Digital Nomads Freelance Economy Remote Work


October 15, 2017

It’s hard to talk to friends and family back in the U.S. these days. Everyone is seeking advice on how to uproot their lives and start over fresh somewhere else. How do I do it? Will they like it? Is it really possible?

Of course, some of these people have been threatening to leave the country since the Vietnam War, but now their grandchildren are joining them in the refrain. “Is it time to leave? The level of fear in Trump’s New America is reminiscent of the early warning signs of oppressive regimes. Will you be the one who is smart enough to get out or the one whose name is engraved on the memorial?

It’s not just a U.S. phenomenon. Workers from Syria, Istanbul, economically downtrodden countries in Europe, Brexit escapees, and skilled workers from Nigeria and South America are all searching for a place to ride out the storm of broken governments and shifting economic tides.

People around the globe are looking for peace and prosperity. When you’ve got digital skills, can work from anywhere, you can cast a wider net.

Putting Down Roots And Being Location Independent

If you are looking to put down roots, and still be location independent, Canada is an option to consider. It’s a land known for its inclusive culture and a multi-cultural society created through immigration. Adventure is plentiful and they are looking for you.

Canada has a tradition of resettling people from war-torn countries. During the American Revolution in 1776, black slaves found refuge in Canada, and continued to do so during slavery’s violent history in the U.S. The early 1900s brought Jews fleeing Russian pogroms. Within the last 50 years, the country has welcomed more than 60,000 refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, as well as another 40,000 from Syria.

Friends of ours recently immigrated to Halifax, Nova Scotia, lured by an economic incentive package, with streamlined immigration. For them, the risk was lessened by their digital backgrounds. At least one of them could work from home if land-based jobs were harder to come by.

There are many ways to immigrate to Canada. 

My friends fit nicely into Canada’s immigration policy. Canada is the first country to implement the point-based system in 1967, to encourage European immigration to contribute to its economic growth. Although the system has been through a lot of changes since then, the main idea that the government is able to control and select highly qualified individuals remains.


Individuals applying for immigrant status in Canada are awarded points based on different categories:

  • Skilled work experience
  • Education
  • Language
  • Age
  • Job already arranged, and
  • Adaptability (how well you’re likely to settle here comes down to previous ties to Canada for work, study or family ties)

Canada may need to get a bit more progressive to embrace the world of remote workers. The Skilled Work Experience questions do favor the previously employed versus the freelancer. Though, if its tech skills you are talking about, that may outweigh the years of employment required.

All the information on how to Immigrate to Canada can be found on the government website.

Canada planned to let in 300,000 immigrants in 2017. Some government officials suggested an increase to the quota to help spur economic growth for top companies.

Under next year’s plan, the number of immigrants admitted under the economic category will increase to 172,500 from 160,600 this year. The number of refugees will decrease to 40,000 from 55,800.

Note that it is better to be an immigrant than a refugee; #powerinwords.


Immigrants vs. Refugees

Claiming a refugee status in Canada is not next to impossible. Canada ranks at the top in welcoming refugees, either through Government or private sponsorship programs.

In January 2017, Canadian Prime Minister, Mr. Justin Trudeau said,

“Canadians will welcome refugees that flee persecution, terror, and war. Diversity is Canada’s strength, that’s why the country intends to increase its refugee quota to deal with the current humanitarian crisis.”

That friendly attitude, especially in contrast to more hostile attitudes in other parts of the world, may have contributed to a growing problem for Canada. Way more migrants are now sneaking across the US-Canada border.

Maybe Canada Should Demand The U.S. Build A Wall, And Pay For It

A noteworthy trend, Canadian border officials are dealing with an increasing number of people sneaking in from the United States and asking for asylum. This past year, 1,222 people entered Quebec illegally and requested refugee status — almost five times the total in the previous year.

According to the data, very few of the asylum-seekers walking across Quebec’s border illegally are US citizens. The largest groups are from Eritrea, Syria, Sudan, Yemen and other countries facing economic or war catastrophe. In 2016, the top five countries of origin were Colombia, Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, and Pakistan. Canada did have 187 Americans request refugee status at Canadian land border crossings last year — more than double the previous total.

Canada was briefly swept into the hijab madness that has befallen less friendly nations. Canada had to drop a question from the immigration questionnaire about hijabs.

Hopefully, the pressing economic need for workers will keep the welcome warm in Canada.

Nearly half of Canadians support “increasing the deportation of people living in Canada illegally,” according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. The same share said they supported sending migrants that crossed from the United States right back over the border, while just 36 percent said Canada should accept them and let them apply for refugee status.

Illegal Immigrants May Not Find Warm Welcome in Canada

Canada Offers A Vibrant Multi-cultural Country

Canadians can’t afford to be short-sighted. As one news report highlighted, Toronto’s business directory shows how multicultural the city already is: the Association of Bulgarian Engineers, the Canadian Network of Iranian Architects, the Association of Filipino Canadian Accountants. Half the population was born under another flag.

As long as this cultural mosaic doesn’t threaten Canadian identity everything should be fine. And, according to the Canadian Prime Minister, “Our identity has never been stronger.”

That identity is solidly based on the needs of a large land mass with a small population — only 36 million people, and a low national birthrate. That’s the formula for Canada’s immigration imperative.

“We are not replacing ourselves. So, we are always relying upon bringing new immigrants into the country, but it even has more urgency now. If we want to maintain our standard of living, we are going to have to be bringing even larger numbers of immigrants.”

Canadian Economic Minister, Eaton

Become A Canuck

So, dig out your parka, go to the Express Entry screen and see if poutine (a Canadian national dish) hockey (the Candian national sport) and pure maple syrup are in your future.



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