Brilliant Scylla, You have just hit the nail on the head for me. All comments I got so far have been very helpful. I will keep this in mind and stay put in Canada (since I would not lose my status) till I meet the residency requirement. Very grateful to everyone that has enlighten me.The requirements for counting time spent outside of Canada are extremely specific. Based on the information you have provided - your situation does not meet these requirements. You should only count time you have physically spent in Canada.
To count time working for a Canadian company outside of Canada, the following must happen:
- You must first be hired by an existing Canadian company for a role in Canada. This must be a company that has Canadian operations (e.g. physical offices in Canada) and income from operations in Canada.
- Once you have worked in the role in Canada for a while (at least a number of months), that same company must then transfer you to a permanent role outside of Canada.
- When you return to Canada, you must still be working for the same company (i.e. they must transfer you back to a role in Canada).
The contract situation you've described doesn't meet these requirements. And you've already said in your first post that you were unable to find a role in Canada - so that means the first criteria above hasn't been met. Definitely do not count these days. Pretty much guaranteed IRCC will exclude them.