Who needs a visa?

Many people do not require a visa to visit Canada. However, conditions do apply. There are also various categories of visa available, for all manner of requirements.

Please contact our Global Immigration Team for further advice

Business Visa

Business Visas are issued to visitors travelling to Canada for a short-term visit to conduct business activities including attending business meetings, discussions and engaging in business activities which do not constitute employment.

Types of Visa

Business Visas are also known as Temporary Resident Visas.

Application Process

All applications will need to be submitted in the applicant’s country of residence.

Processing time

Processing times of a Business Visa vary according to the country where the application is filed.  Business Visa applications submitted in the UK may be processed within 10 workings days from the date of submission.


Business Visas are generally issued for a period of up to 6 months, and, in certain circumstances, they may be extended for a further 6 months.

Work Authorisation

Due to the large number of work authorisation categories, the following information provides details of a favoured category.  Favoured categories include the Work Permit with Labour Market Opinion, Work Permit for Intra Company Transfers, Professionals and Short Term Work Assignments.

Type of Visa

The following details pertain to the Work Permit with Labour Market Opinion.

Application Process

  • The Canadian company must submit an application for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO), together with a copy of the intended job offer to, the Canadian authorities.
  • Once the Canadian authorities approve the application, the Canadian company must send a copy of the approval to the foreign worker.
  • The foreign worker must apply to the Citizen and Immigration Canada (CIC) office in Canada, or their country of residence, if they are not in Canada for the Work Permit.
  • If the foreign worker is not in Canada, and, or requires a visa to enter Canada, they must apply for a visa at the Canadian Consulate in their country of residence before entering Canada.

Processing time

Applications for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) can take 4 to 8 weeks.

Processing times of visa applications submitted at the appropriate Canadian Consulate vary according to the country where the application is filed.  Applications submitted at the Canadian High Commission in London may be processed within 6 weeks from the date of submission.


The work permit may be granted for a period of up to 1 year, which can be extended.


The immigration status of a dependant is reliant on the type of permit, and the status of the principle applicant. Quite often the dependant is unable to work. The dependant would need to seek work approval in their own right. However, in some cases an “Open work Permit “may be awarded.

Penalties for Non Compliance


Employing a foreign worker who does not have the requisite work authorisation is an offence.  If convicted, the employer may be fined.


Foreign workers who do not comply with the immigration laws of Canada may be fined and/or imprisoned.

Points to Note

  • An applicant’s educational standing and work experience will have a bearing on an application.
  • Details of the company and its current employees in Canada will be required, and employee ratios can affect an application.
  • Criminal and medical history may lead to an applicant being inadmissible.


The contents of this article are for information purposes only.  The information and opinions expressed in this document do not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for legal advice or a comprehensive statement of law or current practice.  Immigration rules and requirements frequently change without notice.  You should not rely upon the contents of this document but instead should seek appropriate professional and legal advice in the light of your personal circumstances.  No liability is accepted for the opinions contained or for any errors or commissions. Please contact our Global Immigration Team for further information.