Canada immigration plays a crucial role in its booming digital economy. The country’s Information and Communications (ICT) sector is worth $74 billion (Canadian dollars) per year, and employs over 655,000 professionals from all backgrounds and experience.
According to a report by the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), Canada will need to fill 218,000 technology-related jobs by 2020. The report also states that Canada is only producing half the required number of IT graduates needed to keep up with job growth. There are more than 350,000 (40%) people employed in ICT jobs, of which 96% are permanent residents or Canadian citizens and 4% are temporary workers, and the majority have come from China, the European Union and South Asia.
For businesses looking to expand into the region’s technology scene, this blog post outlines information you need to know regarding Canada’s immigration process.
Global Skills Strategy
To remain competitive, the Canadian government has implemented measures to fast-track the entry of foreign high-tech workers into the country. Canada’s Global Skills Strategy (GSS) is aimed to make it easier for local businesses to attract talent needed to succeed in the global marketplace and create economic growth.
Under the GSS, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is now offering work permit exemptions to certain classes of short-term work assignments and two-week (ten business days) processing of certain classes of work permit applications through a dedicated service channel. In addition, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) leads a new stream of application –the Global Talent Stream — which allows employers nominated by partner-agencies or certain occupations to receive expedited Labor Market Impact Assessments.
Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
Before a foreign national can work in Canada, the employer must apply for a work permit based on a positive LMIA. This is a labor market verification process where ESDC assesses the employment of a foreign worker to ensure it will not have a negative impact on the Canadian labor market. A foreign national can bypass this process if he or she qualifies for an Intra-Company Transfer or a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Professional Work Permit.
Employers must advertise the relevant job vacancy in the National Job Bank for at least four weeks. In addition, they must use a “Job Match” service, plus two other recruitment methods, and then provide details on the number of Canadians who applied for the position, the number interviewed, and reasons why they were not hired.
Global Talent Stream
The Global Talent Stream is a two-year pilot program that allows technology companies to speed up the LMIA process with an exemption from the one month local job advertising requirement. It also reduces processing time to ten working days rather than two months, if they fall into either of these two categories of employers:
- Category A: Firms in Canada that are referred by one of ESDC’s designated partners because they are innovative and can demonstrate a need to hire unique, specialized talent
- Category B: Firms in Canada that are hiring highly-skilled foreign workers to fill positions in occupations found on the Global Talent Occupations List. Eligible occupations are in the fields of computer technology, web design, electrical/electronic engineering technology, and digital media design.
Employers wishing to participate in the Global Talent Stream must also submit a Labor Market Benefits Plan. This plan includes activities that impact overall job creation, skills and training investments. Additionally, progress reviews are conducted approximately every six months to assess how well the firm is meeting its employer-specific commitments.
Immigrate into Canada with a Proven Partner
Velocity Global’s premier Global Immigration Solutions can help companies take advantage of this new program in bringing skilled tech-labor into Canada. Our International PEO (Professional Employer Organization) solution is an agile way to employ workers simply and compliantly through an already-established presence. Contact us to learn about this service.