Business Visitor Visa Canada – Who Can Apply? (Detailed Guide)

Business Visitor Visa Canada – Who Can Apply? (Detailed Guide)

To enter Canada one must have some visa, and in most cases it is a visitor visa, also known as Temporary Resident Visa (TRV).

For a business trip to Canada, securing a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) as a Business Visitor Visa is crucial. Upon arrival, present the TRV at the port of entry, ensuring documentation supporting the business purpose, such as meeting invitations and business itinerary, is readily available for immigration officers.

Who needs a Business Visitor Visa for Canada?

In Canada, a business visitor Visa is for an individual who visits the country for temporary business-related activities without directly entering the Canadian labor market.

This includes attending meetings, conferences, negotiations, or exploring potential business opportunities, provided the primary source of income and main place of business remains outside Canada.


  • Your intended stay is under 6 months, with no intention to enter the Canadian labor market.
  • Your primary business location, income, and profits originate outside Canada.
  • Supporting documentation for your application is in order, and you meet Canada’s basic entry criteria,
  • possessing a valid travel document
  • with sufficient funds for your stay and return
  • a departure plan at end of your visit
  • Clean record without posing a criminal, security, or health risk to Canadians

What can you do with Business Visitor Visa in Canada?

Things that you can do for business visitors include:

  • Buying and Selling Canadian goods or services for a foreign business or government
  • Taking orders for goods or services
  • Participating in meetings, conferences, conventions, or trade fairs
  • Providing after-sales service as part in a warranty or sales agreement
  • Receiving training from a Canadian parent company while employed outside Canada
  • Training employees of a Canadian branch of a foreign company
  • Under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, U.S. or Mexican nationals may engage in additional activities such as research, marketing, and general services.

Federal Business Immigration Programs

1. Start-Up Visa Program

This program is for entrepreneurs with an innovative business idea that has the potential to create jobs in Canada. The program typically requires  support from a designated organization, such as a venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator.

2. Self-Employed Persons Program:

Individuals who have relevant experience in cultural activities, athletics, or the purchase and management of a farm. Applicants under this stream must be able to self employed in Canada.

3. Canada Business Immigration – Express Entry:

Under the Express Entry system, business immigrants can also immigrate through the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) or the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) if they meet the eligibility criteria.

4. Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP)

This may not a federal program, Quebec has its own immigrant investor program. Applicants that has high net worth and make a passive investment in a prescribed investment fund for a fixed term.

Provincial Nominee Programs for Business

1. British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) – Entrepreneur Immigration

The BC Entrepreneur Immigration stream is for individuals with business management experience who intend to invest and actively manage a business in British Columbia.

2. Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) – Entrepreneur Stream

The OINP Entrepreneur Stream is designed for individuals looking to start a new business or buy an existing business and actively manage it in Ontario

3. Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) – Business Investor Stream

The Manitoba Business Investor Stream targets individuals with business ownership or senior management experience. It includes the Entrepreneur Pathway and the Farm Investor Pathway.

4. Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) – Entrepreneur Category

The SINP Entrepreneur Stream is for experienced entrepreneurs looking to establish, acquire, or partner in a business in Saskatchewan.

5. Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) – Self-Employed Farmer Stream

The Alberta Farm Stream is for individuals with the farming experience who have relevant farm experience and intend to purchase and manage a farm in Alberta.

6. Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) – Entrepreneur Stream

The Entrepreneur Stream nova scotia is for individuals looking to start or purchase a business in Nova Scotia.

7. Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP) – International Entrepreneur Category

The NLPNP International Entrepreneur Category targets individuals with business experience who want to start a new business or purchase an existing one in Newfoundland and Labrador.

8. Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP) – Work Permit Stream and Business Impact Category

The Work Permit Stream allows foreign entrepreneurs to operate a business in PEI on a work permit before applying for permanent residence. The Business Impact Category includes the entrepreneur and investor streams.

How to Apply for Business Visitor Visa as (TRV)?

To apply for a Business Visitor Visa (Temporary Resident Visa for business purposes) to Canada, follow these general steps:

  1. Determine Your Eligibility: Ensure you qualify as a business visitor, meeting the criteria for a temporary stay for business-related activities without entering the Canadian labor market.
  2. Gather Required Documents: Collect the necessary documentation, including a valid passport, proof of ties to your home country, a letter of invitation from the Canadian host organization, and any other supporting materials related to your business activities.
  3. Online Application: Complete the application form online through the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. Be prepared to upload digital copies of your documents.
  4. Pay the Application Fee: Pay the required application fee online using the accepted payment methods. The fees can around $100.
  5. Submit Application: Submit your completed application and all supporting documents through the online portal. Make sure everything is accurate and complete.
  6. Biometrics and Processing: If applicable, provide biometrics as part of the application process. Once submitted, your application will undergo processing, which may take several weeks.
  7. Wait for a Decision: Monitor the status of your application online. You should receive updates on the progress, and you may be requested to provide additional information or attend an interview.
  8. Receive the Visa: If your application is approved, you will receive your Business Visitor Visa on your passport. Make sure to review the conditions and validity dates.
  9. Travel to Canada: With the approved visa, you can travel to Canada for your business activities. Remember to carry all relevant documents with you.

NAFTA Business Visitors

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) removes barriers among Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Through NAFTA, citizens of these nations can swiftly enter each other’s countries for temporary business or investment purposes, with NAFTA business visitors representing a specific category within this framework.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What type of visa do I need for a business visit in Canada?

For a business visit to Canada, you need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV).

Can I start a business in Canada on visitor visa?

No, you cannot start a business in Canada on a Visitor Visa. For business activities beyond visiting, you may need a work permit or explore immigration programs like the Start-Up Visa for entrepreneurs or apply for TRV bases on business visit.

What is the difference between visitor visa and business visa?

There is no specific “business visa.” Instead, business-related visits are typically covered under the Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), which is a general category that includes both tourist (visitor) and business purposes. The distinction is in the purpose of the visit rather than the type of visa. Whether for tourism or business, individuals usually apply for a Temporary Resident Visa to enter Canada for a temporary stay.

Do I need a medical exam to get a visa?

In general, a medical exam is not required for a standard visitor visa to Canada.

How long does it take to get a business visitor visa for Canada?

The processing time for a Business Visitor Visa (Temporary Resident Visa) could take up to 1 to 9 months depending on the country you live in. You can find the exact processing time here.

How long is a Canada business visa valid?

A Canada Business Visitor Visa is typically valid for up to 6 months.


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