What is necessary to work in Canada

If you are traveling to Canada for work or a business trip, in many cases you do not need a work visa or visa Work permit to apply. However, you always have to apply for an eTA. On this page you can read whether an eTA is sufficient for your travel plans.

Activities that you are allowed to do with an eTA

The eTA Canada is intended for leisure and business travelers who are staying in Canada for less than six consecutive months. Business travelers are allowed to perform the following activities with an eTA:

  • Visiting (potential) business partners such as customers or suppliers
  • Attend business meetings such as trade shows or conferences
  • Visit factories or other businesses
  • Buy or sell products or services
  • Organize trade shows
  • Offer aftersales services
  • Take part in training courses or courses

If your job is on the list below, you are allowed to practice that job while in Canada. You do not need a visa or one for this Work permit, but you must apply for a Canada eTA prior to departure.

  • Journalists and film crews
  • (Arbitration) judges
  • Athletes and their coaches
  • Performing artists and their main assistants
  • Guest speakers, but only if the event lasts a maximum of five days
  • Academics, but only to evaluate or review research projects
  • Company trainers, but only for training at the Canadian office of your own employer

Handicraft and other physical labor in Canada

When traveling with an eTA Canada, you are generally not allowed to do manual or other physical labor. Please pay attention to this if you are planning, for example, to present your company at a trade fair or to offer after-sales services. The construction and dismantling of an exhibition stand is physical work and is therefore not permitted.

Situations in which manual or physical labor is permitted

Only if you work at the university or management level in Canada are you allowed to do manual or physical labor and enter Canada with an eTA. However, there is a further restriction: This is only permitted once per half-year for a maximum of 15 consecutive days or only once per year for a maximum of 30 consecutive days. If you want to work in Canada and do manual or physical labor more or for a longer period of time, you will need a Work Permit or a Visa for Canada.

eTA, visa or Work permit apply for

If you meet the requirements for entry with an eTA and the additional requirements for work in Canada, which are mentioned on this page, you can apply for an eTA immediately.
Apply for an eTA now

Most business travelers can use the Canada eTA for entry. If that doesn't apply to you, you must have one Work permit or apply for a visa. This is z. B. necessary in these situations:

  • You will be doing manual or physical labor (longer than allowed with an eTA)
  • You are planning to carry out an assignment for a Canadian company
  • You want to start a new company in Canada
  • You are employed by a Canadian employer

Read here which visa you need

Bring your invitation letter to Canada

When traveling to Canada on an eTA, all you usually need to do is show your passport upon arrival. However, you may fall into a spot check. In this case a civil servant will be Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) ask you a few questions to check that you meet all the requirements for entry with an eTA. This also includes the regulations for working in Canada, which are mentioned on this page.

If you have a business meeting in Canada, the easiest way to prove that you are compliant is to produce a letter of invitation. This applies not only if you are traveling with an eTA Canada, but also if you are on a Visa or one Work permit to travel. To be on the safe side, take a statement from your employer with you stating what you want to achieve with your stay. In addition, ask your (potential) business partner to be available by phone when you arrive in Canada (at passport control).

Points that should be included in the invitation letter

Have your (potential) business partner whom you are going to visit in Canada prepare an invitation letter. Make sure that at least the following points are described:

  • Your first name (s), your last name and your date of birth
  • Your home address and your business and private telephone number
  • Your job title and the name of your employer
  • The name and address of the headquarters of the company you are visiting
  • The addresses of the other business locations you will be visiting
  • The website, the date of incorporation and a brief description of the company you are visiting
  • The name, address, email address and job description of the person you are visiting
  • A number under which your business partner can be reached - preferably around the clock
  • The location of your accommodation in Canada and an agreement to apportion the cost of your travel
  • The relationship between your employer and the Canadian company you visit
  • The business relationship between you and the person you are visiting
  • The purpose of your visit and the length of your stay