Canada’s New Tech Talent Strategy Attracts High-Skilled Techies

Canada's new tech talent strategy is a great opportunity for tech professionals, digital nomads, entrepreneurs, employers, and other tech-related entities. This article discusses various options and changes implemented/ to be implement by IRCC

Canada is coming up with new changes in their immigration policies that are helpful for all the people who are related to the tech industry. Canada’s new tech talent strategy is a golden opportunity for tech professionals, employers, and tech-related entities.

Canada is becoming one of the best places for tech talents. With plenty of programs to support tech professionals, Canada is expanding its status among other countries that support the tech workforce.  There are new programs and immigration options for those who seek a brighter future. Canada’s aim to become the best tech and business talent recruiter gets a boost.

Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship, Government of Canada
Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship, Government of Canada
source: Wikipedia

The Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, Sean Fraser announced a strategy created by improving existing programs offered by IRCC. IRCC is Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.

Four key ideas proposed by the minister with respect to this stream are as follows:

New Innovation Stream Without LMIA

The government of Canada is planning to launch a new Mobility Program by the end of 2023. The existing LMIA rule for inviting new talents to the country will be eased to help employers and highly skilled workers. The government of Canada is expecting contributions from the tech workforce to support Canada’s priorities.

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)  is a document obtained by an employer before hiring employees from outside Canada. LMIA confirmation is required to hire talents from outside Canada. With this new strategy, IRCC plans to bring in some exemptions.

  • If an employer is contributing to Canada’s industrial innovation goals, government issues employer-specific work permits for up to five years.
  • Five-year open work permits for highly skilled workers in some NOC(National Occupational Classifications).

The mandatory LMIA requirement for employers in the above categories to get some exemptions in the new stream.

Attract Digital Nomads to Canada

Nomad is a person who does not have a fixed home but prefers travel. A digital nomad is a nomad, who uses digital/telecommunication technologies to earn a living. Digital nomads are remote workers who can work from anywhere in the world.

Under the immigration rules, a digital nomad gets a visitor status for up to six months at a time while working for a non-Canadian employer. This policy will be revisited to attract more digital nomads to Canada.

New policies would enable nomads to enter Canada and seek work and opportunities with Canadian employers. This can lead to a temporary work permit to stay more than six months and can even lead to permanent residence.

Work Permit for H-1B Visa Holders

Issuing work permits to H1-B visa holders in the US to live and work in Canada is another major change. This is a good opportunity for employers who have large operations in the US and Canada. Many of the workforce who work in the US hold H1-B visas, which can be used to apply for a work permit in Canada.

H1-B occupation visa holders and their immediate family members can apply for a Canadian work permit. This change is in effect from July 16, 2023, according to website. If approved, a work permit for up to 3 years will be issued.

This does not mean that they are allowed to work with only one employer, but all the employers in Canada. The dependents are also eligible to apply for a work or study permit.

This is a great opportunity for those people who work in the US with an H1-B visa and planning to relocate to Canada in the future. Canada has ties with the US and this program will potentially elevate the position of Canada and the US in the job market and economy.

Improve Global Skills Strategy and Startup Visa Program

There are many existing policies that need a brushup to upgrade Canada’s immigration policies to align with their new goal to become a more powerful talent and economic hub. These changes mainly focus on highly skilled talent from around the globe.

Changes to the Global Skills Strategy (GSS)

The Global Skills Strategy is a part of Canada’s immigration policy since 2017. GSS allows employers to use the best talents in the world. Candidates also benefit as this opens a pathway to enter Canada. The main feature of this strategy is the faster processing times and exemptions from work permit rules.

Throughout the pandemic time, the processing time was delayed and the program is back on track again with a shorter processing time. The processing times have come down to 2 week standard waiting time.

Changes to the Start-Up Visa(SUV) Program

The Startup Visa Program is another pathway to a permanent settlement in Canada for foreign entrepreneurs who has certain approvals/funding from (not limited to):

  • Canadian venture capital fund
  • Angel investor
  • Business incubator

Though this is an existing stream, lengthy wait times are a problem. To address this issue, more spots were allocated in the 2023-2025 multi-year plan to invite more immigrants. Canada has plans to invite more permanent residents in 2023, 2024, and 2025.

The temporary work permit for SUV candidates will be changed to an open work permit. This new open work permit is valid for 3 years rather than 1 year. This will enable more entrepreneurs to settle in Canada.

Entrepreneurs can earn additional income during this period.

Also, the work permit will be available for every member of the team.

Applications with funding from different entities mentioned above will be prioritized. This prioritization will be applied to PR applications as well. There will be additional steps to streamline this process after discussing with the stakeholders


These new changes are obviously a game changer for people from the tech industry. While there are other programs such as PNP tech draws to support the tech industry, these new strategies focusing on the tech domain will fuel the immigration options to a greater extent. More exciting news and strategies are yet to be announced by the Canadian government and IRCC. Stay tuned for those news.

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