On June 27th, Canada’s Immigration Minister Sean Fraser launched Canada’s first-ever Tech Talent Strategy at Collision 2023. The new Tech Talent strategy aims to foster innovation and advanced technologies by implementing various measures that enable businesses in the country to access top talent and thrive in a fiercely competitive market.

The Tech Talent Strategy consists of various measures including:

The new innovation stream under the International Mobility Program.

The program will offer employer-specific work permits and open work permits for highly skilled workers. Canada is facing labour shortages and the tech industry is also affected. The Tech Talent strategy aims to tackle this problem by attracting talented tech individuals and expanding Canada’s talent base.

IRCC aims to implement:

Employer-specific work permits valid for a duration of 5 years, designed for workers who are intended to join companies recognized for their contributions toward the goal of industrial innovation.

Open work permits that are valid for up to five years for highly skilled workers in select in-demand occupations.

Measures to improve already existing programs

IRCC is aiming to improve already existing programs like Global Skills Strategy and the Start-up Visa.

The Global Skills Strategy is a program introduced by the Canadian government to help employers find highly skilled laborers in a quick way. The  Tech Talent strategy features faster application processing times, work permit exemptions, and enhanced customer service.

The Start-up Visa is a pathway to Canada PR for immigrant entrepreneurs who has the support of a designated Canadian venture capital fund, angel investor organization, or business incubator for their start-up. More spots are allocated to address the lengthy wait time for applicants.

The targets have tripled the number of permanent residents expected in the Federal Business category in 2023 and are expected to increase in 2024 and 2025. IRCC now allows Start-up visa candidates to apply for an open work permit which has a validity of three years. As of now, the work permit is only available to members of the team who are identified as essential and urgently needed in Canada. Under the new strategy, the work permit will be available to each member of the entrepreneurial team.

Introducing an open work permit for H-1B visa holders in the US, enabling them to apply for Canada work permits.

H1-B specialty visa holders in the US and their accompanying family members will be eligible to come to Canada. Successful applicants will be granted an open work permit, valid for a maximum duration of three years, enabling them to seek employment with any Canadian employer. Additionally, spouses and dependents will have the opportunity to apply for a temporary resident visa, along with necessary work and study permits, as required.