IT professionals who do not need a Canadian work permit

Posted September 15, 2022 8:00 a.m. EDT

Some tech professionals may be eligible to come to Canada as business visitors, which means they don’t need a work permit to enter the country.

A business visitor is a foreign national who comes to Canada to conduct commercial activities. As they do not enter the labor market during their trip, no work permit is required.

To be considered a business visitor, you must demonstrate the following:

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

IT professionals may be considered business visitors under the following circumstances:

Schedule a Free Work Permit Consultation with Cohen Immigration Law Firm

After sales service

The after-sales service intervenes during cross-border transactions. These situations arise when a Canadian company has purchased a product from a foreign company and the foreign company needs to provide service or perform maintenance on the product. Foreign technicians may be required to travel to Canada to perform this work. Perhaps the product is complex technical equipment or computer systems software.

This may be a case where the maintenance of the product requires specialized knowledge that is known only to employees of the foreign company. Therefore, workers would be made eligible to enter as business visitors.

Guest Speakers/Workshop Participants

Another category of business visitors applies to those who enter Canada to speak at a seminar or to participate in a workshop.

With the ever-increasing 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 range of technology-related topics. Therefore, non-Canadian experts may be permitted to enter Canada as business visitors so that Canadians can benefit from their expert knowledge on a given topic.


Another category of business visitors often seen in the technology field are those who enter Canada to receive training at a Canadian branch of a multinational company.

The use of certain equipment or software may require proprietary knowledge specific to that company. there is often no substitute in terms of who can provide training on that equipment or software. In such cases, there is no choice but to bring the foreign national into Canada for training as a business visitor.

Do you need a lawyer?

Although hiring a lawyer is at your discretion, immigration authorities have wide discretion when evaluating people entering Canada. Accordingly, persons who should be considered business visitors may be refused entry on the grounds that the border official believes that a work permit is required.

Therefore, if you are entering Canada to work, you may wish to consult a qualified immigration attorney to see what can be done to maximize the chances of a successful entry into Canada.

Schedule a Free Work Permit Consultation with Cohen Immigration Law Firm

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