Canada Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has hailed a generational opportunity for economic growth with digital nomads soon able to come here for up to six months and work remotely in tech roles.
“We’re actually creating a pool of talent of people who will be able to stay in Canada in the long term,” said Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.
“When I think about the 10, 20 and even 30-year horizon, rather than the next few months or even the next election cycle, there’s no question in my mind that having more talent for tech entrepreneurs and professionals in this country is going to be a very good thing half a generation from now.”
Through its Tech Talent Strategy to lure temporary workers in the tech sector in the United States north of the border to fill jobs going begging for a want of qualified employees, Canada is also reaching out to digital nomads the world over.
Digital nomads, defined as people who travel freely while working remotely using technology and the internet, are a hot commodity for both tech companies and traditional companies’ tech departments.
Canada is already a top destination for digital nomads.
Last year, United Kingdom-based Circle Loop, a provider of a cloud-based VoIP solution which provides phone systems accessible via desktop and mobile devices, published its Digital Nomad Index and ranked Canada as the number one destination for digital nomads.
Building on Canada’s popularity with digital nomads, the immigration minister announced in June that Canada will be launching a digital nomad strategy that will allow these highly-skilled foreign workers to come to the country and work remotely.
“(That digital nomad strategy) will allow people who have a foreign employer to come live in Canada for up to six months, live and spend money in communities in this country and, should they receive a job offer while they’re here, we’re going to allow them to continue to stay and work in Canada,” Fraser said at the Collision Conference in Toronto in June.
That digital nomad strategy will reportedly not cap the number of people who can come, live and work in Canada.
Through immigration, Canada is hoping to boost its tech sector.
“With Canada’s first-ever immigration Tech Talent Strategy, we’re targeting newcomers that can help enshrine Canada as a world leader in a variety of emerging technologies.”
Developed in collaboration with Canada’s tech, start-up and business communities, the Tech Talent Strategy will lead to the creation by July 16 of an open work permit stream specifically targeted for those foreign nationals working in the United States with H-1B specialty occupation visas, a visa widely used by Silicon Valley companies to bring in highly-skilled immigrants.