Are you planning to work in Canada? For business trips to Canada, it is generally enough to apply for an eTA. Under certain circumstances, however, a work permit is required. It is important that you apply for the right travel authorization, to avoid trouble.

An eTA is required at all times

On this page you can read whether you are required to apply for a work permit. Regardless on if this is the case, you are at all times required to possess an eTA in order to fly to Canada, unless you are a Canadian or American citizen, or if you are not from one of the visa-exempt countries. Since 2015, each work permit comes with an automatic eTA. If you received a work permit for Canada, you therefore do not need to apply for an additional etA, unless the eTA Canada lost it’s validity before you travel (back) to Canada. View the eTA requirements.

Work permit or eTA

Applying for a work permit
Applying for a work permit is more complicated and takes longer (minimum two weeks) than applying for an eTA. If a work permit is not necessary, it is therefore recommended not to file for one and to only submit an eTA application.


Duration of stay

First and foremost, the choice between a work permit or an eTA depends on how long you plan on staying. If you plan to stay in Canada for longer than six consecutive months, you have to apply for a work permit at all times.

Nature of the work

In the following cases, the eTA Canada suffices and no work permit is required:
  • You are going on a business trip
  • You are not entering the Canadian job market *

*This is understood as not entering into direct employment with a Canadian organisation. You are also not allowed to start your own company in Canada. Performing a (short) job commissioned by a Canadian organisation is allowed, provided it is under the service of a company situated outside of Canada. In certain cases, the activities performed can only last less than six months; these can be found here .


In the following cases, the eTA does not suffice and you need to possess a work permit:

  • You are entering into employment with a Canadian organisation
  • You are starting a new organisation in Canada
  • You are staying in Canada for longer than six months

Do you have to apply for a work permit?

If the above mentioned information indicates that you need a work permit, read the page on the Canada visa to see how you can apply for one, and which additional requirements are tied to this.

If the eTA suffices

If in your case the eTA Canada suffices to work in Canada, you can submit an application through this website. Start by pressing the button below:

Start the eTA application for your business trip