Canada Introduces Strategy to Attract Foreign Tech Experts


Canada has launched its tech talent strategy to attract foreign experts to its thriving digital sector. The announcement was made by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, Sean Fraser, at Collision 2023. The strategy includes an “innovation stream” providing open work permits for up to five years to highly skilled professionals in specific high-demand roles.

The new tech talent strategy in Canada introduces employer-specific work permits and open work permits for up to five years. The program supports companies contributing to Canada’s industrial innovation goals. Canada’s position as a top destination for immigrant entrepreneurs is reinforced by a report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. The new pathways also benefit H-1B visa holders in the United States, allowing them to apply for Canadian work permits and explore study or work options for their families.

Starting July 16, H-1B visa holders can apply for Canadian work permits, with a cap of 10,000 applications. The application period will be open for one year. It’s essential to understand that only principal applicants will be counted towards the application cap, excluding accompanying family members.

Expressing enthusiasm for Canada’s immigration goals, Sean Fraser emphasized the strategic importance of attracting newcomers to solidify the country’s global leadership in emerging technologies. The tech, start-up, and business communities played a crucial role in developing the strategy, providing valuable insights.

Fraser credited Canada’s fast and flexible approach, widely supported by its citizens, as an immigration advantage. In addition to the tech talent strategy, revisions to the start-up visa program have been made to attract skilled foreign tech workers, including increased program spots and improved work permit options.

In addition to the above, Canada has expanded the eligibility for open work permits to include all members of an entrepreneurial team, going beyond essential individuals. These changes in immigration policies align with similar modifications made by Germany to attract skilled foreign workers.

Additionally, Canada has introduced faster visa processing and more considerate measures for dependents in response to the United Kingdom’s decision to restrict family members of foreign students. These updates demonstrate Canada’s commitment to attracting and supporting skilled individuals and their families.

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