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How Employers Can Hire More Tech Workers in Canada

Robert Cannon

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Tech workers

Canadian tech workers continue to labour shortages as this sector continues to grow even with the pandemic. One of the most promising ways to support the gap in the labour market is to hire foreign talent. 

The lack of qualified workers in the country was the core of the council of Canadian innovators’ recent meeting for the Canadian government to introduce a new visa that permits tech workers to come to Canada without an offer.

Identifying the importance of the tech sector to the economy, federal and provincial governments offer a plethora of options to employers looking to hire tech talent. Here are a few options one can explore through.

Global Talent Stream

This stream is exclusively designed to process 80% of applications within two weeks or less. This helps in onboarding foreign staff without delay. To reap the advantage of this fast-track work permit, Canadian employers are required to fall under Category A or B.

Category A is for organizations that have approval from a referral partner. These partners are usually local, governmental, or semi-governmental agencies that are directed to upkeep local economies.

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Category B is for companies who’re looking for skilled workers listed on the Global Talent Occupations List. Few eligible occupations include computer engineers, software engineers, and designers, as well as information systems analysts and consultants.

Employers from the A and B categories must meet conditions connecting to the payment of skilled workers. Foreign workers who are employed in the Global Talent Stream should be paid at the prevailing wage or higher.

CUSMA

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement enables talent mobility between the three countries. It comprises two categories that are relevant to tech workers: Professionals and Intra-Company Transfers (ICT).

CUSMA lists 63 occupations that qualify under the Professionals category. Computer systems analysts are among these occupations.

Intra-Company Transfer (Non CUSMA)

This enables the employer to make an ICT from a country except for Mexico or the United States. For instance, the free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada (CETA) offers provisions for ICTs, as does the agreement with the UK.

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Pathways to Permanent Residency

After getting a Permanent residency status, a foreign worker can work in Canada without renewing any work permit or LMIA. Few pathways to Canadian PR require job offers, however, it is also possible for tech talent to get permanent residence on their own.

Express Entry

Express Entry is an online application management system for some of Canada’s main immigration programs. Foreign tech workers can apply through these programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

Provincial Immigration for Tech Workers Canadian provinces support immigration applications for permanent residency. Most of the provinces and territories allow candidates to apply through their tech programs. This helps the province to meet the labour shortage in the tech sector.

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