Business travelers should apply for an e-Visa, work visa, or work permit before leaving for the United States or Canada, depending on the company and length of stay. In this article, you will find more information on the documents required for a business trip to North America.
Authorized work with ESTA USA
Many travelers mistakenly assume that it visa for North America can only be used for tourism purposes. However, ESTA is also suitable for business travel to the United States. With an ESTA it is possible to attend business meetings such as conferences, congresses, symposia and trade fairs and to conduct negotiations or discussions with (potential) business partners. A business trip can also be combined with a vacation or a visit to friends or family in the United States. Once an ESTA has been approved, it does not matter whether you are staying in the United States for tourism or business purposes.
Sometimes visa for America required
In some cases, ESTA is not enough and a visa is required. This applies in the following situations:
- The traveler engages with an American employer
- The traveler is going to train in the United States
- The traveler is going to start a business in the United States
- The traveler will invest in an American company
- The traveler performs journalistic work in the United States
- The traveler was in Iraq, North Korea, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen after March 1, 2011.
It is therefore allowed to work in the United States with an ESTA, but only if the traveler is paid by an employer based outside the United States. Joining a US business or starting a new business is only possible with a US visa.
Apply for an ESTA or a visa
ESTA is easy to apply online with a digital application form. In the form, you enter travel information, passport information, and some information about the traveller’s employer. Finally, some security questions need to be answered. After payment of the fee, the request is immediately processed and usually processed within three days. Once the application is approved, the ESTA is automatically linked to the traveller’s passport details and added to a border control service database. The ESTA confirmation therefore does not need to be printed. The airline and the US border control agency can see that a traveler has a valid ESTA by scanning the passport.
Applying for a visa for America, on the other hand, is much more complicated. Travelers must first complete the DS-160 online form and then make an appointment with the U.S. Consulate. For a visa application, it is therefore always necessary to go personally to the consulate. Applying for a visa therefore takes more time and generally costs more than an ESTA application. Travelers who meet the ESTA conditions are therefore advised not to apply for a visa, but for ESTA.
Authorized work with eTA Canada
The Canadian Immigration Service also allows European travelers to apply for an eTA Canada, so that they can travel to Canada visa-free.
An eTA can be used for holidays, studies, a transfer, but also for business trips of less than six months. However, you cannot be employed by a Canadian employer. With the AVE, for example, it is possible to visit a business partner, attend a business meeting or attend studies or training.
Prepare for a possible sample
Upon arrival in Canada, it is possible that during passport control, it is verified whether the traveller’s planned activities are actually authorized with the Canada eTA. To demonstrate this, business travelers can ask their (potential) business partner to write an invitation letter, which includes personal data, but also a place of night, the contact details of the company for which the traveler works. , the company to visit and the relationship between the two. . In addition, a statement from the employer can be useful. This indicates what the traveler in question intends to do in Canada and for what purpose. Finally, before departure, you can ask the (potential) business partner to be reachable by phone when you arrive in Canada.
Apply for an eTA Canada
In most cases is sufficient an estimated time of arrival. The stay in Canada cannot last more than six months and no employment contract can be concluded with a Canadian organization. In this case, it is not necessary to apply for a work visa or work permit. The eTA is cheaper, easier and faster to apply than a physical visa and does not require a visit to the Canadian embassy or consulate. The eTA can be applied for online using the online application form. Completing the form often does not take more than ten minutes.
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