Canada is winning the global war for tech workers, says National Public Radio (NPR), the United States' premier public radio channel:
The tech industry across Canada is booming. And one of the biggest reasons is U.S. immigration policy. The Trump administration has made it harder for high-skilled workers to get visas.
High-tech workers are in demand in the United States and Canada. But recent changes to the work visa system under the Trump administration have made it more challenging for high-tech workers to get a visa. The number of applicants for H-1B visas continues to exceed the annual cap of 85,000. But in recent years, fewer foreign tech workers are applying for U.S. jobs and are instead looking north to Canada.
A 2019 study shows that Toronto saw the biggest growth in technology jobs of any North American city over the past five years, more than San Francisco, New York and Seattle. Vancouver also made the top five North American tech hubs. There is a scarcity of tech workers in North America, and Canadian tech employers and cities are actively recruiting skilled foreign workers.
Nearshoring to Canada
Nearshoring is when a business - particularly a tech business - outsources jobs to a nearby company that shares a border with the country then Canada is an attractive nearshoring destination for U.S. tech companies to export jobs when they can't hire tech workers directly.
Canadian businesses and the Canadian government are actively recruiting tech workers and creating solutions to the growing market for highly skilled technology workers.
A new Canadian company called MobSquad is partnering with the Canadian government through an Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund to help foreign software engineers who want to work in Silicon Valley or other U.S. cities but have work visa challenges continue working with their current company, but nearshore from Canada. Software engineers, data scientists and other tech workers in Canada "will work in Calgary and be paired with U.S.-based clients on an exclusive, long-term basis — effectively making MobSquad a “virtual Canadian office” for their clients."
Are You an IT Worker Who Wants to Move to Canada?
Ep 2: Ask Canada Immigration Lawyer Evelyn Ackah Podcast
Tech Immigration to Canada
The Canadian government has put initiatives and programs in place to make Canada attractive to foreign tech workers. For skilled IT workers who want to find tech jobs in Canada, the question becomes, 'How can I find a tech job in Canada?'
Canada's immigration system IRCC implemented a new work stream Global Talent Stream Skills Strategy to help Canadian employers get the highly skilled foreign workers their businesses need. Immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah explains,
The Global Skills Visa is a new work stream established by IRCC which allows certain highly-skilled foreign nationals to obtain priority processing with a target of two-weeks to obtain their work permits. This is a new strategy to help employers recruit the high-skilled workers they require. The stream delivers three benefits:
- 80% of work permit applications will be processed within two weeks of submission
- work permit exemptions will be granted to highly-skilled workers on short-term work assignments - these exemptions will also cover researchers involved in short-term research projects in Canada
- Provision of a dedicated service channel for companies intent on large job-creating investments in Canada
- How An Immigration Lawyer Can Smooth The Way to Your Tech Career in Canada
- Canada Designs Regulations to Attract Tech Firms and Tech Workers
- How H-1B Visa Holders Can Get an Intra-Company Transfer to Canada
- How H1-B Visa Holders Can Move to Canada
- How H-1B Visa Holders Can Move to Canada as a Provincial Nominee