The Canadian government is actively embracing Canada’s growing prominence as a global leader in recruiting and attracting tech talent. Their aim is not only to meet the current demand for skilled workers but also to attract individuals with the necessary skills and business acumen to create future job opportunities.
The Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, Sean Fraser, unveils a strategy. It consists of four main pillars that focus on enhancing and expanding the programs offered by IRCC.
Creating an innovative pathway within the International Mobility Program to attract skilled individuals.
- After engaging with various tech industry experts, it is apparent that there is an ongoing issue of shortages in critical tech roles. Therefore, it remains imperative to strive towards expanding the pool of skilled professionals in Canada’s tech sector.
- The Canadian government will introduce a novel Innovation Stream within the International Mobility Program by the conclusion of 2023. IRCC will submit a fresh exemption from the labor market impact assessment procedure. To assist employers experiencing rapid growth and skilled workers in line with Canada’s focus on innovation and high-tech sectors.
- The response from stakeholders regarding the Innovation Stream proposal has caused the IRCC to explore two options.
- Employer-specific work permits lasting a maximum of five years are granted to workers intended to be employed by a company. The Government of Canada must recognize these companies as actively advancing our industrial innovation objectives.
- Highly skilled workers in certain high-demand occupations can now obtain open work permits for up to five years.
Encouraging the selection of Canada as an attractive option for individuals who work remotely while travelling.
- A digital nomad is an individual with the ability to work from any location worldwide using technology.
- According to the current immigration regulations in Canada, a digital nomad can quickly move to Canada. Accordingly, they can stay for a maximum period of six months with just a visitor status, allowing them to work remotely.
- Shortly, IRCC plans to work with public and private partners to assess the desirability of implementing more measures to attract digital nomads to Canada.
- We anticipate that certain digital nomads initially coming here for remote work will pursue employment opportunities with Canadian companies. If a company offers a job, individuals can contribute their skills to a Canadian employer.
To enhance job mobility in North America, a simplified work permit can be established in Canada for individuals holding H-1B visas.
- People working in tech industries are employed by companies with a significant presence in Canada and the US. Those working in the US frequently have an H-1B visa, specifically designed for specialized occupations.
- Starting from July 16, 2023, individuals holding H-1B speciality occupation visas in the United States can apply for entry into Canada. As a matter of fact they can even get their immediate family.
- Successful candidates will be granted an open work permit spanning three years. Enabling them to be employed by any employer across Canada without restrictions. Their partners and family members will also have the opportunity to apply for a temporary resident visa, along with the necessary work or study permits if required.
- This will create more avenues for talented professionals to advance their careers in the technology industry and contribute to North America’s economic development and success.
- This measure will continue to be enforced for one year or until the IRCC has received 10,000 applications. The application cap will only consider the principal applicants and not their family members accompanying them.
Enhancing current initiatives tailored towards workers in high-skill technology occupations
We’re enhancing specific immigration programs in Canada that specifically cater to highly skilled tech professionals. These programs include the Global Skills Strategy and the Start-up Visa Program.
Global Skills Strategy
- The Global Skills Strategy was introduced in 2017 to assist Canadian employers who need rapid access to highly skilled individuals from various countries.
- The processing period for Global Skills Strategy work permit applications has returned to normalcy following disruptions caused by the pandemic.
- Employment and Social Development Canada successfully submits the two-week target for processing labor market assessments for employers in the Global Talent Stream. Similarly, the IRCC also effectively meets the two-week standard for handling work permit applications.
Start-up Visa Program
- The SUV Program offers a route to Canadian citizenship for overseas business owners. Only if they receive endorsement from a recognized Canadian venture capital fund, angel investor organization, or business incubator for their startup.
- To tackle the issue of long waiting times for applicants, the program received additional spots in the 2023-2025 multi-year levels plan.
- This indicates that the targets for the number of permanent residents in the Federal Business category for 2023 have tripled compared to those set for 2022. Additional raises are scheduled for the years 2024 and 2025. An intelligent means to decrease the backlog of applications is by efficiently handling and approving a higher number of submissions.
- This will enhance the convenience and attractiveness for entrepreneurs to relocate to Canada.
- Applications that have secured committed capital or have been endorsed by a business incubator member of Canada’s Tech Network will be given priority for processing.
- Certain business incubators provide financial support to specific applications as well. To ensure the success of start-ups and generate profitable returns, it is crucial to give priority to applications supported by such funding.
- The prioritization plan will be implemented for both the existing backlog of permanent residence applications and newly submitted applications.
- Later this year, we anticipate revealing further plans to tackle processing times and enhance program effectiveness.
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