IT Workers as Business Visitors
Business visitors constitute a category of foreign nationals that are coming to work in Canada but for various reasons do not require a work permit in order to do so.
These reasons are usually related to the brevity of the work to be performed in Canada and the fact that the foreign national will not be negatively impacting the Canadian labour market by working here. A more detailed explanation of business visitors, beyond those in the IT/Tech field, can be found here.
Foreign nationals trained in this area can be considered as business visitors in several ways:
One category for business visitors is called after-sales service, which takes place in the context of cross-border transactions. This refers to those situations in which a Canadian company has purchased a product from a foreign company and the foreign company must provide service or do maintenance work with respect to this product. This frequently entails the need to have foreign IT/Tech workers travel to Canada because the product in question is complex technological equipment or computer systems software. It is often the case that the servicing of the product requires proprietary knowledge to which only employees of the foreign company are privy, rendering them eligible to enter as business visitors.
Guest Speakers/Workshop Participants
Another category of business visitors concerns those foreign nationals who are entering Canada for a brief period of time to speak at a seminar or to participate in a workshop. With the ever-expanding role of technology in today’s modern world, there has been a significant increase in the number of such seminars or workshops focusing on a wide array of IT/Tech-related subjects. As it concerns the IT/Tech field, it is therefore not uncommon for non-Canadian experts in this domain to be granted entry to Canada as business visitors so that Canadians might benefit from their specialized knowledge on a given topic.
Yet another category of business visitor that is often seen in the context of the IT/Tech field are those foreign nationals who enter Canada to receive training at a Canadian branch of a multinational company. Because the use of certain equipment or software can require proprietary knowledge specific to that company, there is often no substitute in terms of who can provide training on this equipment or software. In such cases, there is no choice but to have the foreign national enter Canada to receive training and Canadian immigration authorities make allowances for this by providing for this business visitor category.
To conclude, in the aforementioned cases and for the reasons enumerated above it should be relatively easy for an IT/Tech worker to enter Canada for work-related purposes. That being said, immigration authorities have wide discretion when assessing individuals entering Canada. As a result of this, it is not uncommon for people who should receive consideration as business visitors to be denied entry on the basis of the border officer believing a work permit is required. Therefore, if entering Canada for work, it is always prudent to check with a qualified immigration attorney to see what can be done to maximize the chances that entry into Canada will go smoothly.
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