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I need to visit a customer in Canada for a week or two. I'm freelance and I'm working for an Italian company but the customer is in Toronto.

According to the website of Government of Canada (visit on business), I can visit the customer because:

  • 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,

I've a doubt about this point:

  • you have documents that support your application

What kind of documents do I need from my company to be sure I can enter Canada? How many times can I enter in Canada using this kind of permission? (Probably I need to come back to Toronto two or three times this year).

  • What is your citizenship? – Henning Makholm Feb 3 '15 at 15:21
  • I'm Italian citizen – Andrea Girardi Feb 3 '15 at 15:24
  • 1
    You do need to be careful on this point, in particular what exactly it is that you plan to be doing when you are in Canada. Having meetings, attending conferences and such like is okay. Actually doing work for the customer is not okay, by my understanding, even if you're paid from Italy. If your Italian client is a major company they may be able to advise you so that you won't get turned back at immigration. – Spehro Pefhany Feb 3 '15 at 15:33
  • I'm planning to have meetings with customers (I'm a Software engineer) – Andrea Girardi Feb 3 '15 at 15:35
3

Italian Citizens do not need a visa to visit Canada for short periods, provided they satisfy the other restrictions (mainly the 'not working in Canada' ones).

The supporting documents you need are essentially ones that show the immigration officer that you will not violate the terms of visiting. I would recommend a letter from your company stating the purpose of your visit, and possibly a similar letter from the customer, even though you don't need a visa. You may find you don't need it. I have entered Canada as a British Citizen many times on business (as a Software Engineer for meetings with a customer) and not been asked to show any supporting documents. But better safe than sorry.

Canadian Visitor Visas come in either Single Entry or Multiple Entry. With a multiple entry visa you can enter Canada as many times as you like. With a single entry visa you can enter only once (although you can visit the US or St Pierre and Miquelon and return to Canada).

As of February 2014 Canada will generally issue multiple entry visas, if you are eligible, even if you did not ask for one. However if you need one you should still ask for one.

  • Thanks for your answer. I'm basically on your same position (software engineer that need to visit Canadian customer for technical meetings) but the only difference is I'm a contractor (freelance) for an Italian company and not directly hired. It is a problem? – Andrea Girardi Mar 20 '15 at 13:05
  • @AndreaGirardi Comments are for giving feedback on answers. If you want to ask a question, please use the "Ask Question" link at the top right. (Though check the link that says "Italian citizens do not need a visa to visit Canada for short periods") – DJClayworth Mar 20 '15 at 13:13
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    Thanks, it was only a further clarification request about your answer – Andrea Girardi Mar 20 '15 at 13:23
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I recently traveled to Canada for business. At the Immigration I presented my Invitation Letter (basically a document signed by company that asked me to come to Canada with all information about my work and the reason for which they need me in Canada). This document and the return ticket have been enough to enter in Canada for business.

-- updated --
I'm a freelance software engineer based in Italy. The letter must contains all personal details and the details of one contact of the company (who signed the letter). This is the main part of the letter:

  • COMPANY relationship to the invitee and your business history together Andrea Girardi participated in development projects with COMPANY since DATE. During this period, he was involved in COMPANY projects either as an independent contractor/consultant or as an employee of a third party company and acquired a wealth of specific knowledge about COMPANY applications and customers.
  • Andrea collaborates closely with COMPANY staff, but is not related to anyone at COMPANY
  • purpose of the trip: we are starting new projects and initiatives that require Andrea to meet COMPANY clients in person to define and design the software solutions. Andrea will also participate in training sessions related to these projects.
  • the length of time the person will be visiting COMPANY in Canada: We expect the visit to last between one and two months
  • accommodation and living expenses covered by COMPANY: accommodation, transportation and meals for the expected duration of the trip
  • the date the person intends to leave Canada: return tickets have been already booked for July 9. If needed, Andrea’s stay may be extended until the end of July
  • To make this answer more useful you might want to add what exactly your work was specified to be, or perhaps generalize it, as certainly some activities would require a work visa. – Spehro Pefhany Jul 6 '15 at 20:32

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