Canada tech industry is booming and tech workers are sought by many provinces
With the Canadian tech sector booming in recent years, tech expertise and specialists are sought after by myriad of companies. Tech workers and tech talent represent one of the largest share of Canadian workers coming from abroad, and Canada itself offers many solutions for temporary and permanent stay in order to support this sector. Tech workers are included in all the general programs for skilled workers, but there are also many specific programs dedicated to tech talent in particular.
Tech workers and tech talent are usually an international and mobile breed, but many of them might seek to move permanently to Canada because of the country’s high standards in worker safety, professional opportunity and high quality of life. Foreign workers are encouraged to stay and supported throughout their careers by Canadian federal government and its agencies. Immigration is such an important part of Canada that many citizens believe it is what makes their country so successful and attractive in the first place.
What are the best pathways for immigration as a tech worker?
There are four main pathways for full immigration into Canada for tech talents. These are the Express Entry System, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), the Start-Up Visa Program, and the Global Talent Stream. Let’s talk about them.
- Express Entry is the country’s chief program to process skilled worker applications for permanent residence. It is also the most popular option for tech talent looking to immigrate to Canada. Tech workers are the main occupational group of immigrants who move to Canada through the express entry system. What makes Express Entry so attractive is its quick and dynamic nature: you can even obtain an invitation to apply for permanent residency just days after submitting a complete profile (if you ranking is high enough). Check out the Federal Skilled Worker Program if you have not been living in Canada before, as this is the chief stream to make you eligible and rank high for the Express Entry system. Age, education, language skills and professional experience are all determining factors that will make you score higher or fewer points in the registry.
- Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is highly favoured by tech talent who has not lived in Canada before - de facto, what the PNP does is that it enables provinces and territories to operate an immigration program and invite candidates. Through a provincial ‘nomination’, immigration candidates that meet the needs of that province or territory’s labour market can obtain direct access to permanent residency. Since the tech sector is a significant area of need in richer provinces such as Ontario and Quebec, tech workers are some of the most sought after by PNP programs. Check out the Ontario Tech Pilot, which just saw over 700 candidates receive invitations even during pandemic times in 2020. British Columbia Tech Pilot is even more expansive, with over 1500 candidates receiving provincial nominations this year.
- Start-Up Visa aims to attract innovative entrepreneurs looking to make Canada their home and open up business in the country. Tech talent looking to startup a company or enterprise should consider this option as it offers also the possibility to be sponsored and endorsed by an entity (venture capital firm, angel investor, business incubator) designated by the federal government. Once immigrated to Canada, this entity will support the novel entrepreneur in their quest to success in the country!
- Global Talent Stream offers the possibility for Canadian employers to hire tech workers and bring them to the country in less than a month. Over 40000 tech workers have entered the country since 2017 thanks to this program which is part of the Global Skills Strategy. Thanks to Global Talent Stream, the tech talent can obtain temporary work experience which will be vital to further apply for permanent residency later.