Canada offers many visa options for global tech talent. Listed below are four Canadian immigration pathways for tech workers.
Canada’s tech industry has been thriving in recent years. Even in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector remains strong with companies actively recruiting more talents.
Due to its need for more tech workers, Canada offers many permanent and temporary immigration pathways to support the sector. These include general programs for skilled workers and specific programs dedicated to tech talents.
Whether you wish to move to Canada on a temporary or permanent basis, the following are key options for you to consider.
Express Entry is Canada’s major pathway of managing skilled worker applications for permanent residence. It is an extremely popular option for global tech talent seeking to move to Canada. Tech workers are the key occupational group of immigrants who immigrate to Canada through Express Entry.
A major benefit of Express Entry is its dynamic and quick nature. You can successfully get an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence within just a few days of lodging or submitting a completed profile assuming that you are one of the highest-ranking candidates.
If you are one of these lucky persons, the federal government will aim to process your Canadian permanent residence application within six (6) months of you lodging it.
If you are a tech worker who has not resided in Canada before, your best bet of being eligible for Express Entry is via the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). The FSWP accounts for nearly half of all persons who obtain an invitation.
You need to meet the minimum eligibility requirements and obtain at least sixty-seven (67) points to meet the FSWP’s requirements.
Before getting into the Express Entry pool of candidates, your qualification for the FSWP will be determined by the likes of your age, educational qualifications, language skills, and work experience.
Provincial Nominee Program
The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is another key route to obtaining permanent residence in Canada if you have not resided in the country before.
The Canadian Constitution gives provinces and territories the right to operate and manage immigration programs. The Provincial Nominee Program operates in nearly every jurisdiction. Provinces can choose immigration candidates that meet their labour market needs, and then the federal government goes ahead and processes their Canadian permanent residence application.
Provinces and territories offer routes for skilled workers as well as specific ones based on where they have labour shortages. Technology is a significant area of need, which is why some provinces operate tech worker programs.
Two of the most notable are offered by Ontario and British Columbia provinces.
The Ontario Tech Pilot program is for workers who have experience in one of six tech occupations. Candidates need to have an Express Entry profile. Ontario has conducted two Tech Pilot draws in 2020, including one during the pandemic, in May, which saw over 700 candidates successfully receive invitations for a provincial nomination.
B.C.’s Tech Pilot invites immigration candidates to apply for a provincial nomination on an almost weekly basis so long as they have a job offer in one of twenty-nine (29) tech occupations. The province has held fourteen (14) tech draws in 2020, including earlier this month, with over 1,500 people have received provincial nominations so far this year.
The government of Canada also operates the Start-up Visa program. It exists to attract innovative entrepreneurs or businessmen people who are looking to start a business in Canada.
The SUV is an attractive option for tech talent and has significantly different selection requirements from skilled worker programs.
Notably, successful individuals need to be endorsed by an entity that is designated by the Canadian government (a venture capital firm, an angel investor, or business incubator). Such entities are responsible for supporting the entrepreneur’s success once they move to Canada.
Global Talent Stream
Canada offers plenty of temporary resident routes for tech workers who either do not wish to settle in Canada permanently or want a more fast pathway into the country before submitting a Canadian permanent residence application.
In fact, working in Canada temporarily can improve your chances of obtaining Canada PR since many immigration programs such as the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) are meant to support this process.
One of the well known temporary visa options is the Global Talent Stream.
It enables Canadian employers to hire tech workers and bring them to Canada in about four weeks. The Global Talent Stream is one aspect of Canada’s Global Skills Strategy which has facilitated the arrival of over 40,000 tech talent to the country since 2017.