Canada is implementing a new strategy to offer new residency options for foreign tech workers and entrepreneurs, with the goal of attracting top talent and improving the present Startup-Visa programme.
In announcing its 'tech talent plan,' Canada's immigration minister Sean Fraser announced on Tuesday that talented immigrants in certain occupations will be eligible for five-year work permits.
On the Canada start up visa program, the major news from this announcement was that the government would finally be going ahead with the suggestion to prioritize start-ups that are capitalized, which rewards investors for their capital contribution. What it means that priority would be given if you have financial backing from a Canadian Angel Fund or Venture Capital Fund.
As part of Canada's attempts to attract highly skilled foreign talent, Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne stated that holders of the H-1B visa from the United States will be given priority access to Canadian residency. These visas are granted to applicants in speciality R&D occupations (usually STEM-related).
Champagne specifically stated that a special work visa will be available to H-1B applicants beginning July 16, 2023, and would be good for three years.
Applicants with this permit would be able to bring their families and dependents to Canada without restriction, and their spouses and family members would be permitted to work or study in the nation as well. This work visa would be valid for one year or until a quota of 10,000 primary applicants is met.
The government also intends to develop an innovation stream within the International Mobility Programme in order to recruit extraordinarily skilled workers; this is expected to materialise and become fully available in late 2023.
Work permits tailored to specific firms supported by the government for promoting the country's 'industrial innovation objectives' - awarding five-year residency for foreign talent selected by these employers - will be part of the innovation stream.
Open work permits will also be available to qualified individuals in high-demand occupations for up to five years the finer details of which are still awaited.
Canada also announced new selection categories for the Express Entry program. Candidates having strong French language skills or having work experience in high demand fields falling under the STEM, Healthcare, Trades, transport and Agriculture and Agri food are likely to see prioritization.