I get asked this question multiple times in a day. So here is what you need to know about WHO is a Business VISITOR vs. a WORKER.
You are eligible to enter Canada as a Business Visitor without a work permit for a short term business trip if you wish to attend business meetings and conferences, meet clients, train or get trained on a specific product or transaction, visit job sites, purchase Canadian goods for a foreign business or provide after-sale services. After-sale services encompass repairs, supervising installers or testing equipment, provided the service is being performed as part of the original sales or lease agreement and does not fall within hands-on construction work.
A Business Visitor seeks to participate in international business activities, without entering the Canadian labour market, most often for a few days only. It is important to note that the Business Visitor’s primary source of remuneration and place of business must remain outside Canada.
The Immigration Officers will closely look at your documents, ask your purpose of travel and the scope of work that will be performed in Canada. If you are deemed to enter the Canadian market as either a secretarial, managerial or technical worker, or if you wish to stay in Canada for six months or more, you will need a work permit.
Should you be eligible to enter Canada as a Business Visitor, the requirements of a visa or an ETA are still applicable. To see if you need a visa or an ETA, click on: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp.