IRCC clarifies requirements for foreign nationals coming to Canada as digital nomads

Vimal Sivakumar
Published: January 31, 2024

In a policy announcement published on January 30, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has clarified certain details of interest to foreign nationals looking to work in Canada as digital nomads.

According to IRCC, a digital nomad is a person “who can perform their job remotely from anywhere in the world.”

Schedule a Free Work Permit Consultation with the Cohen Immigration Law Firm

IRCC also notes that digital nomads are those who “only need visitor status to relocate to Canada for up to 6 months at a time while they perform their job remotely” and that digital nomads may be either performing work “for a foreign employer … [be] self-employed, working for themselves or providing services to clients outside of Canada.”

Can digital nomads apply for a work permit?

IRCC says that foreign nationals may initially come to Canada to work remotely as a digital nomad with a visitor visa, but they are permitted to seek a work permit “if they find a Canadian employer after entry.”

IRCC also notes that “if a [digital nomad declares their] intention to find a Canadian employer, they should be counselled that a work permit will be needed before starting work for such an employer.”

Finally, as indicated by the policy announcement, “should the digital nomad find a Canadian employer willing to hire them, they would need to apply for a work permit.”

Do I need any additional documentation to enter Canada as a digital nomad?

Foreign nationals entering Canada with visitor status to be a digital nomad do not require any additional documentation, “although they must still satisfy the officer that they will leave at the end of their authorized stay.”

Can family members of a digital nomad work or study in Canada?

According to IRCC’s January 30 policy announcement, family members of digital nomads who intend to work or study in Canada can do so and should apply for a work permit or study permit.

Canada’s tech talent strategy

On June 27 last year, IRCC announced a tech talent strategy intended to help “attract global tech talent to Canada.” This is because attracting such talent to Canada is vital given the importance of the tech sector to the Canadian economy.

In addition to positioning Canada as an attractive destination for digital nomads, the Strategy included several measures such as a new innovation stream under the International Mobility Program (IMP). This stream was anticipated at the end of 2023 but has yet to be announced.

IRCC said the innovation stream will be exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process. This aims to assist employers and workers to support Canada’s priorities for the tech industry.

Further, IRCC introduced a streamlined work permit for H1-B speciality occupation visa holders. The cap of 10,000 permits for the year was reached on July 16, 2023.

The department also said it would make improvements to existing tech programs such as the Global Skills Strategy. Through the Global Skills Strategy, Canadian employers who hire foreign workers in specific information technology roles are eligible for expedited processing of their LMIA.

Schedule a Free Work Permit Consultation with the Cohen Immigration Law Firm

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at
Related articles
IRCC invites 6,300 Canadian Experience Class candidates in latest Express Entry draw
More Express Entry candidates have received ITA's from IRCC in the department's latest round of invitations.
Study finds more newcomers are considering moving to escape housing costs
Typical homes in Canada
Frequently asked questions about visas for students, workers and tourists coming to Canada
A picture of the Toronto Skyline at night
Ontario and British Columbia invite candidates to apply for provincial nomination
Swimming dock on an Ontario lake.
Top Stories
Montreal ranks among top ten best cities for international students
IRCC invites 6,300 Canadian Experience Class candidates in latest Express Entry draw
Six frequently asked questions about Canadian work permits
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
More in Work
Six frequently asked questions about Canadian work permits
A group of working professionals, in an office building.
Why IRCC may refuse your application for a post-graduation work permit
Female entrepreneur working using laptop looking at camera.
Am I eligible for a Bridging Open Work Permit?
A Family of four enjoying golden leaves in autumn park
Five free settlement resources for temporary foreign workers in Canada
Workers use a tablet with grain growing in the background.
Link copied to clipboard