How New Immigration Program Helps Canada Attract Top Tech Talent

Vlada Terenina

In June 2017, the Government of Canada launched a new pilot program called the Global Skills Strategy that cuts the amount of time for foreign tech professionals to get a work permit to help companies bring in skilled talent quickly.

Historically, Silicon Valley has been known to lure international talent with lucrative wages and the dynamic Bay Area lifestyle. But this is starting to change. With the current political climate and immigration issues in the United States, more and more skilled tech workers look out to Canada. The new immigration program will help companies who are doing business in the country access the international pool of tech skills and expertise to faster succeed in the global marketplace.

Who Will Benefit

As technical skills continue to be in high demand in North America, the Global Skills Strategy facilitates the processing of work permits and visas for foreign employees with unique specialized experience.

This program targets:

  • Canadian companies that are in the state of the fast-growth and need to access global talent in order to expand and generate jobs.
  • Global companies that are opening their business and creating jobs in Canada.

Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said “employers that are making plans for job-creating investments in Canada will often need an experienced leader, dynamic researcher or an innovator with unique skills not readily available” in the country. “The Global Skills Strategy aims to give those employers confidence that when they need to hire from abroad, they’ll have faster, more reliable access to top talent.”  

In Canada, hiring software developers and tech employees with rare skills used to take longer time than in the US, but this is starting to change. In 2016, 8,785 tech workers immigrated to Canada. Majority of them settled in Vancouver or Toronto where the major tech giants and multiple innovative tech startups are leading their IT-operations. With the new immigration program, this trend will continue making it easier to bring to the country software engineers and developers, database analysts and data administrators, IT-managers and experts with unique knowledge and experience.

For some workers whose skills are in high demand, the new application process takes only 10 days and is relatively easy for both the employer and the international worker.

Immigration Advantage

For some applicants, Canada might not have been their first choice of destination, but due to the political or economic climate in other countries, many preferred to move here.

As Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen pointed out, Canada is in the position to leverage a so-called “immigration advantage”: while many countries “are closing their doors to people, they are closing their doors to talent and to skills.”

Vancouver and Toronto will especially benefit from this program due to their geographical location and large investments in the technology sector in these cities.

In 2017, tech immigration in Canada is very likely to beat last years numbers, nearly doubling since 2007. As skilled workers around the world look for opportunities to move for work with their families, the Global Skills Strategy also makes it easier for their immediate family members to enter the country.

It will be interesting to see how the new immigration program will shape the current tech labor market and economy in Canada over the next few years. Meanwhile, hiring high-tech skilled employees in the country is definitely becoming easier.

By the way, at Digi117, we help you find software developers or other tech professionals with unique and hard-to-find skills from all over the world.  In our pool of international high-tech talent, we have pre-qualified specialists who are readily available for on-site placement in Canada upon your request.