Canada has entered the digital nomad fray targeting remote workers in science, technology and mathematics, a move it hopes will give it a competitive edge in the global talent race.
The new programme allows visitors to stay in the country for up to six months without requiring a work permit. And if the visitors secure a job, they can apply for a work permit and stay in the country for an additional three years. Ultimately, candidates can stay in the country indefinitely if they like Canada, says immigration minister Sean Fraser.
The new programme comes at a time when Canada is struggling with labour shortage especially in the technology sector.
Staffing company Randstad reports that each year Canada loses approximately 7% of its population to the US. Many of those people are skilled workers seeking higher paying opportunities.
In the IT sector, students obtain their education in Canada, where the quality of education is high, but costs are low and often subsidized by the government. After completing their education in Canada, they leave to accept lucrative positions with American tech companies.
Preference will also be given to software developers, actuaries, electrical and electronics engineers, statisticians as well as data scientists.
Canada joins a host of other countries that have introduced digital nomad visas to attract highly qualified individuals to their countries. The countries include: Spain, Brazil, Austria, Colombia among others.
Remote working continue to be a preferred choice for many employees even after the end of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pew Research Center estimates that about 14% – or roughly 22 million people – are currently working from home all the time, when looking at all employed adults ages 18 and older in the United States.