Other Non-Canadian Business Visitors

The University of Manitoba welcomes thousands of visitors to our campuses each year. Non-Canadian visitors are responsible for obtaining the correct travel documents (visas or electronic Travel Authorizations) and health and travel insurance before they travel to Canada, much in the way that ordinary tourists do when they travel abroad: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp

Non-Canadian visitors coming to campus do not usually need a work permit and simply need a clear invitation letter from the faculty supervisor/host at the University, detailing the nature and duration of the visit and if they are being compensated in any way. Alternatively, if the visitor is attending an event that they already have official confirmation for, such as when they have enrolled for something online, the confirmation will often suffice (e.g. sports event, conference participant or course of study less than six months). Officers greeting people at the airport or border must be able to understand the nature of the visit when the paperwork is presented to them by the visitor, or the visitor(s) could be refused entry to Canada.

Paying visitors can often get complicated, as they will not have a work permit or Social Insurance Number in Canada. Their status in Canada will be that of a business visitor, not a temporary worker. However, it is possible to pay some business visitors for their ‘work’, even though they do not have a work permit, but restrictions apply and they may be subject to taxation in Canada. The faculty supervisor/host can often agree to refund or pay for certain receipted expenses as part of the visit, but this must be detailed in the invitation letter, e.g. how much they will pay for accommodation or travel costs.  Faculty supervisors/hosts can contact HR's Immigration Consultant if they have any questions about paying visitors. Visitors must liaise directly with their faculty supervisor/host at the University of Manitoba in relation to their visit.

Here are some common visitors to campus that will usually be exempt from needing a work permit:

  • Guest speakers delivering seminars for a maximum of five (5) days in total
  • Examiners or evaluators of research proposals or projects
  • Candidates coming to campus for an interview
  • New hires who are coming to campus for a pre-visit prior to starting their job
  • Certain researchers who are coming to Canada for up to 120 days to carry out their research, paid or unpaid through the ‘Global Skills Strategy’ program. This program is complicated and the faculty supervisor/host must contact HR's Immigration Consultant before issuing an invitation letter to a visitor. Visitors cannot ‘self-declare’ themselves as visiting researchers. They need formal invitations
  • Self-funded researchers – only for researchers who want to visit a faculty/host and work on their own research (not the faculty/host). Many visa offices will not accept self-funded research as grounds for a visa being issued, demanding that the visitor obtain an LMIA exemption, and that is not usually possible. The Global Skills Strategy program (see above) may be an option for up to 120 days.
  • Visitors who are touring the campus or attending events
  • Visitors who are participating in discussions, meetings and observations for a short time
  • Visitors who have been permitted to use resources on campus for their own personal interest
  • Participants at a sports events on campus (amateur teams) or spectators to the event
  • Visitors formally enrolled in an education, training program or workshop (less than six months)
  • Performing artists appearing alone or in a group in an artistic performance and essential crew or staff of the performing artist or group who is integral to the artistic performance (this work permit exemption does not apply to private film production, television or radio broadcast crew)
  • Members of the executive of a committee that is organizing a convention or meeting in Canada or as a member of the administrative support staff of such a committee
  • Qualified visitors to a congregation/group in the achievement of its spiritual goals, preach doctrine, perform functions related to gatherings to or provide spiritual counselling;