How to Get a Business Visa for Canada in 5 Easy Steps

November 24, 2023


  • Sinethemba Phongolo

Canada is a country that offers a wide range of opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesspeople. Many international businesspeople looking to capitalize on opportunities available in Canada require a visa pathway that can allow them to take a business trip in and out of the country. Recognizing this need, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) created the Business Visitor Visa.

On the cusp of taking a business trip to Canada? Discover the steps you need to take to get Canada’s Business Visitor Visa!

What is Canada’s Business Visitor Visa

Canada's business visitor visa is a temporary resident visa that allows businesspeople to enter Canada and engage in international business activities in Canada. These activities include:

  • Attending business meetings,
  • Visiting trade conventions and exhibitions,
  • Procuring Canadian goods and services,
  • Providing after-sales services that are part of warranty or sales agreements,
  • Those of foreign government officials not affiliated with Canada,
  • Foreigners in commercial production such as advertising, film, and recording industry.

The visa is issued by the IRCC and is valid for up to six months.

How Can I Get a Canada Business Visitor Visa in 5 Easy Steps?

Below are the steps you must take to get a Canada Business Visitor Visa.

Step 1: Check and Confirm Your Eligibility to Apply for a Canada Business Visitor Visa

Before applying for a business visitor visa, you need to ensure that you are eligible to apply. To be eligible, you must:

  • Plan to stay in Canada for less than 6 months,
  • Not plan to enter Canada’s labor market,
  • Locate your business headquarters, source of income and profits outside Canada,
  • Have the relevant supporting documents,
  • Meet Canada’s basic admissibility requirements, such as passing criminal and medical background checks and financial self-sufficiency, and
  • Carry a valid travel document like a passport.

Please Note

If you want to stay or work in Canada for more than six months, you must apply for a Canada work permit and be considered a temporary worker.

Step 2: Gather the Required Documents and Fill out the Relevant Application Forms

After confirming your eligibility, the next step is to gather the required documents and fill out the application forms. The documents you need to submit include:

  • A valid passport, including an alien’s passport for stateless persons and non-citizen refugee travel documents,
  • An electronic travel authorization (eTA),
  • Documents demonstrating your travel history e.g. previous passports and visas, entry and exit stamps, and study and work permits,
  • Itenary documents such as flight details, hotel reservations, and event registration documents,
  • Bank account statement as proof of funds to cover your expenses in Canada,
  • Employer information in the form of a letter from your employer, and
  • A letter of invitation from the Canadian company or business you will be visiting.

Furthermore, you may need to fill out and submit the following application forms.

  • US Permit to Re-Enter (Form I-327),
  • US Refugee Travel Document (Form I-571),
  • Use of a representative (IMM 5476), and
  • Authority to release personal information to a designated individual (IMM 5475).

Step 3: Pay the Required Application Fees

Once you have completed the application forms and gathered all the required documents, you must pay the application fees. The fee for a business visitor visa is outlined below:

Business Visitor Visa Category Fees (CAD)
Business Visitor Visa per person 100
Business Visitor Visa with accompanying family members (maximum fee for a family of five) 500
Fee to extend your stay as a Business Visitor in Canada 100
Fee to restore your Business Visitor in Canada status 200
With biometrics submission (if applicable) 85

As per IRCC regulations, you can pay your application fees using credit cards and prepaid cards from Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, and UnionPay.

Step 4: Apply for a Canada Business Visitor Visa

After paying the application fees, you can submit your application online or in person at a Canadian visa office. If you apply online, you will need to create an account on the IRCC Portal and follow the instructions to submit your application. If you apply in person, you must visit a Canadian visa office and submit your application there.

Step 5: Have All the Necessary Travel Documents for Your Business Visit to Canada

After your application is approved, you will receive a letter of introduction from the IRCC. You need to carry this letter with you when you travel to Canada, along with other travel documents such as your:

  • Valid Canada Visitor Visa, if applicable,
  • If you’re a legal United States (U.S) resident, a valid green card (or comparable US proof of status) and your national passport,
  • Support letters from your parent company and recognition letter from the Canada Border Services Agency,
  • Contracts, warranty or service agreements (if applicable), and
  • 24-hour contact details of your Canadian business host.

Please Note

Ensure you have the above-mentioned documents ready for presentation to Canada’s border services officials i.e. don’t put them in your suitcase.

How Can I Permanently Immigrate to Canada as a Businessperson?

If you are interested in permanently immigrating to Canada as a businessperson, there are two programs that you can apply for the Canada Start-up Visa and the Provincial Nominee Programs for Entrepreneurs.

Canada Start-up Visa

The Canada Start-up Visa Program is designed to attract innovative entrepreneurs who want to start or buy an existing business in Canada and contribute to the country's overall employment and economic development.

If you have intentions to permanently settle in Canada as a businessperson or entrepreneur, this is the most suitable immigration visa pathway for you.

Find out more about how you can immigrate to Canada via the Start-up Visa.

Provincial Nominee Programs for Entrepreneurs

The Provincial Nominee Programs for Entrepreneurs are programs offered by various provinces in Canada to attract and retain entrepreneurs who want to gain Canadian PR by establishing or buying a business that can contribute to its provincial or territorial economy. Each province has its own eligibility criteria and application process. The table below lists PNPs that you can use to move to Canada as an entrepreneur or businessperson.

Canadian Provinces or Territories Entrepreneurial PNP Streams, Pathways or Streams
Alberta International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream
Self-Employed Farmer Stream
British Columbia  Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (Regional Pilot)
Manitoba Entrepreneur Pathway
Farm Investor Pathway
New Brunswick Business Immigration Stream
Newfoundland and Labrador International Entrepreneur Stream
International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
Northwest Territories Business Stream
Nova Scotia International Entrepreneur Stream
International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
Ontario Entrepreneur Stream
Prince Edward Island Entrepreneur Work Permit Stream
Yukon Business Nominee Program

Find out more about Canada’s Provincial Nominee Pathways (PNPs) to Canadian PR.


Can I Bring My Family With Me on a Canadian Business Visitor Visa?

Yes, you can bring your family members with you to Canada on a business visitor visa. However, each family member must complete their own visitor visa application. Furthermore, since the business visitor visa is for attending business meetings or similar reasons, dependents such as a spouse or children cannot accompany the visa holder to Canada.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Business Visitor Visa for Canada?

The processing time for a business visitor visa for Canada may vary depending on the volume of applications received, the country you are applying from, and your reason for visiting Canada. We recommend applying well in advance of your planned travel dates.