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Why Toronto Is Fast Becoming The Largest Tech Talent Hub In North America?

Canadian immigration policies are driving U.S. tech industries to look for safe haven and expand their operations in Toronto. If you check out the careers webpage of almost any American tech companies, you will find openings in Toronto. Can this be a sign that Toronto is the largest tech talent hub in North America?

The Amazon careers web page has released about Twenty (20) job openings for their Toronto location in the last Fourteen (14) days alone. Microsoft, another tech giant, is opening up a new headquarters in September 2020, expecting to add an extra 500 full-time jobs and 500 internship/co-ops and part-time jobs by 2022.

Toronto has also gained many techs brains or talents over the past five years, according to the 2019 CBRE’s Scoring Tech Talent report. Between 2013 and 2018, there were approximately 80,100 tech jobs created in Toronto, as well as 22,466 tech degrees issued— which means there were 57,634 more technology jobs than tech graduates.

“Toronto and the San Francisco Bay Area are currently the strongest tech talent hub and job creators each adding approximately 54,000 more tech talent jobs than graduates,” the CBRE report announce. “on the other end, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Boston, post the lowest deficits in employing their tech graduates locally.”

American companies prefer Canada’s immigration policies over the United States

About two thirds (i.e Sixty-five per cent) of U.S. companies that engaged in a recent survey mentioned they prefer Canadian immigration policies over those in the United States, and a little above half have either considered expanding their operations north or already have.

Approximately 300 U.S. companies engaged in Envoy Global’s 2019 Immigration Trends Report. Many companies (Sixty-three per cent) announced they were expanding their presence in Canada, whereas Thirty-Seven (37) per cent said they were not.

Most of the U.S. tech companies hiring in Canada (35 per cent) admit they were both transferring their current staffs north of America, and hiring international tech talents for their Canadian branches.

More companies were only hiring foreign skilled workers (15 per cent) than were only sending current staffs (13 per cent).

A more streamlined work permit process

The Global Talent Stream (GTS) is a gateway for employers to bring their new hires to Canada fast.

Canada created the GTS program in 2017 with the aim of processing Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) for highly-skilled temporary foreign migrants within two (2) weeks.

There are two sub-categories within the GTS:

  • Category A refers to individuals who received a nomination from Canadian employers on a designated list. MaRS Discovery District, a non-profit company in Toronto that manages publicly-funded technological and medical research, is an example of an organization under this category.
  • Category B is for individuals who have skills in particular occupations that have was set to be in-demand in Canada. Many of the jobs listed fall into the tech sector such as computer engineers, web designers and database analysts.

Over the past two (2) years, more than 24,000 highly skilled people have come to Canada under this category.

Ontario opening doors to highly skilled foreign workers

Skilled foreign workers planning to settle in Toronto can apply via one of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program’s (OINP) streams.

The Human Capital Priority Stream is a sub-category operated by the OINP that uses the Express Entry system to invite applicants for permanent residence via periodic draws from the Express Entry pool.

The OINP has conducted two draws in the month of August, targeting applicants that had work experience in specific in-demand occupations.

On August 1, the OINP sent out 1773 invites as a part of its new OINP Tech Draws. These draw target people with experience in the technology industry. Selected candidates needed to have a CRS score between 435 and 458. web designers and Software engineers were among the list of occupations qualified for the tech draw.

Candidates do not need a job offer in order to be nominated, but, they were required to have an Express Entry profile.