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Business trip to North-America: handy guide

by Staff reporter
04 Nov 2021 at 06:22hrs | Views
Do you have to go to North-America soon to visit customers or suppliers, or to negotiate with business partners? Then start preparing for your trip in good time. A visa is not usually required for a business trip to Canada or the USA. All you need is an ESTA or an eTA.

Good planning can save you a lot of trouble
Leave nothing to chance and start organising your business trip in good time. During your business trip, you will probably have little time for your regular daily activities. Therefore, always make sure you've pre-arranged things with a colleague who can temporarily take over your duties. In addition, read up on the visa requirements well before you leave home, so that you have all the documents for your trip on time. For some countries, a visit to the embassy or consulate may be necessary; for other countries, like Canada and the USA, the visa or ESTA or eTA can easily be applied for online.

Are you fully vaccinated? Both the USA and Canada require visitors to be fully vaccinated. You need to be apply to present an official vaccination certificate.

Good planning is also crucial during your stay abroad. Make sure you divide your appointments appropriately over the days and plan enough time between meetings so you have time to work on the topics discussed, and you do not run out of time if appointments run late. Stress is a major pitfall during business trips. You don't want to make mistakes because you are in a rush. When abroad, avoid making an embarrassment of yourself by misreading queues and gestures, and read up on customs in both the USA and Canada. This gives off an air of professionalism, which is only beneficial to business discussions.

Applying for a visa, eTA or ESTA

Most countries require a visa or other travel authorisation to enter the country. Business travellers to Canada or the USA generally do not require a visa, but only an eTA or an ESTA. The eTA is a digital travel authorisation for Canada which allows you to travel to Canada multiple times within five years. Each business trip may last up to six months. ESTA is a similar document, but for the United States. The ESTA is valid for 2 years for a maximum stay of 90 days.

Check well before your departure date whether your business trip meets the conditions of the eTA or ESTA. With an eTA and an ESTA, you may attend business meetings, trade fairs and conferences, and negotiate with customers and suppliers, but you are not allowed to be employed by or invest in a domestic company. If you do not meet the requirements, you will need to apply for a visa to Canada or the USA. Applying for a visa is much more complicated and expensive than applying for an ESTA or eTA.

Entry restrictions because of the coronavirus (Covid-19)

Check what additional measures apply due to the coronavirus. Business travellers are welcome in Canada again since September 2021, but they must install a Canadian government app before departure and provide proof of vaccination and a negative test result in this app. The USA is also welcoming visitors from 8 November, but unlike Canada they don't have a special app where you need to upload documents. You do, however, need to carry an official proof of vaccination.

Source - Byo24News