Coordination Unit
  • directing event participants to the visa application centre website or courier website to trace their passports
  • communicating with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to help event organizers with the importation of goods for their event

Services we don’t provide

We don’t

  • register an event until the Notice of an International Event or Meeting form has been approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
  • expedite the visa application process
    • Event organizers and participants should apply as early as possible and may consult the processing times calculator for country service standards.
  • influence our decision makers to provide automatic approvals for all event participants
  • overturn refused cases
  • guarantee entry of all event participants
  • communicate with event participants directly
    • Participants will be redirected to either of the following:
      • the office responsible for processing their visa application (for overseas inquiries)
      • our Client Support Centre (for in-Canada queries)
  • provide detailed, case-specific information to organizers about the progress of a participant’s visa application without a signed Use of a Representative form
  • send letters of invitation to participants on behalf of event organizers
  • trace the location of a participant’s passport
  • register last-minute events (events must be registered at least 12 weeks before the start date of the event)

To register your event

Complete the Notice of an International Event or Meeting form at least 12 weeks before your event start date. If you have any questions or concerns at any point, contact us at Special.Events@cic.gc.ca.

Event registration is completely voluntary.

We may ask for more details

We may contact you for additional information about your event. For example, we may ask you for a list of participants originating from visa-required countries.

When you’ll get a decision about your registration request

A decision about event registration may be granted within 5 to 10 business days. The decision will be sent to the email address you provide on the registration form.

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