Canada business visa application, requirements, price, and processing time

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All visitors coming to Canada from non-visa exempt countries require a business visa for Canada. Canada is one of the best places to do business; the country has a favorable rating on the ease of doing business rankings, so if you plan to open a business there, you will enjoy world-class facilities and robust policies that will favor your plans. It is also a destination for international fairs, conferences, and seminars too. However, to enjoy all the economic benefits Canada offers, you will have to obtain a business visa first. Keep reading to learn more.


Who Is A Business Visitor?

A business visitor enters Canada to pursue a commercial interest or economic engagement. 

They are not expected to enter the labor market in search of jobs or get paid directly for their services. Business visitors may attend a business meeting or conference or be invited by a Canadian company to participate in a training session, test a product or perform a business function on behalf of their principal.

As a business visitor, you don’t need a work permit to get a business visa, nor will you be issued a work permit after arriving in the country. In summary, a business visitor comes to Canada to

  • Build business relationships

  • Invest in the Canadian economy

  • Look for opportunities to grow their business in the country

And more.

Business visas are of different types, and some allow visitors to stay in Canada for up to 6 months. The Canadian government, through its embassies abroad, may also issue the visa as single or multiple entry visas. Single-entry visas are for one-time visitors who have no plans to visit Canada anytime soon, while multiple entry visas are for frequent visitors to the country.

Business Visa For Canada Eligibility

Only applicants with the following criteria are eligible for a Canadian business visa.

Stay For Less Than 6 Months: You must have plans to stay in Canada for six months or less, as that is the maximum timeframe for business visitors. If your engagement will keep you in the country for more than that, you do not qualify for a business visa; you should consider applying for a different visa for your trip.

No Plans To Join The Labor Force: This visa doesn’t come with a work permit, so you are not allowed to work in Canada as a business visitor; in fact, working in Canada as a business visitor and receiving payment for your service is an immigration violation and if you are caught you will be deported immediately. If you wish to work in Canada, apply for a work visa instead.

Source of Income: Only those with an income source outside Canada qualify for a business visa. Your primary income source and business location must be outside Canada’s territorial borders.

Supporting Documents: You must have supporting documents to back your claims at the embassy, and Business and financial documents are a must.


Canada Business Visa Basic Requirements

Here are the basic requirements for a business visa for Canada

Valid Passport: You will need a valid passport that will not expire in the next six months. It must have at least two blank pages for the Canadian officer at the airport to affix their stamps when you arrive, and on the day you depart.

Visa Application Form: You will need a completed visa application form, and the form must be correctly filled with no section left empty. The information you provide will be carefully scrutinized by the authorities and will be used to determine whether you qualify for the visa. Ensure that your answer is accurate and matches what is on your passport and other documents.

Proof of Financial Means: The authorities will want to ensure you have enough resources to cover your expenses throughout your stay. You will need to submit a financial statement as proof.

Business Information: Your business license, income tax, and other documents will be required unless you are sent by the company you work for; in that case, you will need to provide their information.

Invitation Letter: If a Canadian company or organization invites you, you must furnish the authorities with a letter explaining the purpose of your trip and how long you will remain in Canada. The letter should be signed and printed on the company’s letterhead.

Round Trip Itinerary: A copy of your itinerary detailing where you will visit during your stay, including your arrival and departure dates.

Ticket Reservation: A flight ticket reservation for the trip to and from Canada.

These are the documents you will need for a business visa for Canada. Kindly note that the embassy may request additional documents and information depending on your nationality and the purpose of your trip.

Visa Policy of Canada

The visa policy of Canada is regulated by a few charters encoded in different documents, such as the Canadian Citizenship Act of 1946 and the Reformed Act of 1981. This policy clearly defines who a Canadian citizen is. Also, it states that any foreign national who wishes to enter the country must do so with a temporary resident visa issued by a Canadian Diplomatic mission abroad. However, visitors from 54 visa-exempt countries on the list or with proof of a United States permanent residency do not have to hold visas to enter Canada.

Persons that are not Canadian citizens are not issued Canadian passports, and the eligibility requirements to hold a passport are stated in the Passport Order (1981). The IRCC does the regulation of passport issuance. Exempt travelers, excluding US citizens and permanent residents, must acquire an Electronic Travel Authorization permit, otherwise known as ETA. 

This permit is solely for those arriving by air, which has been the standard practice since 2016.

The Canadian Citizenship Act allows such visitors to apply for the ETA online instead of visiting the Canadian embassy in their country. Such applicants will be required to provide biometrics (fingerprints and photographs) during the process and a host of other documents to complete the application process.

Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization Eligibility

For a clear understanding of whether you qualify for an ETA or not, take a quick look at the eligibility guidelines.

  • You must be from a visa-exempt country or a US citizen or permanent resident flying to or transiting through a Canadian Airport
  • You must be up to 18 years and above to apply, but if you are below 18, a guardian or parent must apply on your behalf
  • You must have sufficient funds to cover your stay in the country
  • You must have a clean criminal record with no prior convictions for crimes
  • You need a valid passport issued by your home government
  • You must have a clean health bill and not suffer from any terminal or dangerous health problem that will make you seek medical treatment in Canada that you cannot afford. (If you are seeking medical treatment in Canada, you must show proof that you can cover the cost)
  • You must have every intention of returning to your country at the end of the trip due to your strong ties with your home country.
  • You must not have any plan to work or study in Canada

Now that you know the eligibility criteria for the Electronic Travel Authorization of Canada, let us review the different types you may apply for.

Canada Visa Free Countries

Only travelers from visa-free countries are eligible for ETA. The list is constantly updated and citizens from  these countries can enter Canada by air and stay for up to six months. Note that US and French citizens residing in Saint Pierre & Miquelon coming directly from these locations don’t need ETA.

Canada Port of Entry

The Electronic Travel Authorization can only be used to enter Canada by air, and here are the approved airports for travelers.

  • Calgary International Airport 
  • Edmonton International Airport 
  • Regina International Airport 
  • Gander International Airport
  • Greater Moncton Romeo Leblanc International Airport 
  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport 
  • John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport 
  • London International Airport 
  • Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport 
  • Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport
  • Quebec/Jean Lesage International Airport 
  • Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport
  • St. John International Airport 
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport 
  • Vancouver International Airport 
  • Victoria International Airport 
  • Winnipeg International Airport 

ETA travelers can enter Canada through any of these 17 airports.

Key Information About Canada ETA

It Is Linked To Your Passport: The first thing you should know is that your ETA is linked to your passport. This means that you cannot travel with a different passport; if you do, you will not be allowed into Canada.  Once you arrive at the airport, the immigration officers will scan your passport to generate the ETA; if nothing comes up you will not be allowed into the country.

Only For Short Visits: Another thing to take note of is that this travel document is only for short visits and not for long term visits. This means that you cannot use it as a permanent or temporary residency visa. eTA holders are not entitled to a residency permit. 

You Can't Work: Holders of Canadian ETA are not allowed to work during their time in the country. As a matter of fact, it is Illegal to do so on an ETA. Only foreigners with work permits are allowed to legally work in Canada.

Canada Visa Online – Get your Canada ETA with VisaHQ

If you wish to visit Canada in the coming weeks or months and are from a visa-exempt country, you will still need a travel permit to enter the country.

How to obtain an ETA with VisaHQ?

To obtain electronic travel authorization with VisaHQ, you must visit our portal to complete the application form in the following steps.

Fill Out the Application Form: Fill out the application form online using VisaHQ and select the ETA you want.

Attach Documents: Attach all required documents in soft copies by uploading them and submit. After submission, you will receive a confirmation email in your inbox.

Get Your ETA: Within three days or less, you will get your ETA in your email inbox.

Our application process is very easy and can be done with your smartphone or computer. So please go to our website now to complete the form or contact our customer representatives for technical support.

Why Use VisaHQ?

You should use VisaHQ to apply for your Canada ETA for your upcoming trips if you are from a visa-exempt country.

  • We are an experienced outfit that has been in business since 2003
  • We are spread across the globe with 20 offices in 6 countries to cater to the needs of our clientele
  • Our professional support service is tailored to meet your needs and is always on time
  • Our application process is very easy to understand and complete
  • No need to handle physical documents as everything is done online
  • Our team is experienced, so there is no room for errors
  • You can track the status of your application

Applying for your travel documents with VisaHQ is a worthwhile experience. Ours is a platform you can trust, so submit your ETA application now, or contact us for extra support if required.


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