Visit Canada

Inquire with us on what you need to visit Canada as a tourist or business person, how to apply for a visitor visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) and what to expect when you arrive in Canada.

Visitor Visa

Travellers with passports from visa-required countries and territories need a visitor visa (temporary resident visa) to enter Canada.

A visa is an official document that is inserted inside a passport giving permission for you to come to Canada.

Conditions of a visa

There are two types: a single-entry visa and a multiple-entry visa. Both are valid for a fixed period and cannot be used after they expire.

A multiple-entry visa allows visitors to come and go from Canada, usually for six months at a time, without having to reapply. It is valid for up to 10 years, or one month before your passport expires, whichever comes first. You must arrive in Canada on or before the expiry date on your visa.

A single-entry visa allows you to come to Canada only once. After you leave Canada, excluding travel to the United States and St. Pierre and Miquelon, you will need a new visa to travel back to Canada.

Note: Some people are inadmissible—they are not allowed to come to Canada. Several things can make you inadmissible, including involvement in criminal activity, in human rights violations or in organized crime.

Visit on business

You are a business visitor if you plan to visit Canada temporarily to:

  • look for ways to grow your business,
  • invest or
  • advance your business relationships.

If you are a business visitor, you may need to apply for an eTA or a visa to come to Canada.

If you need an eTA, you should:

  • get it when you plan your trip – do not wait for the last minute to apply, and
  • travel to Canada with the passport you used to get your eTA.

If you need a visitor visa, you must send certain documents with your application:

  • a letter of invitation from your potential business partner in Canada; and
  • 24-hour contact details for that person.

You may also need identification cards or proof that you have a job.

As a business visitor, you must show that:

  • you plan to stay for less than six months,
  • you do not plan to enter the Canadian labour market,
  • your main place of business, and source of income and profits, is outside Canada,
  • you have documents that support your application and
  • you meet Canada’s basic entry requirements, because you
    • have a valid travel document, such as a passport,
    • have enough money for your stay and to return home,
    • plan to leave Canada at the end of your visit and
    • are not a criminal, security or health risk to Canadians.

Cross-border business can include:
  • buying Canadian goods or services for a foreign business or government,
  • taking orders for goods or services,
  • going to meetings, conferences, conventions or trade fairs,
  • giving after-sales service (managing, not doing hands-on labour),
  • being trained by a Canadian parent company that you work for outside Canada,
  • training employees of a Canadian branch of a foreign company or
  • being trained by a Canadian company that has sold you equipment or services.

Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, a U.S. or Mexican national may also take part in other activities, such as research, marketing and general services. For more information, see the Global Affairs Canada website.

If you plan to stay longer than six months or plan to work in Canada, you may be considered a temporary worker and have to apply for a work permit.