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What Canadian Contractors Working within the US Must Know (Up to date 2022)

The prospect to work as a contractor in the US is an thrilling alternative for Canadian staff to expertise a overseas market, increase their talent set, and achieve helpful perception into US enterprise practices. Sadly, new alternatives for Canadians to work south of the border have been disrupted by the pandemic due to closed worldwide borders and strict journey tips.


Download our free guide on 7 challenges companies face when expanding into the  US


However due to the vaccines rolling out and fewer reported instances, borders starting to reopen and international locations returning to enterprise as regular, the chance to work overseas has as soon as once more turn out to be a chance. Canadian contractors are once more contemplating working in the US as a viable possibility. 


Labour legal guidelines and laws within the U.S. differ from what Canadians could also be used to, compensation, as an illustration, could be fairly completely different. There are further concerns to take note of when planning to work throughout the border. They need to develop an understanding of worker and employer duties within the US. That is notably true for contract staff. 


As a Canadian citizen working in the US for a US employer, figuring out how one can navigate two completely different authorized methods could be complicated. To assist make sense of all of it, listed below are a number of the issues you must know when on the lookout for alternatives to work within the US.



There are some pretty vital variations between the US and Canada in relation to labour legal guidelines, and particularly, non-compete agreements. Whereas non-compete agreements exist in Canada, and Canadian employers do have the appropriate to ask you to signal one, they’ve nowhere close to the affect that they do within the US.


In Canada, whilst you could also be requested to signal a non-compete settlement, they’re not often enforced, because the Canadian authorities has deemed them in violation of staff’ rights. This isn’t the case within the US, the place non-compete agreements are enforceable and extremely frequent. In case you are a Canadian contracting for a US firm and are requested to signal a non-compete settlement, it will be significant that you just perceive the implications of the settlement.


When you select to enter right into a non-compete settlement, amongst different issues, you might be barred from discussing commerce secrets and techniques and aren’t allowed to seek out employment (inside the US) in an identical subject for the time frame designated in your contract. Failure to adjust to this settlement may end up in authorized motion. 



If you’ll work within the US, you have to be correctly categorized and correctly compensated by your US employer. Many employers intentionally misclassify their workers as contract staff, despite the fact that they’re working the identical hours and dealing underneath the identical situations as a full worker.


This advantages the employer as a result of, as a contract employee, they don’t seem to be obliged to offer you any of the advantages that they might be legally required to increase to a daily worker, like paid holidays. In case you are an unbiased contractor, you could have sure rights that try to be allowed to train, together with the flexibility to set your personal hours or to subcontract your work out to others.


Employers who’ve taken you on to finish the job of a daily worker, however have categorized you as an unbiased contract employee, are in critical violation of Canadian labour legal guidelines that are enforceable by means of the Canada Income Company (CRA). When you’ve got been misclassified, you aren’t being correctly compensated, and aren’t receiving the total roster of advantages that you’re entitled to.



The USMCA settlement between the US, Canada, and Mexico changed the NAFTA settlement in mid-2020. Amongst a number of different advantages, it implies that Canadians who’ve obtained a contract or place in a qualifying occupation can work within the US underneath a TN NAFTA non-immigrant standing. If somebody qualifies for TN NAFTA non-immigrant standing, they don’t have to use for a TN visa at a US consulate, as a substitute offering required documentation at sure CBP-designated US ports of entry. It’s, nevertheless, really useful that the visa be obtained previous to arriving on the border to make sure no problems come up.   



TN non-immigrants are allowed to remain within the US for a interval of as much as three years, at which level they would want to request an extension from their employer or return to Canada to start the method once more. It is very important be aware, nevertheless, that in case you are doing contract work within the US underneath the TN class, you might be thought-about a Canadian citizen residing quickly exterior of Canada, and are required to proceed to pay each provincial and federal taxes.

For individuals who don’t qualify for a TN visa, there may be the H-1B visa for Canadian residents with job presents or contracts in the US. As with the TN visa, there are minimal necessities to qualify for an H-1B visa. These with this visa can keep within the US for a interval as much as three years which can be prolonged however can’t surpass six years. 



Canadian contractors employed by US firms are nonetheless required to report all earnings to the Canada Income Company (CRA). Overseas earnings taxes will have to be included on line 10400 of your T1. The complexity of the payroll tax scenario, nevertheless, will rely upon how the contractor is assessed. For full-time workers, US firms will mechanically withhold payroll taxes at a tax price of 30%. Due to the United States-Canada Earnings Tax Conference, Canadian contractors could have the flexibility to say exemption from that withholding by means of the W-8BEN type


Canadian residents ought to train warning, although. There are conditions by which they could be thought-about a non-resident by way of earnings tax. If they’ve lived exterior of Canada for the whole tax 12 months or stayed in Canada for lower than 183 days throughout the tax 12 months, they don’t seem to be thought-about to have robust sufficient residential ties


In the US, unbiased contractors are answerable for their very own payroll taxes. This does simplify issues for the Canadian contractor, however they are going to be solely answerable for monitoring their earnings and reporting it to the CRA after they file their T1.



Unbiased contractors are answerable for greater than merely their payroll taxes in the US. US firms aren’t obligated to supply worker advantages to contractors in the best way they’re their full-time counterparts—whatever the size of the contract. If the Canadian contractor is assessed as an unbiased contractor with the group they’re employed with, they might want to present their very own well being advantages. 


For Canadian residents, journey insurance coverage could be bought and used to cowl any medical bills whereas working throughout the border.




Though Canada and the US have relaxed the strict laws on cross-border journey and work, the implications of COVID-19 will possible affect the concerns when working overseas for a while to come back. Relying on how and once you hope to start working within the US and your subject of labor, offering proof that you’re totally vaccinated could also be required. As of April 2022, these getting into the US by means of a land port should verbally attest to vaccination standing and probably present proof of vaccination. 


Additionally, you will want to contemplate the necessities to reenter Canada as soon as your contract is full—or for any visits house throughout the contract. Anybody getting into Canada, even Canadian residents should use ArriveCAN previous to their arrival on the border through a land port or the boarding of their flight. Proof of vaccination is required. 


Though the pandemic has made working within the US as a Canadian tougher than ever, it has additionally resulted in an explosion of distant work alternatives. Canadian contractors can work for American firms whereas remaining at house. 


Working from Canada requires some further concerns from employers, nevertheless. They now should be certain that contractors working in Canada are paid legally and correctly underneath Canadian tax and employment regulation. The best approach to do that is to have interaction an employer of file (EOR) for payroll and compliance in Canada. This selection is right for contractors seeking to stability the present challenges of worldwide work with the alternatives that include working for a US firm.



What US Companies Need to Know about Paying Employees in Canada



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