A foreign worker is an individual who is temporarily living in Canada, working for a Canadian employer. He or she forms part of the Canadian labor market and is in possession of a work permit.
A business visitor visa, on the other hand, is an individual who travels to Canada to take part in business activities but does not work for a Canadian employer. Examples of business visitors include the following:
Much of Canada’s economic success comes from its collaboration with other countries. It is a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation (OECD) and the world-renowned G7, and it is also a signatory of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). These designations come with a certain amount of visa reciprocity, whereby Canadian business travelers can smoothly enter other countries and vice versa. Therefore, in general, most business visitors to Canada do not require a work permit, though they will be subject to the visitor visa requirements that apply to their country.
In order to enter Canada as a business visitor, you need to demonstrate the following:
Specialized services that included in a sales or lease agreement, or warranty/service contract, can generally be performed without the need for a work permit. Examples include the setup of industrial equipment and computer software installation, upgrade or training. This does not apply to hands-on word typically done by people who work in construction, such as pipe fitters or electricians.
Work done under a warranty/service contract can be done without a work permit as long as the contract was part of the original sales or lease agreement, or an extension thereof. If the work is done under a third party service contract, a work permit is generally needed.
If a Canadian employer contract for services from a foreign company, and those services are performed within Canada, the employee of the foreign company will need a work permit. Since the individual is working in Canada and being paid from a Canadian source, he or she is considered to be part of the Canadian labor market. Therefore, a work permit will be required. Examples include software developers and on-site design/construction teams.