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Canada allows Digital Nomads to work on a visit visa

On Friday, VisaGuide reported that the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced new regulations for foreigners interested in working in Canada through the Digital Nomad Visa Programme.

Under the updated rules, foreigners can enter Canada on a visitor visa to work remotely as digital nomads.

Additionally, if they secure employment with a Canadian employer, they are eligible to obtain a work permit.

These individuals, categorized as digital nomads, can relocate to Canada for a maximum of six months while engaging in remote work for an international employer, being self-employed, or providing services to clients outside Canada.

The IRCC emphasizes that digital nomads expressing interest in working for a Canadian employer should be aware that a work permit is necessary before commencing employment.

Notably, digital nomads entering Canada are exempt from holding additional documents. However, family members intending to work or study in Canada must apply for a work permit or study permit separately.

According to the IRCC, digital nomads are individuals with the flexibility to work remotely from any location worldwide.

The government department specifies that digital nomads only require visitor status to stay in Canada for up to six months while engaging in remote work.

Earlier, Canada has announced its plans to introduce a remote work visa tailored for freelancers and digital nomads in 2024, aligning with the evolving landscape of the labor market.

The initiative aimed to attract global talent by allowing individuals to temporarily reside in the country while working remotely, eliminating the need for physical presence in Canadian offices.

A specialized visa will be granted to digital nomads, defined as independent contractors capable of working from any location within Canada. This move reflects an international trend where countries are simplifying procedures to accommodate remote work, addressing challenges in finding qualified workforce.

Previously, digital nomads were limited to a maximum of six months on tourist visas in Canada. The government is now formulating a comprehensive “tech talent strategy” to enhance its workforce by attracting foreign workers. Isabelle Dubois, spokesperson for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, highlighted the anticipated benefits, expecting some digital nomads to choose Canada as a base and contribute their skills to local employers.

To attract highly skilled IT professionals accustomed to remote work, plans are underway to establish a framework enabling entrepreneurs to apply for extended work permits lasting up to three years. The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Office emphasized Canada’s commitment to facilitating remote work and pledged to provide more information in the coming months.

Recent analysis by MBO Partners revealed a significant increase in the number of Americans identifying as digital nomads, reaching 17.3 million, approximately 11% of the workforce. This two percent rise from 2022 underscores the growing trend towards freelancing and remote work, a trend expected to persist in the coming years.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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