Targeting High-Tech Talent! Canada Plans to Introduce Digital Nomad Visas in 2024

January 29, 2024

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The Canadian government announces plans to introduce digital nomad visas in 2024, aiming to attract more tech talent to settle in Canada.

Thinking of experiencing the digital nomad life in Canada with its distinct four seasons? According to the latest announcement from the Government of Canada, this dream might have a chance to come true as early as 2024!

According to the latest statements from the Government of Canada, the country plans to officially launch a digital nomad visa program in 2024, inviting global digital nomads, especially those in the tech industry, to settle and live in Canada.

Previously, digital nomads wishing to live in Canada mostly relied on tourist visas, with a maximum stay of 6 months each time. However, with the introduction of the digital nomad visa, holders may stay in Canada for up to 3 years.

Based on current information, individuals interested in applying for this visa may need to prepare insurance certificates, financial proof, and a list of family members accompanying them for the application to the Government of Canada.

Targeting High-Tech Talent! Experience First, Settle Later

Sean Fraser, the Minister of Immigration for Canada, pointed out that the Government of Canada hopes this program will attract the favor of tech talents and address the local tech industry's workforce shortage. In an interview, Fraser stated, "For those who are interested in trying to live in Canada, our digital nomad visa program will be an excellent opportunity. If they want to stay after the visa expires, we also welcome them with open arms."

Open Government Attitude, but Will Talent Come?

However, despite the open attitude of the Government of Canada, is Canada equipped enough, both in terms of software and hardware conditions, to attract digital nomads to settle?

In the minds of many digital nomads, Canada, with its beautiful natural landscapes and thriving urban centers, has always been one of the ideal destinations. In 2022, a report from the UK ranked Canada as the best country globally for digital nomads to settle, considering factors such as internet speed, cost of living, and remote job opportunities.

Hold Off on Packing for Now

If you have already started planning your trip to Canada, you might need to hold off for a bit. Currently, the details of the plan are limited, and some disclosed information has raised concerns in the community.

One concern is that the government's prioritization of high-tech talents may significantly limit the number of successful applications. After all, digital nomads are not solely composed of tech professionals; there are also those in marketing, media, and online tutoring.

Furthermore, even if high-tech talents are willing to consider Canada as a destination, the salary gap might lead them to choose the United States over Canada. According to data from the job site Randstad Canada, the average annual income for Canadian tech talents is around $74,000 (approximately 2.3 million TWD), while in major U.S. cities like New York and San Francisco, their average annual income can be as high as $130,000 (approximately 4.04 million TWD), highlighting the existing salary gap.

Additionally, tax and social welfare mechanisms applicable to digital nomads are also aspects that require waiting for more details from the Canadian government.

Digital Nomad Visa Launch ≠ Immediate Departure

Masha Sutherlin, Director of Service at HR software provider Deel, also reminds that even if the Canadian digital nomad visa program officially launches in the future, digital nomads should not expect to depart immediately.

"Just because a country announces a visa program for digital nomads doesn't mean the government has the ability to process all applications promptly," Sutherlin pointed out. "This is a very novel visa type, and many countries have underestimated the resources required to handle a large number of applications."

Sutherlin also added that some countries, like the UAE, have the ability to respond to applications within a few weeks, while others, like Portugal, have longer processing times, "possibly ranging from 3 months to 1 year."

Stay Patient, Use Time to Reflect on Personal Needs

The Government of Canada states that they will reveal more details in the coming months. While waiting, Sutherlin also advises digital nomads intending to go to Canada to be patient and take the time to reflect on what their ideal lifestyle is.

"After all, not every country is like Canada, proposing a digital nomad visa program with a comprehensive plan to help those who want to stay obtain permanent residency."

A Guide to Canada’s Digital Nomad Visa
Canada just launched a new digital nomad program—here’s what you need to know
Canada’s digital nomad program could attract tech talent – but would they settle down?


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