How to visit Canada on business

If you want to visit Canada on business, you’ll need to understand what a business visitor is, what you can do as a business visitor, and what you’ll need to do and bring to enter Canada.

On this page:

What is a business visitor

You’re a business visitor if you:

  • come to take part in international business activities without being part of the Canadian labour market
  • are visiting Canada temporarily to
    • look for ways to grow your business
    • invest
    • advance your business relationships

Business visitors usually stay in Canada for a few days or a few weeks, but are able to stay for up to 6 months.

How to show you’re a business visitor

To qualify as a business visitor to Canada, you must show that:

  • you plan to stay for less than 6 months
  • you don’t 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
  • 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
    • are not a criminal, security or health risk to Canadians

Note: If you plan to stay for more than 6 months, or plan to work in Canada, you may be considered a temporary worker and have to apply for a work permit.

Types of activities

Activities you may conduct as a business visitor 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
  • 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 Global Affairs Canada website.

What you need to enter Canada

If you’re a business visitor, you need either a visitor visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to come to Canada. You may also need to provide your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) if applying for a visitor visa.

Find out if you need an eTA or a visitor visa

Business visitors and business people are not the same. Business people come to do work in Canada under a free trade agreement. Learn more about business people.

What to bring with you to Canada

Make sure that you have the following documents when you arrive at the border (don’t pack them in your suitcase):

  • a passport or travel document that is valid for your entire stay
  • a valid visitor visa, if applicable
  • if you need an eTA, you must travel using the same passport you used in your application
  • letters of support from your parent company and a letter of invitation from the Canadian host business or a Letter of Recognition from the Canada Border Services Agency
  • other documents such as warranty or service agreements, or contracts, if relevant to your visit
  • 24-hour contact details of your business host in Canada
  • proof that you have enough money for both your stay in Canada and your return home
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