I am an Australian national living in the US on a green card and self employed with my own LLC company. My field of expertise is basically software for industrial and manufacturing processes.

At the moment I am doing contract work for a US based company and they are looking to send me to Vancouver, CA for 1 to 2 weeks to update systems for one of their clients. When this occurs I will be invoicing the US company directly and not taking any money directly from the Canadian client.

I have been looking at the Canadian government website to see what sort of requirements I need to legally enter CA, however it has confused me as they seem to refer to a Canadian employer - which I won't have. So I am looking for advice as to what class of requirements I need to meet.


To add some more details.

  • I am not a US citizen so I can't take advantage of NAFTA.
  • I don't see that I qualify as a Business Visitor, as per Determine your eligibility – Visit on business it specifically says giving after-sales service (managing, not doing hands-on labour), but hands on labour is the purpose of my trip.
  • I don't seem to fall under any of the other classes in Business people
  • And I don't see Work in Canada temporarily as being relevant as I am not working for a Canadian employer.
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs to startups.stackexchange.com or similar
    – Karlson
    Jun 4, 2016 at 3:46
  • 5
    @Karlson As per the help section of this site topics that are permitted include customs & border crossing, visas and other travel documents such as permits
    – Peter M
    Jun 4, 2016 at 11:14

2 Answers 2


AFAIK but IANAL: you are employed by an USA LLC. Noone asked who owns that LLC. Yes, it's you but who asked that? So you are coming on a business trip.


... a Canadian company may have invited them to Canada for training in product use, sales or other functions related to a business transaction.

Business visitors must prove that their main source of income and their main place of business are outside Canada.

Incorporating instead of being self employed for immigration reasons is not unheard of. It can simplify many situations -- like this one. When asked by the border, answer simply (and truthfully!): I am a software development employed by a US company X, I am coming for a business meeting with Canadian company Y. There's no need to delve into the ownership structure of X.

  • 1
    I have used that approach in the past when entering the US prior to getting a green card under similar circumstances. However (in the case of the US) it is technically a violation of the terms of a "business visitor" as I will be doing actual work. From the link it seems that Canada has a similar point of view.
    – Peter M
    Jun 4, 2016 at 11:14
  • @PeterM my understanding is that business visitors can be employees of a foreign company who are visiting a client to install or configure software (or the like) at the client's site. Your case may be complicated by the fact that you are not an employee of the US-based company whose client you want to visit.
    – phoog
    Jun 4, 2016 at 15:58
  • Well I got to Canada and the was zero issue with immigration. Even to the point that the immigration person only thought to ask to see my green card after he had stamped my passport.
    – Peter M
    Jun 22, 2016 at 18:15

You qualify as a business visitor simply because you are not permanently employed in Canada.

Your situation is the same as if you were working for some multi-national company that had offices in the US and Canada. You are working in the US offices, but you are traveling to Canada for a temporary assignment or business meeting.

This is especially true as you are not collecting wages in Canada (which really, is what it is all about).

  • 1
    From this link cic.gc.ca/english/visit/business-who.asp on business visitors it specifically says giving after-sales service (managing, not doing hands-on labour), and I will be doing hands on labour. And as I am not a US citizen I can't leverage NAFTA either.
    – Peter M
    Jun 5, 2016 at 12:14
  • If you believe that it applies to you (I do not, and I believe you are reading too much into it); you can always ask an immigration lawyer. Jun 5, 2016 at 21:29
  • Yep. It turns out that I was reading too much into it. But when it comes to border crossings it does pay to be paranoid.
    – Peter M
    Jun 22, 2016 at 18:15

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