December 11, 2023

Business Visa

The Business Visa Is Mightier Than Sword

New Canada Work Permit Stream To Lure H-1B Visa Tech Workers From The United States

Canada is launching a new immigration initiative dubbed the Tech Talent Strategy to lure temporary workers in the tech sector in the United States north of the border to fill Canada jobs going begging for a want of qualified employees. 

“We’re enthusiastic about the ambitious goals we have set in immigration because they aren’t just about numbers. They are strategic,” said Immigration Minister Sean Fraser. 

“With Canada’s first-ever immigration Tech Talent Strategy, we’re targeting newcomers that can help enshrine Canada as a world leader in a variety of emerging technologies.”

The Tech Talent Strategy will lead to the creation by July 16 of an open work permit stream for foreign nationals working in the United States with H-1B visas.

The visa is widely used by Silicon Valley companies to bring in highly-skilled immigrants.

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That stream will also provide work and study permit options for the workers’ family members. 

This measure is to remain in effect for one year, or until Canada’s immigration department receives 10,000 applications, with only principal applicants and not their accompanying family members counting towards the application cap.

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Under the Tech Talent Strategy, an Innovation Stream is to be developed under the International Mobility Program (IMP) to attract even more highly-talented foreign nationals to Canada.

That Innovation Stream, which is to be launched by the end of this year, is to include:

  • employer-specific work permits for up to five years for workers destined to work for a company identified by the federal government in Canada as contributing to the country’s industrial innovation goals, and;
  • open work permits for up to five years for highly-skilled workers in select in-demand occupations.

The Tech Talent Strategy also promises a return to the 14-day service standard for work permits under the Global Skills Strategy.

Ottawa wants to promote Canada as a destination for digital nomads, workers who can do their jobs or run their businesses from any location on the planet that has good internet access. 

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Last year, United Kingdom-based Circle Loop, a provider of a cloud-based VoIP solution which provides phone systems accessible via desktop and mobile devices, publishes its Digital Nomad Index and ranked Canada as the number one destination for digital nomads.

The federal government intends to also create a STEM-specific draw under a category-based selection to issue additional Invitations To Apply (ITA) through the Express Entry system.

IRCC Opening More Spots Under The SUV To Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Since many immigrant entrepreneurs set up tech-related companies, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is also tweaking the Start-Up Visa (SUV) program with even more spots for foreign nationals who want to immigrate to Canada under this program every year through 2025.

Under the changes being made to the SUV, applicants will be able to apply for work permits of up to three years sometime later this year. They currently can only get one-year work permits. And the new open work permits for SUV applicants will also be available to each member of the entrepreneurial team.

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“We’re prioritizing applications that are supported by venture capital, angel investor groups and business incubators and have capital committed, along with applications that are supported by business incubators who are members of Canada’s Tech Network,” notes the IRCC on its website.

In Canada, the information and communications technology sector employed nearly 720,000 Canadians and accounted for more than 44 per cent of all private research and development spending in 2021. The IT sector was responsible for more than 15 per cent of Canada’s overall economic growth between 2016 and 2021.