Canada Is Making It Easier For Digital Nomads To Work In The Country & Here's Who Can Apply

Canada is trying to get more tech talent in the country.

Someone working remotely.

Someone working remotely.

Canada is introducing new rules to make it easier for digital nomads and workers in the technology sector to live and work in the country.

Speaking at the Collision Conference in Toronto on Tuesday, June 27, Sean Fraser, minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said measures were being announced as part of Canada's Tech Talent Strategy, which is designed to boost opportunities in the technology sector.

Fraser announced policies would be changing in some areas of immigration including making it easier for digital nomads to get jobs in Canada.

Under the strategy, digital nomads will be able to work in Canada for a foreign employer on a visitor visa for up to six months. The government will be working with businesses to inform new policies on digital nomads who are looking to work for a Canadian employer.

"Should they receive a job offer while they're here, we're going to allow them to continue to stay and work in Canada," Fraser said.

As well as promoting Canada as an ideal location for digital nomads, Fraser announced several changes to policies to make it easier for skilled workers in sectors such as technology to apply for a Canadian work permit.

Who can apply under the new rules?

One of the measures announced will allow people who hold an H-1B specialty occupation visa in the U.S. to apply for a Canadian work permit. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the visa applies to someone with "theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge," and a degree in a specific specialty.

Up to 10,000 visa holders will be able to apply for a Canadian work permit.

The Innovation Stream, which will fall under the International Mobility Program, will be aimed at attracting "highly talented individuals" and will include employer-specific work permits for up to five years for people who work for a company that contributes to Canada's "industrial innovation goals."

The stream will also give five-year open work permits for highly skilled workers in an "in-demand occupation."

Fraser also announced that changes would be made to Canada's Start-up Visa Program, with applicants able to secure a work permit that is up to three years instead of one year.

The visa targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada, that could create jobs for Canadians and compete at a global scale.

The permit will also be open to all members of the entrepreneurial team rather than just those deemed essential in Canada.

When are the new rules coming in?

According to the Government of Canada, H-1B specialty occupation visa holders will be able to apply for a Canadian work permit as soon as July 16, 2023. Any applicants that are approved for the permit will receive an open work permit for up to three years and they'll be able to work for almost any employer across Canada.

Any spouses or dependents will also be able to apply for a temporary resident visa with a work or study permit if needed.

The Innovation Stream will be launched by the end of 2023, and changes to the temporary work permit option for Start-up Visa Program applicants will also be introduced by the end of the year.

Charlie Hart
Charlie Hart was a Travel Creator for Narcity Media focused on Canadian and global travel and is based in Calgary, Alberta.