Free Trade Area of the Americas - FTAA


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Visa Requirements for Business Travelers in the Americas


Short-term Business Visit

Visitor Visa 
Citizens (including business persons) of the following FTAA countries require a visitor visa for admission and transit to Canada: 
  • Argentina
  • Belize
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Suriname
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
Citizens (including business persons) of the following FTAA countries do not require a visitor visa for admission to Canada: 
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Mexico
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St.Vincent and the Grenadines
  • U.S.A.

Required for 
Application for 
a Visitor Visa 
A visitor seeking entry to Canada is required to establish to the satisfaction of the immigration officer identity and purpose of entry. All persons require a passport to enter Canada, except citizens and permanent residents of the US, who must nonetheless provide proof of citizenship. 
  • A valid passport (recommend a minimum of six months validity beyond intended stay)
  • Visa application forms
  • Two photographs
  • Satisfactory evidence of sufficient funds to maintain themselves while in Canada and to effect departure

A medical examination may be required depending on the country of residence and the duration of the visit. A police certificate may be required. 

Method of
Application for a visitor visa must be made at a mission prior to seeking entry to Canada. Applicants are not required to lodge their visa applications personally, however in some cases an interview may be required. 

Processing time 1-5 working days. 

Multiple Entry 

Canada issues multiple entry visas but they are not granted automatically. 
Validity/Extension Provisions exist to issue visas valid for up to 5 years, although a visa cannot be issued with validity longer than that of the passport. Upon arrival in Canada, entry can be granted for duration of stay of up to 6 months. The duration of stay may be extended once the person is in Canada. For an extension, the applicant must fill in an application form and return it with the documentation (see above) to a case processing center (CPC) in Canada 

Cost of Visa Application Processing fees are universal. The fee for a single entry visa is US$50 and for a multiple entry visa US$100. 

Accompanying dependants Family members accompanying a visitor to Canada must also meet all requirements for temporary entry. 

General Requirements for Temporary Entry of Short-term Business Visitors Canada’s Immigration Regulations allow for persons to enter Canada to carry on certain business or trade-related activities without the need to hold an employment authorization, as they are not considered to be coming to Canada to work. These individuals generally have occupations where the international freedom of movement is deemed to be crucial. Similarly, these persons usually represent a foreign company or organization and are not considered to compete with Canadian workers. Examples are: representatives coming to Canada to sell goods other than to the general public; employees of an organization coming to consult with a branch, subsidiary or parent; representatives of a foreign firm coming to purchase goods or services and persons seeking entry to attend meetings or negotiate contracts.

Specific Requirements - NAFTA and CCFTA Business persons of the US and Mexico and Chile may also enter Canada according to the provisions of the Business Visitor category of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) respectively. 

The Business Visitor category of the NAFTA and the CCFTA adds to the general provisions for temporary entry by setting out a number of specific requirements. The Business Visitor category of the NAFTA and the CCFTA facilitates the entry to Canada of the short-term business visitor who has no intention of entering the Canadian labor market. 

Citizens of the member countries must demonstrate:

  • Proof of citizenship of a Party;
  • that the visitor is engaging in a business activity covered by NAFTA or the CCFTA;
  • that the business is international in scope; and
  • that the primary source of remuneration for the business activity, and the principal place of business are outside Canada. 

The NAFTA and the CCFTA provisions do not remove the need for a visitor visa if such required. 

Citizenship and Immigration Canada:

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