A new report by commercial real estate firm CBRE ranks Canadian cities Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta in the top 10 cities for tech workers. Edmonton, Calgary and Montreal, Quebec are listed in the top 5 cities with the greatest percentage increase in tech talent. According to the author of the CBRE report, Colin Yasukochi, tech talent is the primary element driving a city's "innovation infrastructure," which also includes education and research opportunities.
With tech talent pools of well over 150,000 people, the San Francisco and Toronto metro areas have the highest concentration of workers. The pandemic and the ability to work remotely has encouraged many people to move away from large metropolitan areas where jobs were located to smaller cities with a higher quality of lifestyle and lower costs.
Canada and the U.S. Brain Drain
During the Trump administration, the United States enacted policies that restricted legal immigration, causing issues for both foreign workers and American businesses. Canada took advantage of America's hardline immigration policies to recruit tech talent and launch new immigration initiatives that made the process faster for both individuals and the companies that hire them. The Financial Post summarized the U.S. Brain Drain:
In recent years, Canada has been able to more than offset the loss of homegrown talent by making it easier for the best and brightest from the rest of the world to work here. As former president Donald Trump made it more difficult to get a U.S. work visa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government introduced a program that allowed technology workers to obtain a Canadian visa in a matter of weeks.
Tech Immigration to Canada
Toronto is attracting tech talent faster than any other city in North America, and is now the 4th largest tech hub in North America, following the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington and Seattle. Multiple private and public factors have contributed to Canada's ability to attract foreign tech workers:
- Canada Wants Immigrants
Canada is actively recruiting skilled and educated tech workers, entrepreneurs and international students to help rebuild the economy, replace an ageing workforce and create new jobs for Canadians.
- Canada Immigration Programs
Canada's immigration policies actively target immigrant entrepreneurs, tech founders and students to help the country's economic growth and to create jobs for Canadians:
- The Pandemic
Work and travel restrictions resulted in more tech workers working from home, and working from anywhere. As a result, tech workers could live where they wanted to live, not where the jobs were located. And many skilled foreign workers view Canada as an ideal place to immigrate for its high quality of life and progressive immigration policies.
- Trump Policies
Former United States President Trump's administration tightened restrictions on visas for foreign workers. The immigration policies and difficulty in qualifying for an H-1B visa made the U.S. less attractive for skilled tech workers and the businesses who hire them - and strengthened Canada's competitive edge to attract tech workers.
- Strategic Marketing
Are You A Tech Worker Who Wants to Move To Canada?
Award-winning immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah has a global reputation for her ability to solve immigration problems before they occur and her dedication to helping her clients achieve their Canadian Dream. With offices in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, Ackah Business Immigration Law smooths the way to new opportunities in Canada. Contact Ackah Law today at (403) 452‑9515 or email us directly at [email protected].