Currently, you can be a remote worker in Canada on a visitor visa. But the Canadian government have plans to make the country an even more attractive place for digital nomads. And if you work in tech, they are particularly keen to have you.
Since the pandemic, many of us have found that are jobs are transportable. If all you need is a laptop, why not take that laptop anywhere? Working outside of the office does not just have to mean working from the kitchen table (or your bed), it could mean working from a truly fabulous location. With multiple countries introducing a digital nomad visa, including Portugal and Spain, workers are finally able to realise their global travelling plans while maintaining employment. Seeing the world no longer has to be something you do in your penniless youth. Nor something you wait until retirement to get round to. Now, you can type emails from the top of a mountain in Whistler or a cute café in Toronto.
A digital nomad visa allows you to live in one country whilst working remotely for an employer in another, for a set period of time. They are a popular way to get to know a country intimately before pursuing a visa with a longer stay.
Working on a visitor visa
Under current Canada immigration rules, all you need is a visitor status to work for a foreign employer for up to six months while living in Canada.
With fees from $100, a Canadian visitor visa requires that you have a passport, good health, no criminal history, enough money for your stay, and proof that you will return to your home country.
Many other countries with a specific digital nomad visa have a salary requirement for applicants, making Canada’s one of the more relaxed.
For more information on entering Canada as a visitor, here is the government page.
Furthermore, as a non-resident in Canada, you will not be entitled to free healthcare. So, it is important to get health insurance.
Increasing appeal for digital nomads
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship is going to collaborate with public and private partners to see if there is anything more that can be done to attract digital nomads.
But what happens when your six months is up? What if you’ve fallen in love with Canada and don’t want to go? One option is to seek employment from a Canadian company and transfer to a temporary work visa or even permanent residence.
Here is the Canadian government’s page on working in Canada temporarily.
Work in Tech? Canada wants you
The Canadian government has announced plans for a new Tech Talent Strategy. This will aim to attract more overseas workers to fill job shortages in the country. They plan to create employer-specific work permits for up to five years for a company that contributes to Canada’s industrial innovation goals. In addition, they are looking to make open work permits for up to five years for highly skilled workers in select in-demand occupations.
Improving existing programmes
As part of the plans, Canada wants to improve the Global Skills Strategy work permit, which is aimed at attracting highly skilled workers. And the Start-up Visa Program, which is a path to permanent residence for foreign entrepreneurs, who are given a Canadian venture capital fund in which to develop their ideas. Both were subject to delays in processing time during the pandemic, though they have since recovered. But now, the Canadian government plans to boost their numbers.