Photo Credit: Photo credit: Ketut Subiyanto
Canada Prepares For Digital Nomads After Launching Open Work Visas For Some US Citizens
American STEM professionals now can obtain digital nomad visas to work in Canada. The country is the latest to launch a work visa dedicated to bringing more STEM experts to Canadian companies.
The program launched on July 16 and allows U.S. STEM workers who qualify for a H-1B specialty occupation visa to work and reside in the country. The Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada said they hope the program will broaden Canada’s talent base of technology professionals.
“We expect that some digital nomads who initially enter Canada to work remotely will decide to seek opportunities with Canadian employers,” the IRCC’s statement said. “When they receive a job offer from a Canadian company, they would be able to bring their skills to a Canadian employer by applying for a temporary work permit or even permanent residence.”
Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Sean Fraser, added to the statement saying the incoming digital nomads will aid in establishing the country as a leader in emerging technologies. The work visa program is a part of Canada’s Tech Talent Strategy. It aims to make Canada a global hub for tech recruitment and fill the growing demand for STEM jobs.
“Having a fast and flexible approach, one that is broadly supported by Canadians, is truly Canada’s immigration advantage,” Fraser said in the statement.
The visa program comes in response to a high demand for tech workers across the country. In a media release, C.D. Howe Institute Senior Policy Analyst Parisa Mahboubi said the demand for digital skill-based jobs in Canada increased by 80 percent between February 2020 and November 2021. However, the supply of workers has been unable to keep up with the demand.
“The federal government should also ensure that the combined temporary and permanent immigration programs sufficiently increase the supply of newcomers with digital skills and that skilled immigrants receive the tailored support they need to integrate successfully into the labor market and to eliminate the underemployment of skilled immigrants,” Mahboubi said in her 2022 study.
Now, the Canadian government is bringing in workers from the U.S. to meet their needs. According to the country’s immigration website, the new visa program will allow approved workers to remain in the country for three years. Their spouse and dependents also will be able to apply for visas to reside in the country.
The new program will continue for one year or until Canada has issued 10,000 visas to digital nomads.