Ne ratez pas votre entrée comme visiteur commercial

Le visiteur d’affaires ou visiteur commercial, à la différence du travailleur temporaire, n’a pas besoin de permis de travail pour ses activités au Canada. La tentation peut donc exister pour un ressortissant étranger, que ce soit pour s’éviter des démarches ou par méconnaissance des règles de l’immigration, de demander son admission au Canada comme visiteur commercial plutôt que comme travailleur.

Cette façon de faire est à proscrire afin d’éviter tout risque de travail illégal au Canada et les conséquences s’y rattachant.

 

Comment reconnaître le statut de visiteur d’affaires ?

Le site d’Immigration, Réfugiés et Citoyenneté Canada définit ce qu’est un visiteur d’affaires.

En voici les grandes lignes :

  • Le travailleur étranger ne doit pas avoir l’intention d’entrer dans le marché du travail canadien (c’est à dire notamment qu’il ne doit pas avoir de revenus tirés d’un emploi au Canada).
  • L’activité qu’il exerce doit être de portée internationale.
  • Dans la majorité des cas, le ressortissant étranger demeure à l’emploi d’un employeur étranger puisque demeurent situés à l’étranger :
    • sa principale source de rémunération;
    • son principal établissement;
    • le lieu où son employeur réalise des bénéfices.

Il va donc sans dire qu’un employeur ne doit pas permettre à un ressortissant étranger, qui est entré au Canada comme visiteur d’affaires, d’effectuer un essai ou une formation, tant que ce dernier n’aura pas un permis de travail en main, cela même si l’essai est à titre gratuit ou bénévole.

 

Il faut garder à l’esprit que la notion de travail est entendue de façon large par Immigration, Réfugiés et Citoyenneté Canada, qui la définie comme toute « activité qui donne lieu au paiement d’un salaire ou d’une commission, ou qui est en concurrence directe avec les activités des citoyens canadiens ou des résidents permanents sur le marché du travail au Canada ». Le fait que le travail ne soit pas rémunéré n’est donc aucunement un gage qu’un permis de travail n’est pas requis.

Vous pouvez en apprendre davantage sur la notion de visiteur commercial en cliquant ici.

 

Recommandations pratiques

Une admission en tant que visiteur d’affaires ne requiert pas, par définition, de permis de travail. Il n’en demeure pas moins que le ressortissant sera avisé de préparer son entrée au Canada adéquatement et d’apporter avec lui la documentation nécessaire pour bien expliquer la nature des activités au Canada et la raison de son séjour.

Ainsi, il s’assurera au préalable qu’il peut demander son admission comme tel au poste frontalier, ou, en cas de doute, via une opinion préliminaire auprès d’Immigration, Réfugiés et Citoyenneté Canada.

Si tel est le cas, et en fonction de sa situation, il pourrait être avisé d’apporter avec lui :

  • Un CV à jour
  • La copie de toute adhésion professionnelle, le cas échéant;
  • La copie des contrats existant entre sa société étrangère et la société Canadienne qui l’accueille;
  • Une lettre d’invitation de la société Canadienne

En cas de doute sur la nature de votre séjour, consultez les autorités canadiennes ou un professionnel pour éviter toute situation illégale.

Enter Canada as a Business Visitor

A business visitor, unlike a temporary worker, does not require a work permit for their activities in Canada. The temptation may therefore exist for a foreign national, whether to avoid the process or by ignoring the rules of immigration, to apply for admission to Canada as a business visitor rather than as a worker.

This is to be avoided in order to avoid the risk of illegally working in Canada and the consequences thereof.

How to recognize a business visitor status?

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website contains a definition for a business visitor.

The following are the main points:

  • The foreign worker must not intend to enter the Canadian labour market (ie, they must not have income from employment in Canada).
  • The activity they take part in must be international in scope.
  • In the majority of cases, the foreign national remains employed by a foreign employer due to their interests remaining abroad:
  • Their main source of income;
  • Their main place of business;
  • The place where the employer makes a profit.

It goes without saying that an employer must not allow a foreign national who has entered Canada as a business visitor to do any testing or training until the worker has a work permit in hand, even if the activities are done for free or voluntarily.

One must be keep in mind that the concept of work is broadly understood by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada as any « activity that results in the payment of a salary or commission or is in direct competition with the activities of Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the Canadian labour market « . The fact that the work is not remunerated is therefore not a guarantee that a work permit is not required.

You can learn more about what it means to be a business visitor in Canada by clicking here

Practical Recommendations

An entry into Canada as a business visitor does not, by definition, require a work permit. The fact remains that a foreign national is advised to prepare for their entry into Canada adequately and to bring with them the necessary documentation to explain the nature of the activities they will participate in while in Canada and the reason for their visit.

This will ensure that the foreign national can apply for admission at the border or, if in doubt, through a preliminary opinion with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

If this is the case, and depending on their situation, the foreign national may be advised to bring with them:

  • Their up-to-date resume;
  • Copy of any professional membership(s), if applicable;
  • Copies of contracts between their foreign company and the Canadian company hosting them;
  • A letter of invitation from the Canadian company

In case of any doubt about the nature of your stay, consult the Canadian authorities or a professional to avoid getting into any unintentional legal trouble.

 

Regular LMIA: Employers, Look After your Job Posting!

How do you properly post a job offer as part of an Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application? This issue is important because poor posting is a frequent source of LMIA refusals.

While there are many exemptions, obtaining an LMIA through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) remains one of the most common routes for the issuance of a work permit in Canada.

The TFWP allows employers to hire foreign workers to address temporary shortages of labour and skills, as defined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

As stated by the IRCC; the employer will have to obtain a notice from the authorities that the hiring of a foreign worker will not have a negative impact on the job market in Canada. The employer must request this notice as part of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). A favorable LMIA confirms that the foreign worker will fill a need for labour and that no qualified Canadian is available to fill the job.

Except in specific cases where it is exempted, the employer will generally be required to ensure that the position offered to a foreign worker has been publicly advertised in a well-defined framework in order to give Canadian workers the opportunity to apply.

In this regard, it is common for the employer to be required to modify a posting that does not meet all the criteria set out, or even to completely repeat the process, which considerably delays obtaining an opinion.

Ensuring Compliance of your Job Posting

The basic rules to respect in Quebec are the following:

  • The position must be advertised for a continuous period of a minimum of 30 days, using at least three venues, including the Emploi-Québec search engine and at least one other method considered to have a national scope;
  • All job requirements must be clearly displayed (name of employer, location of job, job title, job duties, salary and other conditions, job requirements, academic background, experience, etc.) As well as providing the contact information required to apply.

Pitfalls to Avoid

  • Using the wrong search engines

For example, in the IT field, for a job in Quebec, you could use Espresso-jobs, Emploi Québec and Workopolis.

  • Copycat posting or self-serving evidence

You have found the perfect foreign candidate to become your production manager, you reproduce their resume as is in your posting. You see that the foreign worker completed a first degree in child psychology, you require this skill in your ad. This will certainly cause the authorities to question your intentions.

  • Do not indicate who is the actual employer in the event of hiring via a recruitment company
  • Do not offer a wage lower than the median salary of the profession
  • Do not indicate a salary or omit certain conditions of employment