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VISAs and eTAs

What You Need to Visit Canada


New entry requirement now in effect: visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to, or transit through a Canadian airport, need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travelers with a valid Canadian visa. Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, and Canadian permanent residents cannot apply for an eTA.

Note: It only costs $7 CAD. Most eTA applications are approved within minutes of applying.

For further details visit:


A temporary resident visa may be required for Think Canada 2018 participants to enter Canada.

General Information about the Canadian Visa Process

  • The visa process is controlled by the Government of Canada and can be complicated, requiring the necessary supporting documentation.
  • It is up to applicants to ensure that their applications are complete with all the necessary documents. If the application has empty fields or if necessary documents are not submitted, the application will likely be refused. Visa officers do not investigate or request supporting documentation. Only the applicant can request a review of his/her case, and this process may take weeks to unfold.
  • Although CIC is interested in facilitating international trade, its primary responsibility is to determine that applicants are admissible under Canadian law. This should be kept in mind when working with participants wanting to attend Think Canada 2018.
  • The documentation to support the applications must clearly demonstrate not only the intention of the individual to return to his or her home country (e.g., personal finances, marriage certificate), but also the reason the company is participating at Think Canada 2018 (e.g., the company is already engaged in international trade, has participated in international trade shows in the past) and the reason why that applicant in particular was chosen to represent the company at Think Canada 2018.

Submitting the Visa Application

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

o have a valid travel document, such as a passport,

o have enough money for your stay and to return home,

o plan to leave Canada at the end of your visit and

o 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.

To visit Canada, you will need to meet some basic requirements, such as:

  • have a valid travel document, such as a passport,
  • be in good health,
  • have no criminal or immigration-related convictions,
  • convince an immigration officer that you have ties—such as a job, home, financial assets or family—that will take you back to your home country,
  • convince an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit, and
  • have enough money for your stay. (The amount of money you will need can vary. It depends on things such as how long you will stay, and whether you will stay in a hotel, or with friends or relatives.)

You may also need a:

  • medical exam and
  • Letter of invitation from someone who lives in Canada.


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.

You can also be inadmissible for security, health or financial reasons.

Some people are not allowed to come to Canada. They are known as “inadmissible” under Canada’s immigration law.

There are many reasons we may not let you into Canada, such as:

  • you are a security risk,
  • you have committed human or international rights violations,
  • you have been convicted of a crime, or you have committed an act outside Canada that would be a crime,
  • you have ties to organized crime,
  • you have a serious health problem,
  • you have a serious financial problem,
  • you lied in your application or in an interview,
  • you do not meet the conditions in Canada’s immigration law, or
  • one of your family members is not allowed into Canada.

Normally, if you are inadmissible to Canada, you will not be allowed to enter. If you have a valid reason to travel to Canada, we may issue you a temporary resident permit.


  • In general, applicants should:

o  Ensure all required information and supporting documents are submitted with the application.

o Ensure the application is properly completed and submitted as early as possible to allow sufficient time to review.

  • Nevertheless, in some cases, visa applications are refused. The majority of visa refusals may be attributed to:

o The quality and completeness of the visa application (i.e. lack of sufficient supporting documentation, incomplete information).

o The timeliness of the application (i.e. submitted without sufficient turnaround time for a decision, not enough to respond if necessary).

o Doubt regarding the genuineness of the company or business the applicant is representing, and the true nature of the trip to Canada (i.e. concerns that the applicant intends to remain illegally or improperly in Canada).

  • If the application is refused for the reason of “the purpose of the visit”, this is not a judgement about Think Canada 2018, but concerns of the visa officer that the applicant is using Think Canada 2018 to travel to Canada in order to attempt to remain illegally or improperly, or to enter Canada for another purpose unconnected to Think Canada 2018.
  • There is no formal appeal process if your application for a temporary resident visa is refused. Think Canada 2018 CANNOT intervene directly, lobby, or pressure the Canadian Ambassador or High Commissioner at the Embassy or any other Canadian government official to request the reversal of a negative visa application.
  • Should an applicant wish to re-apply following a refusal, the applicant should do so only if the situation has changed substantively or if the applicant has significant new information to submit.