Canadian working for a US company from Canada
September 24, 2013 1:37 PM   Subscribe

I am a Canadian citizen and resident. There is a US company that is interested in working with me. They are okay with me working remotely if necessary. What are my options?

Additional info:
  • I am not eligible for any of the H1B cap exemptions
  • They can't wait until next April for the 2015 H1Bs to get released
  • The nature of the job (computing) doesn't align with my degrees (business, liberal arts), which makes me ineligible for the relevant TN category
I found this link about working in computing without an engineering or math-related degree, but it's three years old, and it's my impression that work visa rules have tightened a fair bit since then.

Is this possible? How? Subcontracting? Registering a business in Canada with me as its sole employee? Halp.
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (1 answer total)
I am a US-based business owner who employs a Canadian working from Canada. Things are a bit different for us because we were not looking to obtain a visa at all (all of the work is remote), but here's my experience...

The hiring process was much easier than I anticipated. I had a Canadian employment attorney draft a contract, hired a payroll company and accountant, and the employee started within a couple of weeks. We file a full set of paperwork for worker's compensation, withholding, etc., and it was actually a lot easier and less expensive than I thought it would be. The US-side tax issues are quite minimal as well.

To the provincial authorities and the CRA, we're just like any other Canadian company except that our office is in the US.

Of course, subcontracting is another possibility. But there are corners of US employment law around subcontracting and payments to foreigners that can make it tricky, and the company will definitely want to get legal counsel first as to whether this is a good idea on the US side.

If you're in BC, MeMail me if you want referrals to an excellent attorney who has done this before. Good luck!
posted by Le Ton beau at 5:20 PM on September 24, 2013

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