Can I Work Remotely in the US For A Canadian Company?

Yes, it’s possible to work remotely for a Canadian Company from the United States. There are many people who already live in the USA and work for a Canadian company.

However there are certain things you need to consider.

Currently Working For A Canadian Company From Canada and Moving To The US

In this scenario, you can check if the company has an office in the United States as it might just be easier for you to ask them to transfer your role to the US office if possible.

Work Authorization Requirements For Transfers

TN Work Authorization For Canadian Citizens
If you are a Canadian Citizen, then you might be eligible to work in the US through the TN-status which allows you to work without requiring immigration petition from your Employer.

L-1 Visa Transfer Option
In case your job is not eligible under NAFTA professionals list, you still might be eligible for an L-1 Visa through your company. This would apply only if you are going to be working in a managerial, executive or specialized knowledge role.

The L-1 is also a suitable option for people who are not Canadian/Mexican nationals but note that you must have worked for the company for atleast 1 year in the last 3 years.

No Visa Requirements For US Citizens
If you are a US national/permanent resident then you already have unrestricted right to work in the United States and you would not be required any visa to work from the United States.

Can I Work Remotely On A US Tourist Visa?
If you don’t have the right to work in the United States then you won’t be able to work remotely for the Canadian Company from the US as you will run into immigration as well as taxation issues.

Working In The US As An Employee (No US Office)

If the Canadian company does not have a US office, then it might still be possible to work as an Employee but you will need to use an Employer of Record Service.

What is an Employer of Record Service?
Using an Employer of Record Service, you would essentially be working under a different company (established in the US) who would be charging your Canadian Employer for hiring you. These services usually charge a small percentage relative to your salary to the employer as a fee but sometimes can be very expensive.

Working In The US As A Contractor (No US Office)

If the Canadian company does not have an office in the United States then your option would be to work as a contractor and charge them on an hourly/weekly basis.

In this case you would need to be working as a Self Employed

Work Authorization Requirements For Contractors
To be able to work as a contractor, you would need to either be

  • US Citizen
  • US Permanent Resident

Working In The US As A Contractor (US Office)

In case the company has a US office then you can work on a contractual basis, this opens eligibility for Canadian/Mexican Nationals as well who can work on 1099 (Independent contractors).

When To Go For 1099?
For term based duration roles or specialized roles that pay over the market rate, sometimes the company might not be willing to hire you as an Employee. In this case, you would be working under 1099 and the company is going to give you 1099 form.

People working on 1099 do not get benefits so just make sure that you are being adequately paid for the work that is being done.

If the company does offer employment under W-2, it might make sense as you would also be eligible for healthcare and other benefits from the company.

Currently Based In The US And Want To Work Remotely For A Canadian Company

If you are permanently residing in the United States and plan to work for a Canadian Company and they don’t have a US office; then things can get a little tricky. In case of small companies, they might not be willing to setup an office in the US just to hire a single person as an employee but they might consider having you as a contractor.

Working As Self Employed In The US
This could be one of the options where you work as a contractor and charge the company on an hourly/weekly basis for your services. Make sure to charge adequately as contractors do not get benefits from their Employers.

Export of Services To Canada
In case of working as a remote contractor (self-employed), you need to be aware that the work you would be doing is considered as an export of services (to Canada) and therefore you might be required to do some additional paperwork for the Canadian/US tax agencies.

As a contractor however you would only need to file taxes in the United States. Make sure to check with a tax consultant as situation can vary depending on your citizenship and residence situation.

Would You Need A Canadian Work Visa?

As you would be working remote from US only, you would not be required to have a Canadian work authorization. However if you are required by the company to be in Canada for work for extended duration then you would be required to have a Canadian Work Visa.

Filing US and Canadian Taxes

Tax Filings for US Citizens and Permanent Residents
Usually you would just be required to file your taxes just in the US.

Tax Filings for Canadian Citizens
Canadian Citizens residing in the US would just be required to file taxes in the US.

Tax Filing Situation When Moving From Canada To US
Note that if you moved from Canada to US then you would need to file taxes in both countries during the year of your move. Just make sure to file your Departure Tax Return when you permanently leave Canada to avoid any issues with CRA.

How To Receive Payments In USD/CAD

One potential issue that a lot of remote workers run into is; getting paid in Canadian Dollars but having to spend US Dollars while living in the US. It is recommended to setup a US bank account, and utilize a money transfer service like TransferWise to convert from CAD to USD.

If you would be traveling often between US/Canada then I recommend getting a credit card with 0% international fees which can save you a lot on exchange fees.

28 thoughts on “Can I Work Remotely in the US For A Canadian Company?

  1. Hi Tom,
    Are you able to provide some clarification on this? I was looking through the existing links on your website and wanted to confirm.
    – I’m a US citizen residing in the US
    – I potentially will work for a Canadian company (they have offices in Canada and AUS) as a freelance contractor in the US.
    1. Is there anything special required to do this?
    2. Would it be easier/more beneficial for me to be freelance for their Canadian or AUS office?
    3. What if I freelanced for them in both the US and Canada?
    Thank you so much for your help!

    1. There are no special requirements. You should register yourself as self employed or incorporated to be able to work as a contractor.

      It might be more convenient to work for the Canadian office due to timezone, but you might want to ask if the payment terms or nature of the work would be different.

      If you are working from both countries then you would need to comply with tax laws in both countries. If its short business visits to the client then those can be managed much easily.

  2. Hello,
    I have a friend whose boyfriend is a US citizen and has now been hired by a US company and they are planning to move to California from Canada. She is Canadian and can work remotely. If her company applies for a visa for her to work for them remotely can she move with her boyfriend and continue to work remotely until the visa comes in?

    1. What kind of work is it?
      No, the person cannot work remotely till they have obtained right to work in the US.
      If it’s a skilled job then your friend might be eligible for TN status.
      You will need an offer letter to be apply to get TN status while entering the US.

  3. If a Canadian citizen with a visa to work in the United States wants to do some remote consulting work from the United States for a Canadian company, are there tax implications there?

    1. How are you going to be employed by the Canadian company?
      Depending on how it’s setup you might need to pay taxes in both countries or just the US.

  4. Hi there,

    I’m currently in the states on a B2 visitor visa as a Canadian Citizen and am looking to work remotely for a Canadian company as I am only authorized to work in Canada at this point in time. What do I need to know about taxes? I also will be a student at a university in the states in September, I will be on F1 student visa status, but can I still work remotely for a Canadian company?

    1. If you are working for a Canadian company and considered Canadian resident for tax purposes then you would just be filing taxes in Canada.

      Legally, you can only do limited business on a B1/B2 visa.

      If you are going to be on F-1 then it might be better to go with CPT and work with American companies.
      At that time as a US resident, you would be filing taxes in the US.

  5. I’m a dual citizen of Canada and the US, and I reside in the US. Can I work remotely for a Canadian company?

  6. Hi Tom,
    My wife is a Canadian who wants to continue working for a Canadian company remotely in the US as a contractor on a J2 visa. Does she still need an EAD?

  7. I am a Canadian citizen looking to start a small consulting business in the US with a US citizen. I currently reside in Canada and would like to move to the US closer to my business partner.
    Is there a way to structure the business in the US to allow me to work there?

    1. Yes it’s possible to structure the business in the US.
      What kind of Business is it? You could see if you could apply for a TN visa under the business which would allow you to work in the US.
      There are other options as well but that would be situation based.

  8. Hi Tom,
    I was recently in Canada on a temporary work visa and have since come back to the US ( I am a citizen) a little early. I continued working remotely and they would like to keep me on once my visa expires in a couple weeks.

    What do I need to do? Would they just pay me as a contractor and I can set up an LLC? Do I pay Canadian tax on that income? Will I pay extra US tax on this income as an export of service?

    1. Yes, you can either setup an LLC or work as self employed in the United States.
      Generally, You will pay only US taxes on this income and not Canadian taxes.

  9. I am a Canadian Citizen and US Permanent Resident (on a spousal Visa). I am currently contracting my bookkeeping/ accounting services to a Canadian company (providing invoices and getting paid via a payment processor). Is this legal? Do I have to remit any special taxes on my services? Do I only file taxes in the US since I’m a resident and all work is done remotely on US soil?

    1. Yes you are permanent resident of the US and there is no restriction to do work/business while residing there.
      No you don’t need to remit additional taxes for your services. Since it would be considered export of services.
      As a sole proprietor you would just report income taxes in the US only.

  10. Hi – I am a Canadian working for a Canadian company. My boyfriend lives in the US. When I visit him in the US on occasion, am I able to work remotely from his home?

  11. Hello,
    Am Canadian citizen living in USA on TD visa (Dependant visa) Can i work for a Canadian company as am not allowed to work here?
    Where do i have to file my taxes then?

    1. On a TD Visa, You cannot work for a Canadian company while being physically present in the United States.
      You can however apply for jobs on the NAFTA professions list and apply for TN status.

      1. I did that twice but they rejected mine for unjustified reasons. I had WES evaluation letter for my graduation equivalency but still the officer refused to give me visa. It was for Accounts receivable position.

        1. “Accounts Receivable” is not explicitly mentioned to be an eligible occupation under NAFTA.
          What are some other professions that you are applying for?

  12. I am a US citizen, residing in the US, but would like to apply for a job with a Canadian company. There will be no travel to Canada for the job and I will strictly work from home in this remote position. Do I have to have a work permit to be able to legally work in Canada?

  13. Hi Tom,

    In the case where a US citizen works in the US for a Canadian company with a US office whose employment law is in effect in the case of a firing or such.

    Same question if the Canadian company is using a Employer of Record Service or if the employer sets themselves up as an Independent contractor instead.

    1. Hi Alan,
      In all the cases you mentioned the Employment laws of the State/US will apply.
      Note that Independent contractors usually have less protections than Employees.

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