Shabnam Akrami Blogs

Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

Business Visitors Exempt from Work Permit

Business Visitors Exempt from Work Permit

Work Permit Exemption for Business Visitors

Are you a business professional and require to travel to Canada to attend a business meeting or an important convention? Luckily for business visitors, they do not require to obtain a work permit prior to entering Canada for work purposes. Of course, it is very important to recognize that these individuals still have to abide by eligibility requirements with regards to a Temporary Resident Visa. Therefore, in this article, I will explain who qualifies as a business visitor is, what occupations or employment activities fall under the business visitor category, and more.

Who Qualifies as a Business Visitor

A business visitor is classified and defined as a foreign national who enters Canada for the purposes of participating in international business activities; the foreign national must also not enter the Canadian labour market. Due to Canada being one of the largest economies in the world, Canada would like to always welcome international business visitors to enter Canada specifically for international business activities. Of course, depending on the type of work that will be conducted in Canada, as well as the foreign national’s country of origin, certain business visitors may require a work permit in order to enter Canada.

In order to qualify as a business visitor, the foreign national must meet the following requirements:

  • Will only stay in Canada for less than six months
  • Will not enter the Canadian labour market
  • Main place of employment, business and source of income must be outside of Canada
  • Must have the required documentation to support their application
  • Must meet Canada’s entry requirements: - Must have valid passport or travel document - Must have sufficient funds to support their stay and return back home - Must plan to leave Canada at the end of their authorized visit - Must not be inadmissible to Canada

Why a Business Visitor May Come to Canada

As previously mentioned, there are many business visitors coming to Canada for several different business reasons. For instance, a business visitor may travel to Canada to attend a business meeting, important conference, a convention or fair, and much more. There are many other examples that may occur, such as the business visitor entering Canada to purchase Canadian goods and/or services for their foreign company or organization; taking orders for goods and/or services; providing after-sales services; being trained by a Canadian entity for work outside of Canada; training employees within a Canadian subsidiary for a foreign company or organization. If you are participating in any of these activities, then you may qualify as a business visitor to Canada.

Even though a business visitor may not need a work permit to work in Canada, they will still require proper authorization to enter Canada as a visitor. Therefore, depending on whether their country of origin is visa-exempt or not, they will either need to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa, also known as a Visitor Visa, or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

Who Does Not Qualify as a Business Visitor

There are many individuals and/or circumstances that unfortunately do not qualify as a business visitor. For instance, if an individual has been directly contracted by a Canadian employer for services from a foreign company, the respective employee of the foreign company that will be providing any services to the Canadian company will require a work permit prior to performing this employment. The most common circumstance where this happens is in the context of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The foreign employee would not be considered a business visitor because they are not directly receiving income from a Canadian source. Furthermore, because of the contract between the Canadian company and the foreign company, there will be entry into the Canadian labour market.

An example of this would be an infrastructure project that will be conducted in Canada and a Canadian company contracts the services of an American urban planning company. Thus, the American urban planning company then sends several members of their team to Canada to work on the project. The team members are working within Canada and the American company is receiving compensation for participating in the project. Additionally, because the foreign workers are receiving an income for the services provided, the foreign workers will also essentially be receiving income from a Canadian source. As a result, the foreign national team members will not be considered business visitors as they do not meet the eligibility criteria.

Furthermore, if you believe that you fall under the above example, it is very important to note that you will require a work permit prior to entering Canada to work. Additionally, most work permits require a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) prior to the foreign national beginning their employment. It is best to discuss the requirements of the employment in Canada with your employer to further determine whether or not you will need a work permit or not. This is very important as if you do not have proper authorization to work in Canada, you will not be permitted entry into the country.

Contact Akrami & Associates

It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned information into consideration before you attempt to enter Canada as a business visitor. If you believe you may be qualified as a business visitor, it is very advisable to consult with your employer prior to travelling to Canada to make sure whether or not you need as work permit. Additionally, it is extremely important to note that work permit applications are difficult applications to pursue on your own, therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients enter Canada as business visitors as well as authorized workers. If you believe that you may be eligible to enter Canada as a business visitor, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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