For a lot of business travelers in Canada, taking a trip represents the opportunity to meet with clients, be productive and also if you’re lucky to get a little leisure time in as well.
For many Canadian businesses, it’s important to send employees abroad and in particular travelers often go to the U.S.
What should businesses know about preparing their employees to go across the southern border?
One of the most important things any Canadian business can do if they have employees who travel globally, whether to the U.S. or anywhere else, is have a strong expense management software solution in place.
This is so important because it allows employees to do things like uploading receipts on the go and making sure they’re managing expenses properly, without requiring them to take a lot of time out from why they’re traveling in the first place.
A global solution is essential so that things like U.S. taxes and other country-specific factors will automatically be included in everything employees are doing while abroad.
Not only does a comprehensive, globally-equipped expense management software solution make things easier for employees while they’re away, but it’s also going to make them more compliant and reduce the risk of fraud.
When people are traveling to the U.S. to do temporary business, which can include meetings and consultations, conventions, conferences and negotiating contracts, they will likely need a visa, unless they qualify for the Visa Waiver Program.
The Visa Waiver Program is something administered by the State Department, which lets employees of 38 countries go to the U.S. for business or vacation for up to 90 days without a visa.
In addition to this, in many cases, citizens of Canada and Bermuda don’t need visas if their business is temporary, but it’s a good idea to check on your employees’ specific trips because in some cases they may require one.
If you’re traveling from Canada to the U.S., as was touched on above, certain activities will allow for easier access to the country. These include things like participating in a business meeting, and the other reasons listed above but also taking orders for items that are manufactured abroad, on behalf of a Canadian company.
When it’s being determined if a Canadian is really going to the U.S. for work and therefore should have easier access to the country, the test is usually whether or not someone in the U.S. could be hired to perform the same service the traveler will be doing. If so, then the U.S. will usually consider it work.
Finally, if employers regularly send Canadian employees to the U.S.. they might want to explore the NEXUS program.
The NEXUS program is designed to help make it easier for travelers who are designated as low-risk to be pre-approved to travel across the border without having to go through intensive customs and immigration questioning.
Canadians who are traveling to the U.S. often can receive an ID card, and it requires that they go through background checks, are citizens or permanent residents of Canada, and meet admission requirements set forth by both the U.S. and Canada.