The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) allows certain categories of business visitor entry to Canada for work without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) needing to be issued.

Under CETA, there are two categories of business visitors: short-term business visitors and business visitors for investment purposes.

Short-term business visitors

The list of eligible activities for business visitors is different in CETA than under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). For example, it includes categories for meetings and consultations, as well as training seminars. In addition, the description of after-sales services also includes after-lease services.

The activities listed below apply to short-term business visitors from an EU member state entering Canada.

  • Meetings and consultations: natural persons attending meetings or conferences, or engaged in consultations with business associates.
  • Research and design: technical, scientific and statistical researchers conducting independent research or research for an enterprise located in the territory of the other Party. This means that the applicant would be conducting research in Canada, for an enterprise headquartered within an EU member state.
  • Marketing research: market researchers and analysts conducting research or analysis for an enterprise located in the territory of the other Party. This means that the applicant would be conducting research or analysis in Canada, for an enterprise headquartered within an EU member state.
  • Training seminars: personnel of an enterprise who enters the territory of the other country to receive training in techniques and work practices who are employed by companies or organizations in that Party, provided that the training received is confined to observation, familiarization and classroom instruction only.
  • Trade fairs and exhibitions: personnel attending a trade fair for the purpose of promoting their company or its products or services.
  • Sales: representatives of a supplier of services or goods taking orders or negotiating the sale of services or goods or entering into agreements to sell services or goods for that supplier, but not delivering goods or supplying services themselves. Short-term business visitors do not engage in making direct sales to the general public.
  • Purchasing: buyers purchasing goods or services for an enterprise, or management and supervisory personnel, engaging in a commercial transaction carried out in the territory of the other Party.
  • After-sales or after-lease service: installers, repair and maintenance personnel, and supervisors, possessing specialized knowledge essential to a seller's contractual obligation, performing services or training workers to perform services, pursuant to a warranty or other service contract incidental to the sale or lease of commercial or industrial equipment or machinery, including computer software, purchased or leased from an enterprise located outside the territory of the Party into which temporary entry is sought, throughout the duration of the warranty or service contract.
  • Commercial transactions: management and supervisory personnel and financial services personnel (including insurers, bankers and investment brokers) engaging in a commercial transaction for an enterprise located in the territory of the other Party.
  • Tourism personnel: tour and travel agents, tour guides or tour operators attending or participating in conventions or accompanying a tour that has begun in the territory of the other Party.
  • Translation and interpretation: translators or interpreters performing services as employees of an enterprise located in the territory of the other Party. This means that the applicant would be translating or interpreting in Canada, for an enterprise headquartered within an EU member state.

Restrictions on business visitor eligibility under CETA:

Short-term business visitors cannot:

  • engage in selling a good or a service to the general public;
  • receive remuneration directly or indirectly from a source in Canada; and/or
  • be engaged in the supply of a service, except those services listed directly above, under 'short-term business visitors'.

Business visitors for investment purposes

CETA also includes a provision for the temporary entry of business visitors for investment purposes.

A business visitor for investment purposes is an employee in a managerial or specialist position who is responsible for setting up an enterprise, but who does not engage in direct transactions with the general public and will not receive direct or indirect remuneration from a Canadian source.

Maximum length of stay in Canada

The maximum length of stay for short-term business visitors and business visitors for investment purposes is 90 days in any six-month period, unless otherwise eligible for other durations. All CETA business visitors may seek entry to Canada for a number of regular visits related to a specific project. These visits may take place over a period of weeks or months.

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