I got a B1 visa (Visitor-Business) for Canada in 2012 when I traveled to Canada for a business trip from my company. It expires in 2015 and I'd love to visit the Canada again, but for no other purpose than traveling, visiting family.

I want to know, If I can legally travel to Canada with B1 visa without a real business need (assuming I'm honest);

I live in India, and I have B1/B2 from US and used same Visa for Business & Personal visits multiple times.


2 Answers 2


When you get a Canadian visa it has a "category" printed on it. For most short term visitors to Canada the category will be either "V-1 Visitor" or "B-1 Business Visitor".

Legally speaking these two categories are identical, and are just labels on the Temporary Resident Visa. The only difference is the reason you stated on your application for your initial visit. In fact most official Canadian documentation doesn't refer to the B-1 or V-1 categories at all, they just talk about the Temporary Resident Visa. You use the same application form for both business and tourism, and the link specifically says "there is no separate application for business visitors". If you want to know what you can do with such a visa, look up the terms for the Temporary Resident Visa.

TRVs come in two types - single entry and multiple entry. If it was multiple entry, and it is still valid, then you can return to Canada as often as you like for either business or tourism purposes. There are limits on how long you can stay, and you can't work in Canada, but the visa is legal for both business and tourist purposes.

This appears to give the category codes, but I can't vouch for its accuracy.

  • 6
    Thanks!! Interesting :) My Canada Visa in my passport says Category - B-1 Visitor - Business
    – Mandy
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 13:00
  • 2
    Since this answer is from 2014, I'm not sure what has changed in the meantime, but "there is no separate application for business visitors" is not correct. My B1 visa also states "B-1 Visitor - Business", and when I applied for it online there was a distinct application path for business visitors as opposed to tourists. Given all this, I wonder if it is still correct that visiting Canada for the purpose of tourism is possible on a B1 visa.
    – infrared
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 13:26
  • For information, Canada does have nominal visa categories appearing on its visa, e.g. V-1 for visitor, W-1 for workers, B-1 for business visitors, PG-1 for supervisas. However, legally they have the same value as to permit the holder to seek admission, and ever since 10-year multi-entry visas became standard policy, the categories really only mean things internally e.g. for statistics. V-1 has been issued to workers, visitors and supervisas recently as well.
    – xngtng
    Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 13:57
  • @xngtng Could you post a link to something official saying that, or perhaps an image of a visa with the category listed on it? I've been struggling for years to find something definitive on TRV categories. Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 17:41
  • The list you found looks reasonably complete; the counterfoil codings are scattered across the operational guides and some are not even publicly mentioned. Perhaps an ATIP request could be made.
    – xngtng
    Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 19:02

I agree with DJClayworth above. The B1 Visa is only for working in the states.

There's an FAQ on the US Customs and Border Protection site that talks about travelling to Canada while on a B1. They say it's possible, but you must meet Canada's requirements for entry.

Since you are an Indian national, you would have received a single entry or a multiple-entry visa (as DJC said above) when you visited Canada. If it's multiple-entry, you can continue to visit Canada up until the date listed.

Keep in mind, however, you still need to get back to the US after your visit. This is where the FAQ linked to above could come in handy - where you'll need to make sure your B1 and I94 are still valid, etc.

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