Canada is open to welcoming tech talent.
A recent U.S. media report by CGTN America sheds some light on Canada’s emergence as a top destination of choice for tech workers from around the world amidst immigration restrictions imposed by the United States government.
Indeed, Canada has made a meaningful effort to attract more tech workers to its shores to feed the need of its flourishing tech sector. As such, there are over 100 different immigration options for tech workers who either want to obtain Canadian permanent residence or a work permit in Canada.
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Canada Immigration pathways for tech talent
Canada has over 100 skilled worker pathways for people who want to obtain permanent residence.
Express Entry is the major way for such persons to apply for Canadian permanent residence. Candidates submit or lodge their profile on Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for free.
IRCC assigns them a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on their human capital requirements. These criteria include the candidate’s age, educational qualifications, language skills, and work experience.
Every two weeks, IRCC conducts Express Entry draws inviting the applicants with the highest CRS scores to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
Express Entry draws have always been held even during the pandemic as Canada is sticking to its Immigration Levels Plan for 2020-2022 despite the COVID-19.
Express Entry draw sizes have increased and IRCC has recently conducted its second-largest Express Entry draws ever.
Candidates living abroad are still succeeding under Express Entry despite the coronavirus pandemic as IRCC aims to process their immigration to Canada once the global crisis begins to reduce.
Given Canada’s high need for tech workers, as well as the strong CRS scores that tech workers tend to have, tech workers normally are the leading source of successful candidates under the Express Entry program.
Provincial Nominee Program
Another biggest option for tech workers who wish to immigrate to Canada is the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).
Provinces and territories across Canada have the Constitutional right to nominate immigrants that meet their local economic needs.
Interested persons can apply to a PNP stream directly, or they can be invited to apply to a PNP by lodging an Express Entry profile to IRCC.
Obtaining an invitation from a province practically guarantees an individual an Express Entry invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
Almost all provinces in Canada have PNP streams dedicated to tech workers. Saskatchewan recently conducted a draw inviting tech workers, while the likes of British Columbia and Ontario have had numerous tech draws carried out since the start of the pandemic.
Canada’s immigration authority also operates the Start-up Visa program.
The Start-up visa is a pathway for innovative businessmen who want to start a business in Canada. It largely draws tech talents and has grown in prominence in recent years.
Successful candidates need to be endorsed by a venture capital firm, an angel investor, or a business incubator that has been designated by IRCC. Once an endorsement letter has been acquired, the successful candidate can go ahead and lodge their permanent residence application.
Work permit options
Canada also offers several immigration pathways for tech talent who need a work visa.
Temporary foreign workers are exempted from Canada’s travel restrictions for the most part.
In recent years, the Global Talent Stream has become a leading option for tech workers.
It fast tracks the processing time of obtaining a work permit to about four (4) weeks in total.
Canada makes it considerably easier for Canadian employers to employ highly skilled talent via the Global Talent Stream.
Since its introduction in 2017, the Global Talent Stream has helped to facilitate the arrival of an extra 40,000 tech workers to Canada.
One of the advantages of coming to Canada through a work visa option is it can help to push up the odds of individuals who eventually want permanent residence.
Obtaining Canadian work experience gives candidates extra points and more options under the Express Entry and the PNP.