When traveling to Canada, your nationality and the types of activities you will conduct during your trip will determine whether you may travel lawfully as a business visitor or if you require work authorization. Please seek advice from your immigration counsel if you are uncertain about the specific types of activities that constitute business or work.
As a business visitor to Canada, you may engage in the activities below. While this list is not exhaustive and other activities could qualify as business, you may:
Many nationals are visa-exempt and are not required to obtain a visa to enter and conduct business activities in Canada. However, these nationals are required to obtain Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) prior to travel.
Foreign nationals who are not eligible to enter Canada on visa-exempt status must obtain a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) from a Canadian visa office prior to travel. Please obtain an individual assessment before traveling to determine your eligibility for a visa waiver, an ETA or a TRV.
The activities below, whether paid or unpaid, generally constitute work under Canadian law. This list is not exhaustive, and many other professional activities are considered work in Canada, even if conducted for a short duration.
In limited circumstances, business visitors and eligible professionals qualifying under the Global Skills Strategy program may engage in certain short-term professional and technical activities without obtaining work authorization, although strict preconditions must be met. An individual assessment is recommended to determine whether an assignment exemption is applicable.
The requirements for work authorization depend on your qualifications, on the nature and duration of your work and on whether your employer has an entity in Canada. Work authorization is granted through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), the International Mobility Program (IMP) or the Tech Talent Strategy. The most common Canadian work permits granted under these programs are:
Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) Work Permits – Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Required:
International Mobility Program (IMP) Work Permits – LMIA Exempt:
Tech Talent Strategy:
Canada does not offer long-term work authorization exemptions.
Inevitably, the legal and strategic considerations impacting visa selection, as well as visa waiver and work authorization eligibility, entail the careful consideration of many factors. We recommend that you consult with your immigration counsel before taking any course of action.