If you are a worker or business owner in the tech space, this post is for you! As technology is advancing, Canada has proved itself to be a spearhead in the IT industry and as a result, more and more global tech talent continues to move to Canada. This is no wonder as the country offers so many ways to immigrate whether on a temporary or permanent basis, including the start-up visa program, ICT program or even Express Entry which will be explored below:
Global Talent Stream (GTS)
GTS is Canada’s answer to an economy in need of highly skilled workers! It is part of Canada’s Global Skills Strategy, an immigration program that allows Canadian employers to expedite the hiring of foreign workers to fill specialized occupations in the IT industry when Canadians aren’t available for those roles. Service Canada aims to process Global Talent Stream Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications in only two weeks and the work permit application is also being processed at a fast pace, making the entire program the speediest immigration pathway for workers seeking a new life in Canada. Due to the COVID pandemic, there have been some processing delays at some of the Consulates outside of Canada and that has been impacted the work permit processing timelines to some extent. However, this pathway to a work permit is still considered one of the most efficient and timely routes to start work like in Canada for IT workers.
Intra-Company Transferees (ICT)
If you work for a tech company abroad that has an office in Canada, ICT might be the best pathway for you. An ICT candidate is an employee of an international corporation who has been working for the foreign company for at least one year within the past three years in any of the skilled or managerial positions and is being temporarily transferred from a foreign enterprise to the Canadian subsidiary of the same enterprise. ICT applicants are eligible for an LMIA-exempt work permit, which gives them a huge bonus when it comes to application processing time. The processing time will be even more accelerated when the applicant is a citizen of any of the visa-exempt countries.
The Start-Up Visa program has drawn a lot of attention from tech companies as it allows foreign entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to apply for permanent residency if they are able to secure a significant investment commitment from a designated Canadian angel investor group, venture capital fund or business incubator in Canada. Once the applicants receive approval from any of these private investment entities, they would be able to file a PR application. The bonus is Canada facilitates the entry of foreign entrepreneurs early in the process by LMIA-exempt work permit to start their business venture while their permanent residence application is being processed.
One of Canada’s most popular permanent residence programs for IT workers is Express Entry. It is a points-based system where applicants will have to obtain a certain number of points, based on factors including age, education, work experience, etc. in order to be eligible. In fact, tech workers are historically the main occupational group of immigrants who move to Canada through Express Entry. The quick nature of the program is one of the major benefits to the applicants, as well as the ability to obtain an open work permit for the applicants in Canada who have received an ITA (invitation to apply) from the immigration office.
As the end of the pandemic appears to finally be drawing near, Canada remains open to global tech talent who want to call this country their new home. If you are a tech company or worker looking to relocate to Canada, please get in touch with Mirbaha Schachnow LLP.