A business visitor is a foreign national who seeks to engage in inter-national
activities in Canada without directly entering the Canadian
labour market. In order for a business visitor’s activity to be of an
international nature, the foreign national should not receive remuner-ation
from a Canadian source and their employer’s principal place of
business and profits should be outside Canada. It is, however, the
second part of the test that causes the greatest amount of confusion in
the analysis, “without directly entering the Canadian labour market.”
This phrase can best be described as the foreign national not doing
an activity that a Canadian could have theoretically been hired to
undertake, and/or requiring Canadian expertise or presence.
Examples of permissible activities that either fit within the
definition of a business visit or are specifically exempt from the
requirement to obtain a work permit include:
■■ Attending conferences or trade shows.
■■ Attending meetings with parties to acquire familiarization
on a product or process, or to receive an update on an
■■ General marketing activities to a prospective client.
■■ Negotiating contracts.
■■ Reviewing prospective project requirements.
■■ Reviewing documents for the purpose of an international audit.
■■ Providing after-sales service pursuant to an international
warranty for a product manufactured entirely outside Canada.
■■ Purchasing Canadian goods or services or receiving training in
respect of goods purchased.
■■ Receiving or providing intra-company training at a related
company, including incidental production of goods or services
that results from the training.
■■ Selling goods, provided the goods are not being sold to the
general public in Canada.
■■ Leading a seminar or workshop of five business days or less.
■■ Short-term entry of high-skilled foreign nationals to work
in Canada for no more than 15 consecutive days or less in a
six-month period, or 30 consecutive days or less in a one-year
period. It is important to be aware that the days are counted
on a consecutive and not cumulative basis. This relatively new
exemption was implemented for public policy reasons to address
brief and/or rare trips to Canada where the time and effort to
obtain a work permit would be substantially higher than the
intended duration of entry.
IF A FOREIGN NATIONAL UNDERTAKES AN ACTIVITY IN
CANADA THAT COULD THEORETICALLY BE PERFORMED BY
A CANADIAN, THEN A WORK PERMIT IS REQUIRED.
zzoplanet / 123RF
36 ❚ OCTOBER 2018 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL