Dear Ms Powell
I would like to spend some time with my aunt, as she’s not well. My employer permits me to work from home, and that means I could continue to do so while being in Canada. Does Canada have a programme which allows you to work remotely while staying there? I know COVID programmes are over, but I was wondering if there is a current programme that would allow me to work there for an outside company. If I get that visa, can I also apply to stay if I like being there? Your help would be appreciated.
Headlines Delivered to Your Inbox
Canada has a temporary resident visa known as the Digital Nomad Visa, which authorises foreign nationals to visit Canada while performing their jobs remotely from any country.
The intention of the government is to promote Canada as a destination for digital nomads and to attract international talents, specifically technology professionals, to come to Canada.
Under the current Canadian immigration rules, a digital nomad only needs a visitor status to come to Canada for up to six months at a time, while he performs his job remotely for a foreign employer.
The programme is aimed at attracting highly skilled professionals to Canada. The people who may be eligible for the Canada Digital Nomad Visa would be individuals with experience in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These occupations include data scientists, software developers and programmers, mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries, and electrical and electronics engineers. This visa is also available to writers, web designers, content creators, photographers, videographers, virtual assistants, social media managers, consultants, freelancers, entrepreneurs.
REMAIN IN CANADA
It is expected by the government that some digital nomads who initially enter Canada to work remotely will decide to seek opportunities with Canadian employers, and even wish to remain in Canada permanently. If you receive a job offer from a Canadian company, then you may apply for a temporary work permit, or even permanent residence under the Express Entry System.
This means that a digital nomad does not need a work visa to work remotely from Canada and may remain in Canada for up to six months at a time, while working remotely for their foreign employer.
A working professionals who is allowed by his respective company or employer who is outside of Canada, may work remotely and apply to remain in Canada, provided that the individual can qualify to enter the express entry poll based on factors such as age, education, language abilities, work experience and other factors.
You would need to qualify under other programmes, such as the Federal Skilled Worker Programme and Provincial Nominee Programme. Work experience while in Canada and working for a non-Canadian employer would not qualify as in-Canada work experience. However, if you get a work permit and work in Canada for a Canadian employer, that work experience would give you extra points and may qualify you under the Canadian Experience Class Programme to receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence. The other programme to consider is the self-employed category.
You may apply via Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website and provide supporting documentation of your current job outside Canada, along with a no-objection certificate or letter as proof that your company grants you permission to work remotely from anywhere in the world.
Depending on your home country and current situation, you may need to provide the following forms and documents:
-Proof of finances
-Identity document (passport, etc)
-Used of a representative form
-Family information form
-Minor children passport and documents
– Current job documents (outside Canada employer)
– No-objection certificate from employer
An invitation letter from your aunt is not required if you have proof of where you would be staying, and evidence that you can pay for the accommodation for the entire time that you plan to be in Canada.
The average processing time is usually within two months. However, this may vary depending on your home country and the time it takes to complete your background check. The application fees is CDN$100, plus the fee for biometrics.
If you need help with your application or to find out if you are are eligible for the Digital Nomad Visa, you may consult with a Canada immigration lawyer directly to get personalised response to your query.
Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public in Canada. Connect with her via 613-695-8777 directly or via WhatsApp. You may also find her on Facebook or Instagram.