Business visitors attending meetings, events and conferences in Canada
Follow these steps to find out what you need and how to apply.
On this page
- Step 1: Find out if you’re a business visitor or if you need to apply for a work permit instead
- Step 2: Find out if you need a visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada
- Step 3: Check with your meeting, event or conference organizer to get an event code (if applicable)
- Step 4: Apply for a visa or an eTA if you need one
- Step 5: Find out what you need to bring when you travel to Canada
- Minors travelling with you to Canada
Step 1: Find out if you’re a business visitor or if you need to apply for a work permit instead
Business visitors are persons who stay in Canada for a few days or a few weeks to attend meetings or an event, and can stay for up to 6 months.
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
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.
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 as part of a warranty or sales agreement
- 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 Canada-United States-Mexico 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.
Step 2: Find out if you need a visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada
If you qualify as a business visitor, answer a few questions to find out what you may need to apply for, and which documents you’ll need to come to Canada.
Step 3: Check with your meeting, event or conference organizer to get an event code (if applicable)
If you need a visitor visa to travel to Canada and your meeting, event or conference is registered with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), your organizer will provide you with an event code and instructions about how to apply for a visa.
- Entering the event code on your visa application form helps identify you as a participant of an event registered with us.
Step 4: Apply for a visa or an eTA if you need one
Step 5: Find out what you need to bring when you travel 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, the same passport you used in your application
- if you’re a lawful permanent resident of the United States (US), a valid green card (or equivalent official proof of status in the U S ) and a valid passport from your country of nationality (or an equivalent document)
- 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 to cover both your stay in Canada and your return home
Minors travelling with you to Canada
Canada has laws and regulations to protect children. Delegates who plan to travel with a child (17 years of age or younger) should consult the entry requirements for minors.
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