Canada just joined a growing list of countries—including Australia, Barbados, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Norway, and Portugal, among more than two dozen others—in developing a visa program specifically aimed at remote workers.
The full details of the program haven’t been totally fleshed out. However, according to Sean Fraser, minister of immigration, refugees, and citizenship, the goal is to attract skilled tech workers from overseas.
“We’re enthusiastic about the ambitious goals we have set in immigration because they aren’t just about numbers—they are strategic,” Fraser said in a statement. “With Canada’s first-ever immigration Tech Talent Strategy, we’re targeting newcomers that can help enshrine Canada as a world leader in a variety of emerging technologies.”
Here’s everything we know about Canada’s new remote worker program.
How does Canada’s digital nomad visa program work?
The digital nomad visa will allow those who work for an employer outside of Canada to live in Canada for up to six months. Though Canada will focus more on tech workers, anyone with remote employment can apply. There is no salary threshold, which isn’t true of some countries, like Iceland, which requires a monthly salary of at least $8,000 to apply.
Should digital nomads land a job with a Canadian employer while in the country, they can also apply for a temporary work permit and stay for an additional three years, after which it’s possible to apply for citizenship (the naturalization rule is that you’re in the state for 1,095 days in a five-year period).
If you’re keen on applying for the six-month Canadian remote worker visa, you’ll need to submit an application with proof of employment, a photo, and fingerprints. You may also need to do an interview with an immigration officer. If approved, you’ll need to send your passport to the Canadian government, which will add the visa and mail it back. Visa holders are responsible for finding their own housing and getting themselves to Canada, and once there, any city or more remote destination is fair game for relocation.
According to a press release, Canada’s department of immigration, refugees, and citizenship will spend the months ahead collaborating “with public and private partners alike to determine whether additional policies to attract digital nomads to Canada would be desirable.” For now, those interested should keep an eye on the website of Canada’s government for up-to-date information. The government said it hopes to officially launch the program (and release applications) by late 2023.