Is an eTA enough to Work in Canada?

Do you want to work in Canada or travel to Canada for business? In many cases, it is not necessary for Spaniards to apply for a work visa or a work permit. 

However, you should always apply for an eTA . On this post you will find out if an eTA is enough for your travel plans or if, on the contrary, you need a work visa.

Activities you can do with an eTA

The eTA Canada is intended for tourists and business travelers who stay in Canada for less than 6 consecutive months. Business travelers with an eTA can do the following activities:

  • Visiting a (potential) business partner, such as a customer or supplier
  • Attend a business meeting, such as a trade show or conference
  • Make a visit to a factory or other type of business
  • Purchase or sale of products or services
  • Organize a trade fair
  • Provide after-sales service
  • Take a course or training session

Is your profession listed below and you are traveling to Canada to pursue it? Then you do not need a visa or work permit. However, you must apply for a Canada eTA before you travel.

  • Journalists and members of a film crew
  • Judges and referees
  • Athletes and their coaches
  • Artists and their support staff
  • Guest speakers, but only if the event lasts a maximum of five days
  • Academic, but only to evaluate or examine research projects
  • Company trainers, but only for training at the Canadian branch of their own company

Manual labor and other physical jobs in Canada

Do you do manual labor or other physical work? If you are traveling on a Canada eTA, this is generally not allowed. 

Take this into account if, for example, you plan to present your company at a trade fair or if you want to provide after-sales service. Building and dismantling a trade fair stand is physical work and is therefore not permitted.

When is manual or physical labor allowed?

Only if you are doing a job at a university or managerial level are you allowed to do manual or physical work after entering Canada with an eTA. 

However, this is subject to an additional condition: it is only allowed to do it once for a maximum of 15 consecutive days for half a year. Or once for a maximum of 30 days throughout the year. 

Would you like to do manual or physical work more often or for longer periods of time? Then you need a work permit or a visa for Canada.

Apply for an eTA, visa or work permit

Do you meet the eTA requirements and additional conditions to work in Canada mentioned on this page? Then you can apply for an eTA directly.

Most business travelers can use the Canada eTA. Not your case? Then you have to apply for a work permit or a visa. The work visa is necessary, for example, in the following situations:

  • You will be doing manual or physical labor (more time than is allowed with an eTA)
  • You are going to carry out an assignment for a Canadian company
  • You are going to create a new company in Canada
  • Going to work for a Canadian company

Bring a letter of invitation to Canada

Are you traveling to Canada with an eTA? In that case, you will normally only need to show your passport on arrival. But it is also possible that he will be selected for a random check. If so, a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) official will ask you a series of questions. 

The purpose of this is to check if you meet all the eTA requirements. Among these requirements are the rules for working in Canada listed on this page.

Do you have a business appointment in Canada? In that case, presenting a letter of invitation is the easiest way to prove that you comply with the rules. 

This applies not only if you are traveling on a Canada eTA, but also if you are traveling on a visa or work permit. To be on the safe side, also bring a statement from your employer indicating your goals during your stay. 

Lastly, ask your (potential) business partner to be available by phone when you go through passport control upon arrival in Canada.

What should a letter of invitation contain?

The letter of invitation must be written by the (potential) business partner you are going to visit in Canada. Make sure that, at a minimum, the following points are included:

  • Your first name, last name and date of birth
  • Your home address and your home and work phone numbers
  • Your role and company name
  • The name and address of the main office of the company you are visiting
  • The addresses of other businesses you will visit
  • The website, the date of incorporation and a brief description of the company you are visiting
  • The name, address, email address, and job description of the person you are visiting
  • A phone number where your business partner can be reached, preferably 24 hours a day
  • Your accommodation in Canada and an agreement on how the travel expenses will be distributed
  • The relationship between your employer and the Canadian company you are visiting
  • Your relationship with the person you are visiting
  • The purpose of the visit and the length of your stay

Am I guaranteed entry to Canada with an eTA?

No. You are only allowed to enter Canada if you comply with sections 33-43 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). This law, among other things, establishes that you must not pose a risk to the health and safety of residents and citizens of Canada.

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Both when applying for the eTA and when arriving in Canada, it is checked if you meet the requirements. If it turns out on arrival that you do not meet the eTA requirements , you can be expelled from the country immediately.

In addition, you may be randomly screened upon arrival. Even if you have a valid eTA, you must be able to convince a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer that you:

• will be leaving Canada within six months
• you have a source of income outside of Canada
• you have a link to another country and will return to that country
• you have sufficient financial resources to pay for your stay and return travel
• you have a valid reason for your trip, if you are traveling for reasons of business

How do I receive my eTA? Do I have to print it?

You do not need to print your eTA Canada approval confirmation. Your airline will be able to verify based on your passport number that your eTA application has been approved.

Once your Canada eTA application has been approved, you will receive a confirmation email and text message. From that moment you can check-in for your flight to Canada. 

The email contains a link to access your personal status page. On that page, you can download a pdf document that officially confirms that your eTA application has been approved. 

In this document you will find your eTA number, the expiration date of your eTA, your first and last name and your passport number.

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Please check carefully that your name and passport number appear completely and correctly on the pdf document. If not, your eTA is invalid and you must submit a new application, which will automatically overwrite the old one. This data cannot be corrected in any other way.

Put your eTA expiration date on your calendar so you don’t forget to apply for a new eTA if you want to travel to Canada again after that date. 

Also write down your eTA number somewhere you can find it after a few years.

I haven’t received an eTA or email yet, what should I do?

After you have made the payment, you will immediately receive an email. This indicates that your payment has been received and contains a link to your personal status page. On that page you can see the status of your application at any time.

Hasn’t your eTA been granted in due time?Then read on the status page if it is advisable to contact us about it and how you can do it. The delivery times on this website are averages, they are not maximum delivery times. 

>>>> Do I need an eTA if I have a Study Permit for Canada?

There is no guarantee that a request will be approved within a certain period of time. For example, the immigration service may carry out a random check that delays the application.

Sometimes a long time passes between the first and last approval within a group request. This is normal and is because applications are always evaluated per person.

Haven’t received an email yet? Then check the spam folder in your email account (also called the spam folder). 

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