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I am going to Canada for a job interview. I am a little confused about the formalities.

The official Canadian website http://www.cic.gc.ca/ suggests that Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is applicable to my country. I have applied for an eTA today and got it within seconds -- so far so good.

Meanwhile, my country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicates that while eTA applies for tourists, a visa is needed for business travelers. However, I cannot find a corresponding statement on the Canadian website. It seems that both tourism and business works under eTA.

Moreover, I am not sure whether I qualify as a tourist or a business traveler if I am only going for a job interview (will stay 2-3 days).

Questions:

  1. Going for a job interview to Canada, do I qualify as a tourist or a business traveler?
  2. Is eTA enough or do I need a visa?
    (Reminder: eTA is applicable to my country and I just got it approved.)
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Canada does not really make a distinction between "Tourist" and "Business" visas. There's just one temporary visa type, the confusingly-named TRV (Temporary Resident Visa). If you need to apply for it, you must truthfully disclose your reason for visiting Canada, where you can indeed choose "Tourism", or "Business", or you can select "Other" and write in "Job interview" which is what I would do in your case (if you needed a visa).
But you get the same visa at the end, that allows you to do both tourism and business.

In your case, since you seem to be from a visa-exempt country, my understanding is that you don't have to worry about this process at all - eTA is fine for any temporary visit (of course, if you don't do things like paid work in Canada). Here's a page that talks about eTA being applicable to a business visa: cic.gc.ca/english/visit/business.asp

You should go by the CIC's advice and not your country's advice.

By the way, if you don't trust me, a random stranger from the Internet :), you can try and reach the CIC by phone - they have very knowledgeable phone agents that can answer quite complex questions, but can be a bit difficult to reach.

  • If I get asked or need to fill in a form where I only have a choice between tourism and business (which happens e.g. when travelling to U.S., if I remember correctly), which one should I choose? If I am asked this exact question on the border, should I explain I am going to a job interview or just say "tourism, not business"? – Richard Hardy Sep 20 '16 at 14:59
  • The Canadian form asks you to choose between "Personal", "Study" and "Business" ( cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/forms-formulaires/e311-eng.pdf ), I would choose "Personal". If an officer asks you about purpose of the visit, answer truthfully (interview). – Eugene O Sep 20 '16 at 15:02
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    Just in case, carry with you printouts of interview invitation emails and your ticket back – Eugene O Sep 20 '16 at 15:03
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    Any CIC info on permitted activites on a visa-free entry (there must be some)? – CMaster Sep 20 '16 at 15:09
  • Couldn't find the permitted activities with a quick search, but here's a page that explicitly talks about the eTA being applicable to a business visit: cic.gc.ca/english/visit/business.asp – Eugene O Sep 20 '16 at 15:13

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