Travelling to Canada on a Business Trip? Things to Know


There is a lot of stuff you need to know when it comes to making business visits to foreign lands. For instance, if you plan to visit Canada on business, knowing about the currency exchange rates Winnipeg or any other Canadian city is not enough to get you there. You need to know more about Canada immigration laws, before making plans for your business trip.

The Canadian government often considers you as a business traveller, if you are travelling to Canada for international business activities. You do not have to, directly enter the Canadian labor market.

Rather, it would mean that you are entering Canada to meet people from other businesses, companies or that you are in Canada for a business function. You might as well be responding to an invite from a Canadian company.

As a business visitor, you will be temporarily visiting Canada. Therefore, you will not need a work permit for your trip. You just need to prove that your main income source, work or business is located outside Canada.

However, you will need a work permit, if you work for a Canadian company. In this case, you will not be travelling to Canada on a business trip.

You should note that the Canadian government often differentiates businesspeople from business visitors very well, as businesspeople are those who work in Canada under a free trade agreement.

The eligibility of a business visitor in Canada

Though, you will not need a work permit to enter Canada as a business visitor. You must be somehow eligible to enter the country as a business visitor, be it for investment purposes, to create and advance business relations, or to seek ways to expand your business.

As a business traveller to Canada, you should be ready to demonstrate the following:

  • Your main income source, profits or business are not in any way located in Canada
  • You have no plans to enter the labor market in Canada
  • Your stay in Canada will be for less than six months, otherwise, you will need a work permit
  • You have met all the basic entry requirements needed to enter Canada. This can include all the valid and required travel documents, money to sustain you in Canada and return you home. You will also need to prove that you plan to leave the country after your visit and that you are not a security, criminal or health risk to the citizens of Canada.

Basic entry requirements for business visits to Canada

Here is a detailed look at the basic entry requirements, to enter Canada as a business traveller.

1.      Permits and paperwork

Anyone planning to enter Canada will need documents that prove they are who they claim to be and that they intend to go back home once they are done with the visit. You may also require a visitor visa, depending on where you are coming from as well as the passport you hold.

However, all visitors will need to have these three documents, regardless of the country you are coming from.

  • Valid travel documents like a passport
  • Proof of a job, business, financial assets, home and even family, or any other thing that can ensure you return to your home country once the trip is over
  • You will need to prove that you can cover your stay, food, accommodation and other costs, until you return home

2.      Invitation

You will need an invitation letter from a company or business in Canada. However, this does not guarantee your entry to Canada, as some background checks will have to be done on the validity of the letter, before it is accepted as proof enough to enter the country.

You will also need a business letter from your home employers, stating the purpose of your trip as well as how long it will last.

These two letters will have to be detailed and include personal information from you and the person writing it. These can range from full names, date of birth, job title, contact information, duration of stay as well as accommodation among other things.

3.      Criminal inadmissibility

You should be aware that any criminal record could affect your entry into Canada, even if your actions are not something to be considered as a crime in your country. In this case, you will need to seek some legal advice before you even consider entering Canada. This is because you may or may not be criminally inadmissible in Canada, depending on the situation.


Business trips to foreign countries like Canada are necessary to expand your business and network reach. However, planning for them needs research, in order to guarantee that you actually get there. So take the time to do your homework and travel safely.


About Author

Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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