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.
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?
Chief Executive Officer
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:
- name of the person invited;
- the person’s date of birth, if known;
- the company represented and the person’s position;
- the person’s address and telephone number (both work and home);
- your company’s relationship to the invitee and your business history together;
- whether you already know the visitor personally, and if you are related;
- the purpose of the trip (if part of a longer-term project, provide detail);
- the length of time the person will be visiting your company in Canada;
- accommodation and living expenses that your company will cover;
- the date the person intends to leave Canada, if known.
Regarding the person extending the invitation:
- complete name, job title and position in the company
- address and telephone numbers in Canada and work email address.
- complete name of the company, headquarters address and addresses of all company facilities being visited;
- the company’s website address, if available
- the company’s date of registration/incorporation and
- a short description of the firm’s business line.
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
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.
Canadian Consulate General in Guangzhou
- Date Modified: