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Do You Want to Come to Canada as a Digital Nomad?

A few months ago, Canada announced it would launch a Tech Talent Strategy, which included promoting Canada as a digital nomad destination. Digital nomads work remotely from anywhere on the planet.

The current Canadian immigration rules allow digital nomads to work remotely for a foreign employer as long as they have visitor status in Canada.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will work with public and private partners in the coming months to figure out whether there are any policies that will help attract digital nomads.

Apart from this, some digital nomads move to Canada to work remotely, so the IRCC expects them to find jobs with Canadian employers. If they’re offered a job with a Canadian company, they can apply for a temporary work permit or even permanent residency.

How does the application process work?

As of now, neither the Canadian government nor the media have talked much about the application process. As digital nomads only need visitor status for six months in Canada, they would also just need to enter as visitors.

You can also apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) if you’re a digital nomad or remote worker. There’s a TRV requirement for foreigners who aren’t exempt from visa requirements.

If you apply, you should provide the deciding officer with enough information to prove that your remote work isn’t covered by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).

“A work activity is one that pays wages or commissions, or is in direct competition with Canadian citizens or permanent residents on the Canadian labour market.”

Digital nomads or domestic workers need to show their remote work doesn’t take away jobs from Canadians or permanent residents. A typical application would include things like proof of finances.

If you’re a citizen of a visa-exempt country, you can apply for an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization). Candidates who are eligible for ETAs have to tell their employers if they want to work remotely.

In both cases, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) decides how long you can stay in Canada at the Canadian border entry point. When your application is approved, you won’t need a Canadian work permit to work remotely in Canada.