Canada courts digital nomads

Picture the life of a digital nomad: You’re probably thinking of oceanfront workplaces, rainforest yoga, and drinking out of coconuts. But what about just heading to Toronto?

Driving the news: Per Bloomberg, the list of picturesque destinations cutting the red tape and offering remote work visa schemes is growing, including places like Barbados, Portugal, and Germany. Some are even extending visas in hopes of boosting business and innovation. 

  • Canada, which already offers six-month visitor visas for digital nomads, is currently working on a “tech talent strategy” to attract foreign workers by the end of this year.

  • Over the summer, Canada also offered temporary work permits to US H-1B visa holders. The program saw applications hit the 100,000-person capacity within a day. 

Why it matters: The competition is heating up to include long-term talent, not just temporary tourists. The hope for many of these countries is that workers stick around, find local jobs, and contribute to the economy — especially in the most coveted fields (read: STEM). 

  • Bringing smart people to a new country can also benefit local economies from “knowledge spillover,” Prithwiraj Choudhury, a Harvard professor, told Bloomberg. 

Bottom line: Even as employers push to bring workers back to the office, the hybrid work model is only growing. If Canada establishes itself as a remote work-friendly country, there could be a steady stream of highly-skilled digital nomads that make Canada their home.