Canada announces new program for “Digital Nomads”

On June 27, 2023 Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced a new initiative to attract so-called “digital nomads.” This program allows persons who work remotely for U.S. or other foreign employers to live in Canada for up to six months while continuing to work remotely. These workers would have visitor status in Canada. Canadian immigration authorities have not previously stated that full time remote work for a foreign employer is consistent with visitor status.While the announcement mentioned a six month time period, visitors in Canada can apply for extensions. So it is possible that nomads will not be limited to six months. This initiative would be of great value to persons maxing out on their STEM OPT, and to H-1B workers maxing out on their six years of H-1B eligibility. Visitors need to demonstrate an intent to leave Canada when their period of authorized stay expires, and visitors from visa-requiring countries would need a visitor visa. It remains to be seen how flexible Canada will be in admitting digital nomads under this program.