Working for a company in the us while living in canada?

So i am flying to delaware on wednesday to meet with an american company who is interested in taking me on as a employee. I will be residing in canada and working out of my home based office and about 5 times a year be flying in for meetings in such for short 1-2 day stays. I am a canadian citizen I reside in ontatio I will remain in ontatio and work. I was wondering if I will need to apply for a visia? Because I will be working for a US company. I cant find too much information in the internet about this topic all i can find is americans living in canada working for a american company. but nothing on a canadain living in canada working for a US company. PLEASE HELP!

2 Answers

  • bw022
    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You are using the term "employee". That term has an extremely specific meaning.

    If you are classified as an employee, that company must withhold federal/state/provincial income taxes, employment insurance, pension contributions, etc. and remit them to either Canada Revenue Agency or the Internal Revenue Service. If it is remitting income taxes to CRA you are working in Canada. If it remit them to the IRS you are considered to be working in the United States.

    Now... I seriously doubt you are an employee and they are remitting taxes to any tax agency. Unless that have a branch office in Canada, it is unlikely they are going to setup payroll with CRA. If you do not have a green card or work permit, you won't have a US social security number and they can't set you up for US payroll without one.

    In all likelihood, they are hiring you as a contractor. You are like a plumber or doctor. You are charging them for your services. They won't be remitting taxes and you'd need to declare that income (in Canada) as self-employment income on general income tax returns and you'll need to remit taxes, CPP, and EI at that time.

    CRA has some specific rules on self-employment. You can run into issues with long term employment if CRA rules you are an employee and your company should be remitting payroll taxes -- or you fail to maintain business records or safe up money to pay taxes at the end of the year. Read the CRA web-site or visit a tax expert. You'll need to ensure you apply for a GST number (even if you aren't charging GST to non-Canadian customers), you are invoicing for work, that you are tracking expenses, etc.

    If you are a contractor working in Canada. It's fine. You do not need a US work visa or green card. You are not working in the United States.

    However, you will have a practical matter. US Border Services can deny entry into the United States if they *suspect* you are working illegally. This is likely if you start visiting the US repeatedly carrying business work. The burden of proof is on you to proof that you aren't. Being self-employed this is difficult as you can't show proof you are employed in Canada. You can't show a Canadian income tax return, pay check, etc. Ensure that you have a letter from the company stating that you are a contractor in Canada and that the you are merely visiting them as a client. Also have proof you live in Canada.

    At five times a year... I'd consider applying for a NEXUS pass. This forces an interview with US immigration folks and you can explain your work situation to them and show them the letter and documents. Many Canadian airports which have US customs/immigration have NEXUS lines. You can just go through without questioning. Even if you go through a regular line... the fact you have a NEXUS card lets the agent know you've already spoken with a customs/immigration and they've pre-cleared you as a frequent traveler.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Sure, why not? There are plenty of American companies in Canada ... General Motors and Ford are just two that come to mind. I'm curious why working for an American company is such a big deal for you. Most people don't care about the national ownership of the company they work for. They are looking at other factors such as: where can they find a rewarding and challenging career, enjoy their work, be free from harassment and discrimination, get good pay and benefits for them and their family, have job security, opportunity for job advancement ... these other factors are more important to most people.

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