IRCC Minister Introduces 6 New Immigration Measures
Minister will be announcing new strategies to attract more tech talent during this Immigration announcement
1. Recognizing Opportunities in the Age of Disruption
Emphasizing the opportunities created by the age of disruption, Minister Fraser highlighted the remarkable technological advancements and solutions that have emerged in recent years.
In his view, Canada is currently leading the race for talent, but he believes there is still room to widen the gap and attract even more exceptional individuals to the country.
2. Dedicated Pathway for STEM Employees:
Minister Fraser announced a dedicated pathway for permanent residency tailored specifically for STEM sector workers. Recognizing their invaluable contributions, this initiative aims to expedite the processing of work permits for these skilled professionals.
Companies in need will now have faster access to the talent required to drive technological advancements.
3. Streamlining the Global Skills Strategy
Building upon the success of the Global Skills Strategy, which has been instrumental in attracting global talent to Canada, Minister Fraser announced that work permit applications under this program would now be processed within a mere two weeks.
This significant reduction in processing time ensures that companies can swiftly access the talent they require to drive innovation and growth.
4. Overcoming Challenges in the Startup Visa Program
Minister Fraser acknowledged the challenges faced by the Startup Visa program, which offers permanent residency to entrepreneurs who establish companies and hire Canadians. To address the program’s limitations, the government has increased the number of available spaces from 1,000 to 3,500 per year.
Furthermore, priority will be given to applications from companies with committed capital or endorsements from trusted partners.
5. New Streams for Highly Talented Tech Professionals Without Job Offers
In a move to attract highly talented individuals without a specific job offer, Minister Fraser revealed that a specific stream would be developed for these individuals to work in Canadian tech companies.
This initiative aims to tap into the vast pool of talent worldwide, enabling them to contribute to Canada’s thriving tech sector.
6. Introducing the Digital Nomad Strategy
Additionally, the government intends to launch a Digital Nomad strategy, allowing foreign employees to work in Canada for up to six months. This program seeks to foster economic activity and community integration, enabling digital nomads to live and spend in Canadian communities.
If a job offer is received during their stay, they will be permitted to continue working in Canada.
The Innovation Stream will be launched by the end of this year. Options being developed are informed by the feedback of stakeholders received throughout a number of consultations in recent months.
The new H1-B specialty occupation visa holder work permit will be available as of July 16, 2023. Approved applicants will receive an open work permit of up to three years in duration, which means they will be able to work for almost any employer anywhere in Canada. Their spouses and dependants will also be eligible to apply for a temporary resident visa, with a work or study permit, as needed.
This measure will remain in effect for one year, or until Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) receives 10,000 applications. Only principal applicants, and not their accompanying family members, will count toward the application cap.
Changes to the temporary work permit option for Start-up Visa Program applicants, as well as the new application prioritization plan, will be in place later this year.
Canada’s information and communications technology sector employed nearly 720,000 Canadians and accounted for more than 44% of all private research and development spending in Canada in 2021. The sector was responsible for more than 15% of Canada’s overall GDP growth between 2016 and 2021.
Canada ranked number one as the most attractive destination for immigrant entrepreneurs in a 2023 report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (PDF 2.18 MB). The rankings were based on a wide variety of factors, including access to capital, corporate tax rates, skills of the workforce, strength of its universities and quality of life, as well as immigration policies for entrepreneurs and their families.
Minister Sean Fraser’s recent updates reinforce Canada’s dedication to attracting and retaining top-tier tech talent. With a dedicated pathway for STEM employees, enhancements to the Startup Visa Program, a new stream for highly talented individuals, and initiatives targeting foreign-employed individuals and H-1B visa holders, Canada is cementing its position as a global tech talent.
These progressive policies underscore Canada’s commitment to economic growth, diversity, and inclusion in the ever-evolving tech industry.