+1(514) 937-9445 or Toll-free (Canada & US) +1 (888) 947-9445

Working As A Freelance Illustrator In Canada As An International Student

Kugelblitz

Newbie
Jan 4, 2021
2
0
Hi. I've been working as a freelance illustrator on the side for a few years now. I also do commissions. I have never received a Canadian client. Mostly from the US, Hong Kong and Singapore. I will be attending OCAD next fall and I was wondering if that would be a problem for my self-employment. As long as I don't earn any revenue from Canadian sources or any Canadian clients/company, Canada should not have any claim on my earnings. Am I correct? Do I still have to adhere to the 20 hour off-campus time limit? It would be a very absurd rule if that condition still applies, even when I'm making no revenue from Canadian sources.
 
 

blackfox

Newbie
May 9, 2018
6
0
1. CRA tax Canadian residents on world-wide income. So it doesn't matter where your clients come from, you're supposed to report them all anyway in your tax return.
2. I went to my university advisor regarding the 20 hour off-campus time limit. They told me it's like a gray area where CIC doesn't have a clear guidance on it, and that I could freely contact the CIC for advice.
I don't track my hours. I was studying full time and can't physically freelance for another 20 hrs a week anyway.
I explained it in my PGWP application and got approved.
 

Kugelblitz

Newbie
Jan 4, 2021
2
0
1. CRA tax Canadian residents on world-wide income. So it doesn't matter where your clients come from, you're supposed to report them all anyway in your tax return.
2. I went to my university advisor regarding the 20 hour off-campus time limit. They told me it's like a gray area where CIC doesn't have a clear guidance on it, and that I could freely contact the CIC for advice.
I don't track my hours. I was studying full time and can't physically freelance for another 20 hrs a week anyway.
I explained it in my PGWP application and got approved.
Ok so as long as you have off-campus work permit, you can still manage your businesses that are not based in Canada, right?
Also funny, my advisor told me that my businesses don't qualify as work on grounds that a) I am not earning from Canadian resources or have a Canadian employer
b) My services do not compete with the activities of a Canadian permanent resident/ Canadian citizen.

Did you get further information from CIC?
As far as I was told, the Canadian government has no right to claim any assets or money I make in my country of origin, I shall only be taxed on income from Canadian sources or if I start a small business based in Canada.
 

blackfox

Newbie
May 9, 2018
6
0
Okay, few things to clarify:

(Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/international-non-residents/individuals-leaving-entering-canada-non-residents/newcomers-canada-immigrants.html#dhtf)
For the part of the tax year that you were considered a resident of Canada
You have to report your world income. World income is income from all sources both inside and outside Canada earned after becoming a resident of Canada for income tax purposes on your Canadian tax return.

and "become a resident of Canada" means once you have lived in Canada for over 183 days in a year.

So all the money you made in the last years is safe. Same thing with this year's non-Canadian-source income, because you'll be living in Canada less than 183 days this year (I assume you don't arrive in Canada until September)
 
Last edited:

sayedm10

Newbie
Mar 26, 2023
6
0
Hi. I've been working as a freelance illustrator on the side for a few years now. I also do commissions. I have never received a Canadian client. Mostly from the US, Hong Kong and Singapore. I will be attending OCAD next fall and I was wondering if that would be a problem for my self-employment. As long as I don't earn any revenue from Canadian sources or any Canadian clients/company, Canada should not have any claim on my earnings. Am I correct? Do I still have to adhere to the 20 hour off-campus time limit? It would be a very absurd rule if that condition still applies, even when I'm making no revenue from Canadian sources.
Hey. Stuck in a similar situation. I was thinking of speaking to someone at IRCC regarding this. Do you have some clarity on the issue now? What are we supposed to do finally? It is neither feasible nor possible to track 20 hours per week, cause mostly I get paid for finishing the whole project which may involve writing a gig, or designing some art. Please share the final word on this subject if its known to you my friend. The last thing I want to do is unload potatoes at a local walmart (no offense) while I have a smooth lucrative freelance account with clients happy to pay for services.