Quick Visa Facts
Canada Digital Nomad Visa Overview
Canada is a top destination for many foreign citizens looking to work remotely. Now, more than ever, remote work has grown in almost every country thanks to special visas. Sadly, Canada does not have a specific digital nomad visa, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to live and work as a digital nomad in this beautiful country.
Just recently, the federal government of Canada announced they are looking to attract talent from abroad through a “digital nomad strategy”. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said it will allow workers with a foreign employer to stay and work in Canada for up to six months. He also said that if digital nomads get a job offer while in the country, they can remain in Canada even longer.
There isn’t much information yet, aside from this announcement. However, we can expect that at the end of the year, we’ll have more information, and hopefully, a new digital nomad visa coming soon.
In the meantime, there are several programs in Canada that allow digital nomads to work remotely in the country. In this article, we’ll give you information on the best options so that you can start living in Canada as a digital nomad and enjoy everything the country has to offer.
Types of Canadian Digital Nomad Visas Options
Even though there isn’t a specific Digital Nomad Visa for Canada, there are still some options for any remote worker who wishes to visit the country. Here are the options available:
The self-employed scheme is one of the most suitable for digital nomads. It is perfect for anyone who works remotely or works in a creative industry or other self-employed professions. It will allow you to stay in Canada for five years, and it can also lead to a permanent residency visa.
However, this scheme has some very specific requirements. You must have a minimum of 2 years of experience in the field of work and proficiency in French or English.
In order to be eligible, you must meet the program’s selection criteria and obtain a minimum of 67 points.
Although age is not a requirement, candidates between 18 and 35 might receive higher scores.
You must also meet their medical and security checks.
The Startup Visa
If you’re an entrepreneur, then this is the best visa option for you. It will allow you to live in Canada while working remotely and starting your business. It also has a length of five years, and it may lead to a permanent residency.
In order to be eligible for the startup visa you must start a business in an innovative field that provides employment, have proficient knowledge of English or French, and obtain the support of an angel investor, business incubator, or investment fund willing to invest in your business. You also need to be able to support yourself when moving to Canada.
Entrepreneur Provincial Nomination Programs
There are many provinces in Canada that allow digital nomads to work and live in the country. Each program has its own requirements and specific procedures. These might not be the most attractive options for digital nomads, but they’re worth checking out.
What Canada Visa Type Is the Best for Digital Nomads?
The best option for digital nomads is the self-employment scheme. It’s perfect for remote workers in a wide range of fields, and it will allow you to work and live in Canada for five years.
Who Can Apply for the Self-Employed Scheme in Canada
The self-employed scheme does not have any nationality restrictions. As far as you meet the requirements, anyone can apply for this visa.
You must have at least 2 years of experience in your current field, be fluent in English or French, and score a high score on their selection criteria.
Although age is not a prerequisite to obtaining the visa, it is known that applicants between the ages of 18 and 35 have a better chance of getting approval.
If You Are a United States Citizen
If you’re a US citizen, you may enter Canada without the need for a visa. However, if you’re planning on staying for longer than 180 days, then you’ll need to apply for a visa.
If You Are an EU Citizen
EU passport holders do not need a visa to enter Canada but must apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA). You can stay for up to 6 months. If you wish to stay for longer, then you’ll need to apply for a visa.
If You Are a Citizen of Australia, or New Zealand
Australian and New Zealand citizens must also apply for an eTA before arriving in Canada. You can stay for up to 6 months before having to apply for a visa.
Canada Self-Employed Scheme Requirements
Here’s a list of all necessary requirements to obtain a visa in Canada:
Proof of Financial Self-Sufficiency
While the self-employment visa does not require a minimum income, you still need to prove you have enough funds to support yourself or your family. In order to do this you must have bank statements of the last few months before your application.
Full Health Insurance
In order to be eligible for this Canada digital nomad visa option, you’ll need to meet the medical certifications. This means you must get a full medical exam.
Proof of health insurance is not required at the time you’re applying for the visa. However, they might request you get one further down your application.
Looking for travel insurance? Check out World Nomads Insurance for Digital Nomads
Clean Criminal Record
To be eligible for the visa, you need to meet the security certifications and get a police certificate. A police certificate states that you have a clean criminal record.
How to Apply for the Canada Digital Nomad Visa – Step-by-Step Instructions
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a self-employment visa. It is recommended you get assistance from a Canadian immigration lawyer to make sure you meet the prerequisites and help you out with your application.
Step 1 – Create an Account
The first step is to create a Permanent residence online application portal account.
It is through that portal that you’ll find all the forms and instructions for your application.
Step 2 – Fill Out and Submit All Application Forms
There are multiple application forms you must fill out in order to apply. You’ll fill out these digital forms online.
- Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008)
- Schedule A – Background/Declaration (IMM 5669)
- Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)
- Supplementary Information – Your travels (IMM 5562)
You may find them on this website
You’ll also need to fill out these other forms, if applicable:
- Document Checklist [IMM 5784] (PDF, 384.24 KB).
- Schedule 5: Economic Classes—Declaration of Intent to Reside in Quebec [IMM 0008 Schedule 5 (PDF, 1.37 MB)
- Schedule 6A Business Immigrants – Self-employed persons [IMM 0008 SCHEDULE 6A] (PDF, 1.56 MB)
Step 3 – Get Your Fingerprints and Photo Taken
If you’re between the ages of 17 and 79, you’ll need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics).
Not everyone must submit their biometrics. You can check if this applies to you here!
If you do need to submit your biometrics, then keep these instructions into account:
- You must pay the biometric fee when you submit your application. Otherwise, you may experience delays.
- Get this done as soon as you get the letter from us that tells you to give biometrics.
- You have 30 days to do this from the date on the letter.
Step 4 – Pay the Application Fees
The application fee is around $2,140.
In most cases, the fees will include:
- processing fees for you and anyone you include on your application
- the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF)
- third-party fees
Step 5 – Submit Your Application
Before you click on ‘submit application’, make sure you’ve answered all questions, electronically signed your application, included your processing fee receipt, and uploaded all the supporting documents.
Timeline for Applying for Canada Digital Nomad Visa
Unfortunately, the timeline for the self-employment scheme application process is very long. It will take over a year to receive an answer. Reports say it takes from 24 months and even up to 50 months!
You can monitor the progress through the application portal.
How Much Does Applying for a Self-Employment Visa for Canada Cost?
The application fee is approximately $2,140.
Taxes for Canada’s Self-Employment Visa
Many people can stay in Canada for up to six months without the need to apply for a visa. Also, from a tax point of view, you should normally not worry about Canadian taxes if you only plan to stay there a maximum of six months.
If you plan to stay longer, you will need to apply for a visa and you should also consider the tax consequences. Canada will deem you a tax resident if you stay longer than six months in the country during a calendar year or when you keep a continuing relationship with the country.
The first criterion is rather clear. On the connection with Canada, you need to look at if you have a house available there, work there, have your family with you and where your social life is situated. Because you need to take different elements into consideration, this is a rather gray area.
Also, being a tax resident already in another country might affect your tax liability. If you want to discuss your tax situation, you can always book a call with our international tax advisor.
Canada Self-Employment Visa Denial
The visa may be denied if you do not meet the criteria or if the application is incomplete.
In the case your application is denied, you’ll receive a letter stating the reasons why it was denied.
Living in Canada as a Digital Nomad
Being a digital nomad in Canada is an amazing experience. Canada is an excellent country for remote workers and digital nomads.
There are plenty of stunning places to visit and beautiful cities where you can live and work remotely comfortably.
Attractions and Best Places to Visit
Banff National Park and the Rocky Mountains
Banff National Park is located at the heart of the Rocky Mountains, in the province of Alberta. Here you’ll find turquoise-colored lakes, snow-capped peaks, and even glaciers! It’s the perfect place to go on a hike and explore the natural beauty of Canada.
Lake Ontario is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. The Canadian cities of Hamilton, Kingston, Mississauga, and Toronto are located on the lake’s shorelines. It is a fishing, boating, and sightseeing paradise.
Old Quebec is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Canada’s historic gems. It is one of Canada’s most popular historical areas and is well-developed for tourism.
Vancouver Island is less than a two-hour ferry ride from the mainland. It is a natural paradise that offers hiking trails and beautiful camping locations. One of the island’s most incredible sights is the old-growth forests of giant trees, some more than 1,000 years old.
Digital Nomad Hotspots
Benefits of Working in Canada as a Digital Nomad
Living in Canada as a digital nomad comes with multiple benefits.
Canada has a high quality of life. It offers a safe and stable environment, with healthcare services and a well-developed education system.
It also has a strong economy and there are plenty of job opportunities. The country has a thriving tech sector, plenty of innovative startups, and established industries.
In Canada, you can have a healthy work-life balance. Leisure time, family, and personal well-being are very important in Canada, so you can enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle while working remotely.
Cost of Living
The official currency of Canada is the Canadian dollar. 1 USD = 1.32 CAD
The average salary in Canada is approximately $4,942 CAD per month, for a single person.
Here’s a rundown of what you should expect to pay per month in Canada:
- One-bedroom apartment – $1,643 CAD ($1,246 USD)
- Three-bedroom apartment – $2,699 CAD ($2,047 USD)
- Monthly electricity, water, and related bills – $198 CAD ($150 USD)
- Meal at a simple restaurant – $22 CAD ($16 USD)
- Meal for two at a restaurant – $90 CAD ($68 USD)
Digital Nomad Essentials
- Internet (speed): 156Mbps
- Time Zone: GMT-8, GMT-7, GMT-6, GMT-5, GMT-4, GMT-3
- Socket Type: types A and B
- Calling Code: +1
Let’s Go to Canada!
Canada is definitely a fantastic place for digital nomads. The country has everything you could ever need to live and work remotely. With beautiful landscapes, historical places, friendly locals, and great infrastructure, Canada is the place to go.
FAQs About Canada Digital Nomad Visa
Does Canada Have a Digital Nomad Visa?
No, Canada does not have a digital nomad visa, but it has alternative options that are perfect for remote workers like the self-employed scheme.
What Is the Length of Canada’s Self-Employed Scheme?
The self-employed scheme lets you stay in Canada for five years.
Is It Possible to Extend the Canada Self-Employed Scheme?
Yes, you can extend your visa.
Will You Get a Refund for Visa Application If You Are Denied?
No, the visa fee is non-refundable.
How Much Money Do You Need per Month in Canada?
You should have at least $4,942 CAD per month.
Is There a Digital Nomad Community in Canada?
Yes! Canada is a popular destination for digital nomads. Toronto and Ottawa have the biggest digital nomad communities.
What Is the Best Time to Visit Canada?
Although many people travel during the summer, the best time to visit Canada is between September and November.
Are People in Canada Friendly?
Although the Canadians are very friendly and polite” is a myth, Canadians are still friendly and respectful towards visitors.
What Canada Neighboring Countries Issue Visas for Digital Nomads?
I Want to Ask Another Question!
Do you still have questions about the Canada digital nomad visa option and how to apply? Get in touch!