If you want to go to Canada for work reasons, in many circumstances no visa or work permit is required. However, you do need to apply for an ETA. This article can help you check whether an ETA is appropriate for your travel purposes.
What can an ETA be used for?
The Canada ETA is intended for visitors and business travellers who are staying in the country for less than 6 consecutive months. In fact, business travellers who have an ETA are allowed to do the following Participate in or organise business meetings, trade exhibitions or conferences / Acquire or sell goods or services or provide customer service / Make a business visit or appointment to meet a (prospective) business partner / Attend a training course or course / Acquire or sell goods or services / Attend a course or receive training.
If your field of activity is listed below, you are not required to obtain a visa or work permit, but you must apply for a Canada Visa before your departure: Sports referee or judge / Journalist and film crew / Sportsperson and coach / Artist / Trainer (depending on function) / Academic / Speaker (for less than 1 week).
Letter of invitation to Canada
When planning a trip to Canada with an ETA, you only need to present your passport upon arrival. However, you may be randomly selected for a check. In this situation, you will be interviewed by a representative of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The purpose is to ensure that you meet all the standards of the ETA. These include the regulations governing employment in Canada.
When you are required to come to Canada to work, a letter of invitation is the simplest approach to demonstrate that you meet the requirements. This applies to all types of stay, whether it is a Canada ETA, a work permit or a visa. You should also bring a statement from your company describing your objectives for the duration of the stay. Finally, ask if your (potential) business partner would like to be contacted by phone upon arrival.
Prepare a letter of invitation from the (potential) business partner in Canada whom you will visit. Include at least the following requirements: Full name and date of birth / Reason for your visit / Length of stay / Home address, including home and work telephone numbers / Relationship between you and the people you are visiting / Job title and name of employer / Company website, year established and brief description / Name and address of the company you are visiting.
In which cases is the work acceptable?
When you are doing craft work or other forms of physical labour, it is strictly forbidden to do so with an ETA. The Canada ETA allows business travel but not on-site craft work. Remember this rule if you intend to provide after-sales assistance or exhibit at a trade show. This is because setting up and dismantling the stand is considered manual labour and is therefore prohibited.
Apply for an ETA, visa or work permit
Once you are eligible for an ETA and meet the special requirements for working in Canada as outlined, you can immediately apply for an ETA. The ETA Canada is available to most business travellers. If this program is not for you, you must apply for a work permit or visa. This is necessary in the following cases: You are about to undertake an assignment for a Canadian organisation / You are about to do manual labour / You are going to work for a Canadian company / You have decided to establish a business in Canada.