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Delay visitor visas at your peril

Companies often wait until it’s too late before they plan their visitor visas. But one savvy Canadian company asks the TCS how it can prepare for the arrival of a key foreign partner to Canada. Read on to see how you can plan ahead to avoid costly delays.

Dear TCS,

We would like to invite a small group of business people from a Chinese company that we are involved with by way of a joint venture. We have visited their site and wish to invite them here as well. Can you advise me of the procedure involved?


Roger Power
Chief Executive Officer
Versus Technologies

Hi Roger,

Thank you for your email. I am happy to see that you have found a potential joint venture partner in South China. Your question is a common one. Unfortunately, companies often wait until it’s too late to plan their visitor visas.

A great place to start when it comes to inviting foreign business delegations is the website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Specifically, there is a section for Canadian businesses that wish to invite foreign partners to Canada.

It is your company's responsibility to write a letter of invitation to your partners for visa application purposes. Your company should send each visitor two originals of the letter of invitation; one must be submitted when applying for their visa in China and one to present when they enter Canada.

Your invitation letter must contain the following information:

Regarding the invited person:

Regarding the person extending the invitation:

I would also recommend that your Chinese partners visit the website of Canadian Embassy in Beijing for useful visa application procedures in China. I noticed that your partner is in Guangzhou. For residents of Guangdong province, it is recommended that they file visa applications through the Canadian Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Guangzhou.

Consult the VAC website, submit your application, find out when the passport will be ready for collection, and then simply pick up your passport at the VAC.

The VAC address is:

Room 351, Chengjian Mansion 189 Tiyu Road West
Tianhe District, Guangzhou China 510620
Helpline: 020-3889-8475

Be sure to leave enough time for your partners' visa to be processed. You may also wish to send us an electronic copy of your invitation letter. Trade Commissioners at the Consulate General of Canada in Guangzhou may be able to provide additional advice, if needed.

Ming Yan
Trade Commissioner
Canadian Consulate General in Guangzhou

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