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
- Currently Based In The US And Want To Work Remotely For A Canadian Company
- Would You Need A Canadian Work Visa?
- Filing US and Canadian Taxes
- How To Receive Payments In USD/CAD
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.
Tom Mehra, an Ottawa-based Software Engineer with a Masters in Information Systems from the University of Texas at Dallas, shares insights on local food spots and top attractions in Canada and the US. He’s also a former resident of the US, UK, and India, and in 2023, his blog was nominated for an Ottawa Award by Faces Magazine. He is also a cat sitter.