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Canada welcomes IT workers

Posted on September 24, 2020
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Work in Canada

Talent, specifically tech talent, is more than welcome in Canada.

In view of the high requirement for tech talent in the country, the Canadian government has indeed gone out of its way to making a concerted effort at attracting more tech workers to the country.

Nearly 100 skilled worker pathways are available for tech workers that either seek a work permit in Canada or plan on settling down permanently in Canada as a permanent resident.

Tech talent and Canada immigration

For Permanent Residence For Work Permit
Express Entry Global Talent Stream [GTS]
Provincial Nominee Program [PNP]
Start-up Visa

Express Entry

With a standard processing duration of 6 months’, Express Entry remains the top choice for tech workers looking to live and work within Canada.

It is comparatively easier for a skilled worker to get the 67 eligibility points required for Express Entry as such individuals are mostly young, with a Master’s degree, work experience of 3 or more years, along with excellent language skills.

Similarly, their tech background gives them an edge over others once their profiles are in the Express Entry pool that manages the immigration applications for the 3 main economic immigration programs of Canada –

Federal Skilled Worker Program [FSWP]
Federal Skilled Trades Program [FSTP]
Canadian Experience Class [CEC]

Profiles in the Express Entry pool are ranked based on a score – the Comprehensive Ranking System [CRS] score – that is allotted on factors such as the applicant’s age, education, work experience and language skills.

It is the highest-ranked profiles in the Express Entry pool that are issued Invitations to Apply [ITAs] in the Express Entry draws that are held. A CRS score of 472 was the minimum required in the latest all-program Express Entry Draw #163 held on September 16, 2020.

Ever since the launch of the Express Entry system in 2015, IT workers have been the leading source of successful candidates under the system.

As per the official data with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada [IRCC], a total of 332,331 Express Entry profiles were submitted in 2019.

In the 26 invitation rounds held, 85,300 Invitations to Apply [ITAs] were issued to Canada immigration hopefuls to apply for Canada PR. 

Of the total 85,300 ITAs issued in 2019, around 45% – or 38,809 ITAs – went to Federal Skilled Worker Class candidates. Many of these were tech candidates.

Provincial Nominee Program

After the Express Entry, it is Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program [PNP] that offers a range of options for tech workers planning on Canadian immigration.

9 provinces and 2 territories in Canada are a part of the PNP. Quebec and Nunavut do not have PNP programs. While the province of Quebec has its own immigration program for the induction of newcomers, the territory of Nunavut has no immigration program as such.

Provinces and territories in Canada have been given the authority under the Constitution of Canada to make their own selection from prospective immigrants that they find to have the most potential of meeting their local requirements.

There are 2 ways that lead to Canada immigration through the PNP. Individuals can apply directly to any of the PNP streams. Alternatively, an immigration candidate can be invited by a province or territory through any of the Express Entry linked PNP streams. For this, the individual would have to create their Express Entry profile along with submitting an Expression of Interest [EOI] to the province or territory that they are interested in.

For an Express Entry candidate, securing a provincial nomination is a guarantee of the candidate receiving an ITA in a subsequent federal Express Entry draw. Fetching 600 additional points towards the CRS score, a provincial nomination is the recommended route for any candidate looking for ways to improve a low CRS.

With the high demand for tech workers across Canada, provinces like British Columbia and Ontario have regularly been holding tech draws.

Generally, British Columbia’s PNP Tech Pilot draws – targeting tech workers with job offers in any of the 29 key tech occupations –are held on a weekly basis. The latest BC PNP Tech Pilot draw was held on September 22, 2020 in which 74 invitations were issued.

Recently, Saskatchewan held a targeted SINP draw on September 15, 2020, specifically focussing on 3 tech occupations – NOC 2173: Software engineers and designers, NOC 2174: Computer programmers and interactive media developers, and NOC 2175: Web designers and developers.

By ‘NOC’ is implied the National Occupational Classification matrix wherein a unique 4-digit code is assigned to each of the existing jobs in the Canadian labour market.

Start-up Visa

IRCC also offers a Start-up Visa program providing an immigration pathway to Canada through either starting a business, thereby leading to job creation; or by supporting innovative entrepreneurs.

Growing in prominence in recent years, the Start-up Visa has largely been attracting tech talent.

Successful candidates are required to get an endorsement by an angel investor, business incubator, or venture capital firm that has been specifically designated for the purpose by IRCC.

On securing an endorsement letter, the candidate can then proceed to submit their permanent residence application.

Global Talent Stream

Canada also offers various pathways for tech talent requiring a work visa for Canada.

For the most part, temporary foreign workers are exempt from the travel restrictions imposed by the Canadian government in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As per IRCC, foreign nationals that require a work permit and are outside Canada are not subject to the Canadian travel restrictions if “travelling to Canada for a non-optional or non-discretionary purpose”.

This includes foreign nationals that hold “a valid Canadian work permit for a specific employer or foreign nationals who hold a valid open work permit and whose travel is for a non-discretionary purpose”. To claim the exemption, the foreign national will be required to present a status document – IMM 1442 – to the air carrier.

In recent years, the Global Talent Stream [GTS] has become the leading option for tech workers. Through the GTS, the processing time for obtaining a Canadian work permit has been reduced to 4 weeks in totality.

Since the launch in 2017, the GTS has facilitated the arrival of an additional 40,000 tech workers to Canada.

In an official statement issued on June 12, 2019 – marking the second anniversary of the Global Skills Strategy – IRCC has stated that, “After two years, nearly 40,000 people have come to Canada under the Global Skills Strategy, including nearly 24,000 highly skilled workers in occupations such as computer programming, information system analysis and software engineering. ….. this is precisely the type of talent our Government had in mind when it first launched this strategy.

With the Global Skills Strategy, Canada is positioned to succeed in the global race for talent. By helping Canadian companies grow, this strategy is creating more jobs for Canada’s middle class and a stronger Canadian economy.”

One of the main benefits of coming to Canada for work overseas is that a Canadian work visa can greatly enhance the chances of the individual being granted Canadian permanent residence eventually, should they wish to settle down within the country.

Along with making them eligible to apply under the Canadian Experience Class [CEC], prior work experience in Canada also gets an immigration candidate extra points and more options, both under the PNP as well as the federal Express Entry system.

With the US temporarily freezing immigration, Canada has emerged as a destination of choice for tech workers worldwide that are exploring work overseas options. Recently, global talent has been pivoting north towards Canada.

Industry experts are of the opinion that Canada’s tech sector holds the key to economic recovery.

Even with the COVID-19 situation, tech companies in Canada have continued with their international recruitment efforts. Online recruitment has been on the increase. A recent example being of the province of New Brunswick announcing that it will be holding online recruitment events.

If you are looking to Work, Study, Invest, Visit, or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No. 1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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