Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Home » Canada Just Launched a new Digital Nomad Program—Here’s what You Need to Know

Canada Just Launched a new Digital Nomad Program—Here’s what You Need to Know

by Grayson Henderson
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If you’ve ever dreamed of living and working remotely in Canada, now’s your chance: The Canadian government just announced a new immigration program for digital nomads. 

Under current Canadian immigration rules, digital nomads working for a foreign employer can stay in the country under visitor status for up to six months. 

As part of the new program, which started earlier this month, digital nomads can also apply for a temporary work permit and stay in Canada for an additional three years if they land a job with a Canadian employer. 

“It’s an incredible opportunity for people who want to test-drive Canada and if they decide they want to commit once their time is up, we’re quite happy to have them,” Canada’s immigration minister Sean Fraser tells CNBC Make It. 

The main motivation behind Canada pitching itself as a destination for digital nomads is the labor shortage it faces in “key tech occupations,” Fraser adds. 

According to Randstad Canada, one of the country’s largest staffing agencies, Canada loses about 0.7% of its population to the U.S. every year, the bulk of which are skilled workers seeking higher-paid opportunities in tech, finance and other popular industries. The average tech worker in Canada earns about $74,000 per year, Randstad reports, while the average salaries for tech workers in New York or San Francisco exceed $130,000.

Canada joins a growing list of more than 30 countries that have introduced similar programs to attract digital nomads, including Spain and Portugal.

If you’re interested in applying for a temporary Canadian visa, you’ll need a government-issued passport and proof of income. You should also be prepared to submit fingerprints and do an interview with someone from Canada’s immigration office (see more information here).

But don’t expect your application to be approved right away, says Masha Sutherlin, the director of global corporate legal and mobility at Deel, an online HR platform. As part of her job, Sutherlin helps remote employees who are traveling or relocating navigate countries’ visa processes and immigration policies.

“Just because a country announces a visa or program for digital nomads, doesn’t mean they’ve figured out how to process these applications in a timely manner,” says Sutherlin. “Digital nomad visas are brand new, and a lot of countries underestimated the resources they’d need to process the high volume of applications they attract.”

Sutherlin has seen digital nomads get their visa applications approved in the UAE in just a few weeks, for example, whereas in Portugal, getting approved for a digital nomad visa can take “anywhere from three months to a year,” she says. 

She continues: “Prepare to be patient, and also consider where you want to settle down long-term because not all countries are as generous as Canada in offering a clear path for permanent citizenship within a digital nomad scheme.”

Source : CNBC

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