A NAFTA business professional is different than a business visitor, regardless of the fact that they both intend to enter Canada on a temporary basis, in that a business professional will require a work permit and a business visitor does not.
This occurs when a Canadian employer has directly contracted for services from a foreign company, the employee of the foreign company performing the services for the Canadian company is considered a business professional and requires a work permit.
This situation arises most often in the context of NAFTA. The service provider will not be considered a business visitor simply because they are not directly receiving remuneration from a Canadian source. Since there is a contract between the Canadian company and the foreign worker’s employer, there is a labour market entry. Since that foreign employer is receiving payment for the service that is being provided, it is considered that the worker is receiving payment from a Canadian source. As such, the worker cannot receive consideration as a business visitor as this violates one of the criteria to be considered as such.
For example, a Canadian mining company is undergoing expansion and engages the services of an American demolition company located in the United States. The US demolition company sends one or more of its teams to work on the project physically in Canada. Since the teams are working in Canada and their American employer is receiving payment for their services, the American staff does not meet the business visitor criteria as the primary source of their remuneration is in Canada.
This category also includes business people who enter Canada to supervise the installation of specialized machinery purchased or leased outside Canada or to supervise the dismantling of equipment or machinery purchased in Canada for relocation outside Canada.
Further, trainers and trainees are also covered in this provision. Those entering Canada to provide familiarization or training to prospective users or to maintenance staff on the upkeep of specialized knowledge will also be considered business professionals.
When your company wants you to assist with a project in Canada, knowing what your duties and requirements are and being well prepared in advance can mean the difference between entry and refusal. Each case is unique and with its own merits; simply because you or your business qualifies you as a business visitor or otherwise does not mean that an immigration officer will agree. They have strict regulations to which they must abide by.
Often, such applications do not require submission and are filed or requested at a port of entry. Being ill-prepared can be a time-consuming and extremely stressful experience if an officer is unsatisfied with your documentation or situation.
Akrami & Associates has helped many American business visitors enter Canada. Allow us to review the merits of your case and your intended purpose in Canada so that we can make your business goals a reality.