The Canadian tech sector has been booming in recent years. Even despite the coronavirus pandemic, the industry remains strong with companies actively recruiting talent.
Due to its need for more ICT workers, Canada offers many permanent and temporary avenues to support the sector. These include general programs for skilled workers and specific programs dedicated to technological talent.
Whether you want to move to Canada permanently or temporarily, the following options should be considered.
Fastest Canada PR Immigration pathway – Express Entry program
Express Entry is the primary way in Canada to manage permanent residence applications from skilled workers. It’s an extremely popular option for global tech talent looking to immigrate to Canada. Technology workers are the largest occupational group of immigrants who come to Canada through Express Entry.
A major advantage of Express Entry is its dynamic and fast-paced nature. You can successfully get an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residence within days of submitting a full profile assuming you are one of the top-ranked applicants. If you are one of those lucky people, the federal government will attempt to process your application for permanent residence within six months of your submission.
If you are a technician who has never lived in Canada before, your best bet to qualify for Express Entry is to go through the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). The FSWP represents almost half of all people who get an ITA.
You must meet the minimum eligibility criteria and obtain at least 67 points to meet the FSWP requirements. Before entering the Express Entry pool of candidates, your eligibility for the FSWP will be determined by your age, education, language skills, and work experience.
Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is your next best choice for obtaining Canadian permanent residence if you’ve never lived in the country before.
The Constitution of Canada gives the provinces and territories of the country the right to carry out immigration programs. PNP operates in almost all jurisdictions. Provinces can “nominate” immigrant candidates who meet their labor market needs, and then the federal government goes ahead and processes their application for permanent residence.
Provinces and territories offer general routes for skilled workers as well as specific routes depending on where they have labor shortages. Technology is an important area of need, which is why some provinces have streams of technology workers.
Two of the most notable are offered by the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia.
The Ontario Tech Pilot program is for workers who have experience in one of six technology occupations. Applicants must have an Express Entry profile. Ontario held two Tech Pilot sweepstakes in 2020, including one during the pandemic in May, which saw more than 700 applicants successfully receive invitations for provincial nomination.
British Columbia’s tech pilot invites immigrant applicants to apply for a provincial appointment almost every week, provided they have a job offer in one of 29 tech occupations. The province has held 14 tech draws in 2020, including earlier this month, with more than 1,500 people have received provincial nominations so far this year.
Startup Visa and Global Talent Stream
The Canadian government also manages the starter visa program. It exists to attract innovative entrepreneurs looking to operate a business in Canada. It is an attractive option for tech talent, and its selection criteria are very different from skilled worker programs. In particular, successful candidates must be approved by an entity designated by the Canadian government (an angel investor, a venture capital firm, or a business incubator). These entities have a responsibility to support the success of the entrepreneur once he comes to Canada.
Canada offers many temporary residence pathways for tech workers who do not wish to settle in Canada permanently or who wish to access the country more quickly before submitting an application for permanent residence. In fact, working temporarily in Canada can increase your chances of obtaining permanent residence since many immigration programs such as the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) are supposed to support this process.
One of the more notable temporary visa options is the Global Talent Stream.
It allows Canadian employers to hire tech talent and bring them to Canada in about four weeks. The Global Talent Stream is one element of Canada’s Global Skills Strategy, which has facilitated the arrival of more than 40,000 tech workers to the country since 2017.
Moving to Canada during COVID-19
The pandemic has affected Canada’s immigration operations, but the country still allows temporary visa holders to enter the country for work. Invitations to successful immigrant applicants are also continuing as Canada plans to welcome them to the country once the pandemic has subsided.
All of this to say that Canada remains open to global tech talent who want to make this country their new home.