The Canada Digital Nomad Visa | What Do We Know So Far?
The news has been buzzing for a while: Canada introduced a Digital Nomad Program, designed to attract top talent to the country. Do weekends skiing in the Rocky Mountains, sunbathing on the beaches of Vancouver Island or canoeing on pristine mountain lakes sound good to you? A digital nomad visa for Canada might be your opportunity to settle down for a while in the Land of Maple Leaf. This is what we know so far:
A Digital Nomad Visa for Canada
First things first: although it surely sounds like it, Canada’s Digital Nomad Program does not include an actual digital nomad visa right now. Don’t get disappointed though; the country does offer a couple of brand new opportunities for remote workers. These will allow you to live and work in the Great White North for six months - and perhaps even longer.
To start your Canadian journey, you can apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) or a visitor visa, depending on your nationality. Both allow you to legally reside in Canada for six months while working remotely for your foreign employer. Do you want to stay longer? Then you can seek opportunities with Canadian employers while you’re there. Once you land a job offer from a Canadian company, the Digital Nomad Program now enables you to immediately apply for a temporary work permit or even permanent residency. Easy, quick and a golden opportunity to build a life in Canada.
Canada’s Tech Talent Strategy
In addition to the digital nomad option, Canada now has a Tech Talent Strategy in place that suits the needs of tech-savvy professionals. If you’re currently working in the United States with an H-1B speciality occupation visa, you’re in luck. Canada has created an open work permit stream specifically for you.
The program provides H-1B visa holders and their families with a three-year pathway to work in Canada, and you don’t need a job offer in Canada to apply. So, if your U.S. work visa is expiring soon or you’re eager to advance your career in North America, this could be your golden ticket.
Exploring other ways to work in Canada
If neither the digital nomad route nor the Tech Talent Strategy fits your plans, don’t worry. Canada offers various other immigration programs to suit your needs:
Express Entry: A points-based system for skilled workers
Start-Up Visa: For entrepreneurs looking to start a business in Canada
Global Skills Strategy: Fast-track processing for high-skilled workers
In the coming months, Canada will research if additional strategies to attract digital nomads are desirable. Hopefully, that means a digital nomad visa will be introduced after all, allowing for stays of one or maybe even two years. I will of course keep you updated on the latest news.
Confused about the different options? Here’s a wrap-up of what you need to know about the Canada Digital Nomad Program:
Is there a digital nomad visa for Canada?
Technically no. However, the country allows you to work remotely in Canada on a visitor visa or ETA for six months. Should you find a job with a local employer during those six months, you’ll be able to apply for a temporary work permit or permanent residency right away.
Who is eligible to work in Canada as a digital nomad?
In order to live and work in Canada as a digital nomad, you need to be able to prove that your main source of income comes from outside the country.
What is the Canada tech visa about?
Canada has recently introduced a Tech Talent Strategy. If you are currently employed in the United States under an H-1B speciality visa, you have the unique opportunity to relocate your family to Canada for a duration of three years, all without needing to secure a job offer.
What other countries offer digital nomad visas?
Did you know there are currently over 40 countries offering a digital nomad visa? Take advantage of these amazing global opportunities and check out the full list of all digital nomad visas available.
The fact that now Canada also understands the value of a digital nomad program, shows that more and more countries are opening up to the possibility of hosting remote workers for a longer period of time. Do you want to stay up to date on the latest Canada news, digital nomad visas or other stories related to the remote work lifestyle? Follow me on Instagram or sign up for my newsletter below. I’ll make sure to keep you in the loop!