Visa Requirements

Citizenship and Immigration Canada – Information for Conference Organizers

The Special Events Unit at Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) supports international events taking place in Canada by liaising with organizers to provide guidance on visa and other requirements to enter Canada.

Specific information for event organizers is available on the CIC’s website.  It contains helpful information on visa and entry requirements.  The last page of the brochure contains a form (Notice of an International Event or Meeting) which allows event organizers to register their event with CIC.  After ensuring that the event is legitimate, the information is published on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s internal website, which is available to Canadian visa officers around the world.

Following is some information and useful links for Citizenship and Immigration Canada:

Participants will need a valid passport or an appropriate travel document to enter Canada.  

Citizens of the United States
Although they do not need a passport nor visa, they should carry evidence of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, a citizenship certificate, a naturalization certificate or a state birth certificate. If these documents do not contain their photograph, they will be asked for a driver’s licence or other identification. US citizens should visit the Department of Homeland Security website for a list of acceptable documents to re-enter the US.

Convention Organizers

Event Planners for a Foreign Organization
Permanent employees of foreign organizations planning events in Canada do not require work permits if they are:

  • executive organizing committee members, or
  • administrative support staff.

Persons working under contract for foreign organizations planning events in Canada do not require work permits if they are:

  • event planners;
  • exhibit managers;
  • professional conference organizers;
  • destination marketing company personnel, or
  • event accommodation consultants.

Exhibitors
Booth personnel, display stand personnel, and booth owners may enter Canada as business visitors to display or demonstrate goods at an event without work permits.

Note: People providing “hands on” services at these events must have a work permit. For example: audiovisual services, show decorating, exhibit building, installing and dismantling. 

Public speakers

Guest speakers, commercial speakers or seminar leaders can speak or deliver training in Canada without a work permit as long as the event is no longer than five days.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada web site:
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp

Information on visiting Canada:
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/index.asp

Do you need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to visit Canada (see for list of countries):
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp

Visiting Canada - Important information for visa exempt travellers (including US Citizens):
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visa-exempt.asp

Where to send your application for a (TRV):
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/offices/apply-where.asp

Visa Offices outside of Canada:
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/offices/missions.asp

Visa application processing times:
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/times/index.asp

The Special Events Unit of CIC will be pleased to assist you.  You may contact the Unit at:
Special Events Coordinator
Fax: (613) 952-5382
E-mail: Special.Events@cic.gc.ca

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