The below provides a high level summary of immigration requirements for Canada. Whether a traveler may enter as a business visitor or requires a work permit depends on the traveler's nationality, duration of stay and activities in the country.

Allowable Activities

  • Attend business meetings and discussions
  • Attending a conference or seminar as a participant. Participant cannot be paid or compensated to attend.
  • Intra-corporate training (among affiliated entities)

Basic Requirements

To be considered a business visitor, the foreign national must show:

  • That she/he will not be remunerated for work by any Canadian sources
  • Company letter of support explaining the purpose of the trip
  • No criminal history, including DUIs. Any criminal history should be discussed with immigration counsel prior to entry.

Maximum Period Stay

A business visitor is typically admitted for a maximum of 6 months per trip. However, short visits of approximately a few days to a week in length are expected for business visitors.  Note that individuals who enter for business trips can be questioned further at the port of entry if the trips increase in length and/or frequency.  

Work Permit Types

The most common work permit categories in Canada are the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) category, most often used for professionals and intracompany transferees that are nationals of the United States and Mexico; the Intracompany Transfer category for executives, managers and those with specialized knowledge; the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (LMIA-Based) Work Permit; and the Global Talent Stream Program.

Maximum Period Stay

Work permits may be issued initially for up to three years, depending on the category. The Immigration Office reviewing the file has the ultimate discretion to determine the duration of the work permit. Extensions are possible for some categories.